Session stylist

Secrets of Session Stylist Orlando Pita's Success

by sophieh / February 26, 2008

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Session Stylist Orlando Pita was recently named one of fashion’s most influential people by American Magazine W. The magazine’s first ever I-List described him as ‘a hair genius sans attitude that sets the standard.’

Clients at his salon Orlo pay a whopping $800 for his skills and he has a client list that includes Jennifer Connelly, Naomi Campbell and Kirsten Dunst. Orlando’s even appeared as himself in an episode of Sex in the City.

With such high credentials – and nearly 25 years in the hair industry – he is full of insights into the industry; from how it has changed over the past two decades to what future developments might be and what it takes to make the grade.Tell me about your career to date?
Amazing! I’ve been really lucky to have had a fantastic career.

I actually started working in finance but what I really wanted to do was cut hair, so I just started doing it and practising on everyone who would let me.

My brother was a fashion photographer and one day, the hairdresser didn’t show and I got my chance to shine. Over the years I’ve been lucky to work collaboratively with so many talented people.

Recently, American magazine W was kind enough to name me as one of fashion’s most influential people – that is when I knew that I made the right choice in becoming a hairdresser. I love what I do and I am glad that other people do too.
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What are the best and worst elements of session styling?
Best: The collaborative effort when doing a creative shoot – everyone working together
Worst:The 4am starts.

How has the session scene changed over the years?
There are a lot more magazines than when I started in 1984. There are more opportunities, but also more people on the scene. In a creative field, there will always be competition.

Also, nowadays, celebrities are often our models. Previously, when we worked primarily with models, they really didn’t have a lot of say on the looks and the creative process. But it is different working with celebrities and this changes the creative process as there is another person involved.

It isn’t a bad thing; it’s just different.

What advice would you give someone wanting to join the session styling scene?
Strive to create something that makes you stand out.

What do you predict will be the next development in hairdressing?
I’m not really much of a fortune-teller. But, right now, I am really interested in the idea of skincare for the hair. Styling products that not only deliver a quick fix – added volume or extra shine – but help to maintain healthy-looking hair with everyday usage, just like a moisturiser for the skin.

This is an idea that fuelled my work with T3 when creating the T3 360° styling liquids line. From the tools to the styling products – it is all coming from one source, where it has been designed to work harmoniously together for one greater end result.

What influences and drives you?
The passion I have for my work, I love what I do. My father’s work ethic was a big influence on me too.

What is your life philosophy?
I try never to hurt people and to just be the best person that I can.


What are your current projects?
I am working on more styling products for the T3 360° line, the couture shows are coming up and, of course, my salon, Orlo in New York.

What items in your kit bag could you not do without?

  • My Mason Pearson brush
  • T3 360° Boost and Plump
  • T3 Evolution Dryer
  • Kerastase Double Force Hairspray.

What are your top five areas of inspiration?

  • The street
  • Music
  • Cinema
  • Animation
  • Art.

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