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Welcome to Big Break, where some of the most influential figures in the beauty industry reflect on the moments that made them — from the good to the bad and everything in between. Here, Frederic Aspiras shares his journey to hairstyling superstardom, from clients like Paris Hilton and Lady Gaga to an Academy Award nomination.
Frederic Aspiras is behind some of Lady Gaga’s most iconic beauty moments. All of the wigs in “House of Gucci”? Aspiras. The singer’s epic 2019 Met Gala entrance? Aspiras (he was even on the red carpet with her). The list goes on. But despite the glamorous life he lives now, Aspiras came from very humble beginnings.
He was born in San Francisco, CA. His mom was a refugee from Vietnam, and his dad was a member of the military. They met during the war but divorced when he was very young, leaving his mom to raise him and his six older siblings on her own. Though he didn’t realize it at the time, she’s responsible for instilling such a great work ethic in him.
“She took on a lot of different types of jobs just to support our family and watching her as I was growing up, I used to see her be really tired and stressed, but she wanted us to have a different life,” Aspiras tells POPSUGAR.
Though she was always simultaneously working no less than three jobs, her primary one was as a hairstylist. Eventually, she saved up enough to open her own salon. “At that time, being a refugee woman and in the ’80s, early ’90s, it was unheard of to have your own business,” he says. “She really stepped forward to make a different path for me and my family.”