Friday, November 16, 2007

Calvin Klein Underwear. A Celebration!

A photo-editorial I produced for Collezioni Uomo celebrating the 25 years of Calvin Klein undies... what a celebration... what a glorious day!


Photography by: Joe Oppedisano
Styling: Giorgio Ammirabile
Hair: Adrian DeBerardinis
MakeUp and Production: Karlo for MAC Cosmetics
Location: The Rivington Hotel, NYC

Travis from B1 Models



Travis and I in-the-making


Tyler Garceau @ Major Models

James Guardino @ Major Models

Nelson @ Red Models


Travis @ B1 Models

Carlens @ Red Models

Ryan Cooper @ New York Model Management

Jensen @ New York Model Management

Ryan Daharsh @ Major Models

Brian Jankic @ New York Models


Dare @ B1 Models

Thanks to all of you that made this possible. Thank you Joe for being available... Tom Eubanks, Joe's agent... Allesandro and Giorgio from Collezioni for trusting me.... Jeffrey Felshaw at The Rivington for such a fabulous suite!... Ivonne Carlo Sellés for helping me rub these men and run like a mad woman in order to feed the gods! Yes, Giorgio still owes you 60 bucks, lol... Miguel Figueroa for waking up Ivonne... and last but not least, Jay at Calvin Klein for opening up the CK archives, and also for filling our personal intimate drawers with Calvin.

PD.: Joe, next time please do not improvise with the lights and its covers, we could have burned in hell, lol.

LALA Land...

A series of images for the Baldinini Spring/Summer shoe campaign. Shot in LALA land... look in Italian Vogue Feb. issue!











Thursday, October 25, 2007

Excuse me, it is MY honor...

It was an honor to have been chosen to be in a section of El Nuevo Dia newspaper called "Vidas Unicas" or Unique Lives translated literally. Following is the original article from the newspaper written by Janirah Figueroa Fontánez. Thanks to all of you that have given me the opportunity to tweak your lives with a little beauty.

Thank you Janirah! Thank you Francisco!

My apologies to the non-Spanish speaking community, but the newspaper is in Spanish.


La Belleza al Poder



By Janirah Figueroa Fontánez/ Especial para El Nuevo Día

Aunque en su trabajo se dedica a ocultar las imperfecciones de modelos, reinas de bellezas y celebridades internacionales, Karlo sabe distinguir muy bien entre lo superfluo y lo sustancial.

El secreto de su poder está en su maleta negra, donde guarda sombras multicolores, rímel, pintalabios, brochas y otras herramientas de su oficio de maquillista, uno que descubrió cuando estudiaba Veterinaria y con el que se ha dado a conocer en todo el mundo.

Capaz de crear imágenes de ensueño con su paleta de maquillaje, este as de la belleza también tiene la capacidad de reconocer la injusticia que parece invisible y actuar sin titubeos cuando se trata de dar una mano a los que, como él, alguna vez han sufrido la discriminación sólo por ser “diferentes”.

Cuando ocurrió el ataque a las Torres Gemelas en la ciudad de Nueva York, no lo pensó dos veces para trabajar como voluntario en uno de los centros del Ejército de Salvación, donde tenía que escuchar a los bomberos y policías que trabajaban en la Zona Cero.

Aunque por poco se vuelve loco lidiando con el sufrimiento psicológico de los que ayudaron a rescatar a las miles de víctimas de esta tragedia siempre recuerda con orgullo cómo puso su granito de arena en la reconstrucción de una ciudad que ha sido su hogar en los últimos 14 años y la que le ha brindado tantos éxitos profesionales.

Su amor por la belleza comenzó desde niño mientras veía a su progenitora, Violeta Colón, vestirse y maquillarse antes de salir de paseo con él los domingos. Karlo se fascinaba al ver la transformación de su propia madre. Ese antes y después que hace la diferencia entre ser la reina o la primera finalista en un certamen de belleza o lo que determina si la modelo será la portada de la revista de moda.

Desde muy jovencito también se dio cuenta que, “era diferente”. Con lágrimas en los ojos, nos confiesa que, por ser distinto a los demás, sufrió la burla de muchos niños de su vecindario y hasta el rechazo de algunos miembros de su familia. Karlo prefiere no aludir a su orientación sexual y, ante la pregunta directa de si es gay insiste en que el nunca responde a esa cuestión y que, en definitiva, “qué importa”.

Pero Karlo siempre ha tenido el apoyo de su madre, quien, con mucho esfuerzo y sacrificio, lo crió sin la ayuda de su padre y ha estado ahí en las buenas y en las malas. “Ella es mi tesoro”.

Irónicamente, esas mismas cualidades que lo hicieron víctima de la intolerancia social durante su adolescencia, fueron las que lo convirtieron años más tarde en uno de los artistas del maquillaje más reconocidos de su generación. Alguien que con su brocha mágica le ha dado resplandor a los rostros de figuras publicas como Denise Quiñones, Dayanara Torres, Paulina Rubio y Marc Anthony.

Autor de famosas sesiones de belleza para revistas como Vogue, W, Fashion of the Times, Karlo ha sido el director creativo de desfiles de moda de diseñadores internacionales, y el creador de los conceptos creativos de las campañas publicitarias de la película “Hairspray”, el sistema de videojuegos XBOX 360 y la línea de calzado de la diseñadora Anna Sui.

“Siempre fui súper creativo”, afirma el artista, “aunque un poco tímido. Se me hacía bien difícil hablar con la gente que me rodeaba porque tenía una manera diferente de pensar. Nunca me gustaban las mismas cosas que le gustaban a todo el mundo. Mi vida completa, hasta que me fui de Puerto Rico, tuvo ese denominador común”.

Tras graduarse de escuela superior del Colegio Nuestra Señora de Belén, Karlo ingresó a Wittenberg University, en Springfield, Ohio. “Yo pensaba, bueno, me gustan los animales, soy buen estudiante, pues vamos a ser veterinario, pero no di pie con bola porque no me gustaban ni la química ni el cálculo”, recuerda entre risas sobre cómo decidió estudiar la carrera equivocada en sus años universitarios. “De ahí brinqué a negocios y me quedé en mercadeo”.

Gracias a ese afortunado error, Karlo descubre su verdadera pasión profesional: el campo de la belleza. Inicialmente, labora como modelo de pasarela y anuncios de televisión en la Isla. Luego, a principios de los 90, decide probar fortuna en la Gran Manzana, pero las casas de modelaje lo consideraban “demasiado europeo” para el mercado anglosajón.

Desesperado, pero con muchos deseos de triunfar, Karlo no vio otra opción que buscar trabajo en una tienda por departamentos para sobrevivir. “Lo único que yo conocía de Nueva York era Sak’s 5th Avenue, así que decidí ir a la tienda y pedir una solicitud de trabajo”. Allí comenzó a laborar en el departamento de diseñadores y, en muy pocos meses, lo trasladaron al departamento de belleza, donde un buen día le preguntaron si sabía maquillar.

Karlo, sin dudarlo, dijo que sí. Una respuesta que le cambió la vida. “Trabajé como dos semanas con la línea de Christian Dior hasta que Channel me roba y estuve un año y medio haciendo promociones de belleza con esa compañía”.

Con su buen ojo y originalidad, el talento de Karlo para el maquillaje empezó a dar de que hablar en la Gran Ciudad, por lo que las ofertas de trabajo para revistas y compañías comerciales se multiplicaron. El siguiente paso, fue reclutar a Dennis Reed, quien fungió como su agente hasta que sorpresivamente falleció de VIH/SIDA en el 1991.

“Fue algo fulminante porque Dennis duró tres meses. Me impactó mucho porque él era la mitad o más de lo que empezó a ser Karlo. Tenía unas conexiones con los editores de revistas y con las casas de publicidad increíbles. Yo era su artista. Al morir, se me quiso caer el mundo”.

Con mucho pesar, Karlo también ha vivido la pérdida de otros de sus amigos a causa de esta temible enfermedad, experiencias que lo motivaron a trabajar como voluntario de Cielo Latino, la gala anual de recaudación de fondos de la Comisión Latina sobre el SIDA, organización sin fines de lucro que ayuda a los pacientes hispanos de VIH/SIDA en Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico.

Con su sensibilidad y sentido estético, Karlo dirigió el concepto creativo del Journal del evento, producción que reunió a figuras como la ex Miss Universo, Zuleyka Rivera, la cantante La India, la periodista Natalie Morales y las actrices Patricia Velázquez y Lupe Ontiveros con el objetivo de educar a la comunidad hispana sobre la importancia de prevenir el SIDA.

“Lo que me impulsó por esos cuatro meses”, explica el maquillista, “a no tener mis ocho horas de sueño, era que yo me decía a mí mismo, wow, si yo trabajo en este proyecto podría salvar por lo menos una vida. Y ¿qué más se puede pedir?”.

Así es Karlo. Un artista que encuentra el glamour y la belleza en una mirada, una sonrisa o una mano amiga. Un ser humano sensible ante la adversidad.

Para este creador de imágenes, maquillar no es la simple acción de aplicar sombras o pintalabios a una cara, sino un arte que requiere estudio, disciplina y originalidad. “Algunas veces subestimamos el poder de la belleza; la belleza es una actitud que en realidad te define como persona”, dice Karlo, sintetizando así su filosofía de vida.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back to Fashon Guik. Spring/Summer 2008 Collections

(The model Omahyra after a makeup test I did for the Carlos Campos show)

Yes, it's been a while after September 11, 2001 when I started getting panic attacks and did not feel comfortable in enclosed areas like The Tents at Bryant Park, where most of the New York Fashion shows take place...

So, little by little with the help of Xanax, Champagne and Tequila, of course, not taken simultaneously, you get back to "normal," if "normal" I can ever be. To this concoction add a little bit of healing time and... you can now take the subway, go over bridges, be comfortable in high-rise buildings and, sort of, enjoy flying once again without slapping a few flight attendants and getting kicked out of the freaking plane a-la Zuleyka Rivera. Hence, your life gets back to business and you start finding the pieces of the puzzle you were missing.

This season for the Spring/Summer 2008 Men's/Women's Collections I'm happy! You have to understand that I love the creative process you go through in order to mold a look that will fit, flawlessly, the designer's concept for that specific season;
the message he or she wants to communicate to all the fashion editors, thus giving "la moda" and beauty direction. I have to tell you that I thrive in the backstage mayhem as I feel the people and their energy. Then, at some point between prepping backstage and having the first model in the chair, tunnel-vision sets in order to deliver my product "perfectamente" and have all the models ready 15 minutes before the show starts. You can't stop me.

Here are excerpts from the press-release. I'll give you some fun images after the shows!

Carlos Campos*:
For Carlos Campos, Karlo has designed a fresh sun-kissed face reminiscent of the aristocracy that sailed off the coast of Acapulco, Palm Beach, St. Tropez and Portofino in the 80's, where they inevitably glamorized their faces for nightlife celebration. Decked out men, super-chic women. Omahyra will embody all the glamour.

(Omahyra after makeup at Carlos Campos show. Spring/Summer 2008)


(Me, myself and I in all-action @ Carlos Campos Show. My fake tan and full lips worked! LOL! Thanks WireIMAGE!)


(Carlos Campos final look @ the runway.)
Click on images to enlarge!





Sergio Davila: Karlo has chosen "a new country club man" theme for Sergio Davila's "Soho club meets Havana club" inspiration for his Spring 2008 men's collection. "…it's a 2008 approach to it, we DO NOT bake under the sun anymore. Today's man is aware of the cumulative negative effects of the sun on our skin… but he still likes to play, under the sun."


(I meant (in the video) the look was "when you blush kind of deal, when you get that blood rush to your face, the Prince Harry look, LOL!)


Keith Michael*: Keith Michael's show is about timeless beauty. Barbie doll lips, beautiful eyes a-la Twiggy and flawless porcelain skin. "Keith collection portrays to me the ultimate sheltered girl, sweet, beautiful, romantic, educated… she's the Grace Kelly all women want to be," Karlo comments.

(America's Next Top Model Melrose for the Keith Michael hair and makeup test. This is the final look!)


See you all soon, maybe backstage, and thanks for reading.

* Makeup sponsored by Borghese.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Red Carpet @ Hairspray...

(After Party @ The Roseland)


(James Marsden @ the Red Carpet)


(Full Marsden ;-) in Dolce and Gabanna)


(Mr. and Mrs. Marden. Mrs. Marsden has THE one and only body.)


(Stephanie Canciello (my agent), James Marsden and Karlo @ the after party.)


(James Marsden and Alexa Vega.)


(Sureal @ the afterparty of Hairspray!)


(Bob Shaye, Executive Producer)


(Adan Shankman, Executive Producer and Choreographer)



Thursday, June 28, 2007

Collezioni Uomo and James Marsden without hairspray...

(Cover of Collezioni Uomo 2007/08. James Marsden.)


In-the-making of the cover:
Stephanie Canciello, president of Unali Artists, spent a month producing this cover even while she was on vacation amongst Polar Bears and all, drove 8 hours to-and-from Rhode Island, and worked on lots and lots of other etceteras (mind she still owes me an iceberg). Giorgio Ammirabile flew trunks full of designers clothes from Italy, mingled with "Calle 13" and went to many sample sales. Karlo (me :-), molded hair, painted, and told Katie Bleacher she could not have guests in her own country home while we were retouching James, lol. And last but not least, Bleacher & Everard captured the right moments and angles for the cover of Collezioni Uomo's "Confessions of a Superhero" with James Marsden.

Of course it is team work! You kidding? We all at one point molded, re-molded, shaped and re-shaped plans, courses of action, direction, location, images and even the tuna from Legal Sea Foods (this location sucks, the service is horrendous, the tuna was like rubber and people don't have style!). Still, considering all the elements against us, everything turned out pretty seamless, shiny, flawless and we defied hail and wind without having to use an ounce of Hairspray. (Note: If you still have cans of hairspray at home, recycle them. In mosquito infested areas, point at the insect and spray, it's wings will immediately stick together preventing the horrible creature from flying, now you'll have a walking mosquito. Or the other option would be to ship them to New Jersey. The hairspray cans I mean.)


Things you should know:
James Marsden plays Corny Collins in the remake of the movie Hairspray. His character was originally played by Shawn Thompson in the 1988 original directed by John Waters. John Travolta has taken the hilarious and challenging role of Edna Turnblad, originally played by the one and only DIVINE ! The rest of the cast? Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, ZacEfron, Britanny Snow, Amanda Bynes, Eliyah Kelly, Allison Janney and Nikki Blonsky.

Did you take a look at Mr. Marsden resume? Of course you did! Now gently add this movie, his face, his body. No wonder Collezioni Uomo wanted more than a cover from handsome James. An interview and a fashion spread follows the cover...



Hairspray was not used in the grooming process.


Odile Lecoin is key for supple skin right before makeup.



To the naked eye, even when you have applied makeup, a man's skin should read: sans maquillage!



On occasion one just needs to enhance the natural beauty and voilà, the spotlight is on.




A hair product that creates texture without oiliness or weighing it down was crucial. I'm not going to tell you the secret. Ask your Mom.



Ok, so I have you, girls and guys, already in love with James , but I'm not done. Let me throw you some Confessions Of a Makeup Artiste:

My personal experience with Mr. Marsden? A true gem and gentleman. Yes ladies I know, but what else can I tell you if not the truth. You are probably twirling on the floor or hanging from the ceiling fan spinning around, but men like this still exist. He was on-time, he worked WITH us, he was patient, he had a sense of humor. He knew his light, he knew his angles, and I could go on and on about James... Ah! and the light salt and pepper hair you see? Its natural. So hit yourself
now with the computer mouse, it's not a dream. You are qualified now to discard your husband and jettison him to Marsden Camp. Wait! His waist? 29. Something not even the stylist could believe before meeting him in person. Right Giorgio?

Well, it's almost time to say goodbye, but not without saying that it was a pleasure to work with TALENTED, PROFESSIONAL, SENSIBLE HUMAN BEINGS where there is no room for uncalled attitude and pretentiousness. Besides, isn't the latter traits of insecurity?

It was such gusto! to directly and/or indirectly collaborate with members of this team like Jillian Fowkes,
Tara Friedlander, James Marsden, Alessandro Ferrari, Giorgio Ammirabile, Antonio Guerra and family, Katie Bleacher & Dean Everard and of course the woman at the prow of it all Stephanie Canciello. Thanks Steph! Thanks Alessandro and Giorgio for the trust! Thanks Collezioni for holding the magazine for this shoot! Until next time!




Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cielo Latino, an unexpected passion...

All images by bleacher+everard (copyrighted)

Click on images to enlarge!
(Above: India, opening the Cielo Latino "Coffee Table Magazine")

Days, evenings... nights without sleep... my urge for perfection has stolen my stillness, again.

Cielo Latino, the benefit gala for the Latino Commission on AIDS has enveloped me in an unimaginable way. My job? To glamorize the event. The results? The production and art direction of an
AIDS campaign worth over a quarter million dollars; a "Coffee Table Magazine" which feature those which in one way or another have supported the AIDS cause and quotes from their rationale as to why they are involved in the AIDS battle. A list of designers who have donated to the Cielo silent auction. A growing list of celebrities that have said "presente" for the AIDS cause. A first-time Greeting Committee for the Cielo Latino gala. A new International Ambassador for the LCOA and recipient of the ILKA Award, Gael Garcia Bernal... and last but not least, the unleashing for a new passion that simply makes me feel more HUMAN!

What a journey this has been! The one to blame? Elias Guerrero, friend,
Medical Director of the Institute for Authentic Process Healing and board member for the LCOA. He introduced me to Cielo Latino some 5 years ago.

Second one to blame? Roy Cosme, President and CEO of Arcos Communications. Roy has listened to me, believed in me and given me direction, support and an office. Thanks Roy, Marc, Deborah Garcia, Yai, Rina, Barbara!

Third to blame? Stephanie Canciello. My agent, and one of the essential corners that make up this trilogy that developed the concept (Roy, Stephanie and Karlo).

(Above: Zuleyka Rivera, Miss Universe 2006 and Dennis DeLeon, President of the LCOA)

Zuly, as her friends, colleagues and family call her... Well, I am in awe with Zuleyka, I have nothing to say but that she was unbelievable. Everyone from the creative team and then some were just in shock. I want to thank Roston Ogata and Paula Shugart, President of the Miss Universe Organization, for their support and immediate assistance. Farewell Zuleyka on this year as Miss Universe! A new beginning could be born!

Dennis DeLeon! What an inspiration! The driving force behind the Latino Commission on AIDS. "Luchador", an example some of us should follow meticulously. A lesson in humbleness and what really matters in life. My favorite image, so strong, so engaging!


(Above: Celebrity DJ, Marcelo Cunning and MSNBC National Correspondent for the "Today Show" Natalie Morales)

Music could not be left out in this spread, hence Marcelo Cunning of Nacotheque, whom I call "Defensor de la Cultura." The Nacotheque reviews (his bi-weekly parties in NYC) in The New York Times and New York Magazine are only but outstanding. "Thank you for the music...without a song or dance, what are we?"- ABBA.

Natalie Morales? Can I tell you just one thing? Sweet as sweet can be. Not to mention talented, smart... you name it. This woman has the schedule from hell (at least for me, I'm not a morning person at all), no time to waste. She's a business woman, a mother and a wife, but still gave her time for Cielo. At the photoshooot she was right on time, stroke a pose, gave us her best, taught her P.R. agent about Puertorican cuisine (and it wasn't J-Lo at Barbara Walters, thank God), spoke to us about her family (Puertorican father and Brazilian mother), and on top of that had time to write us an email about how happy she was to have met us and work with us. This is wonder woman! Thanks Natalie! Oh! one more thing, she was the MC for Cielo Latino, and that was from 6 PM to 11PM, go back to her schedule and do the math.


(Above: Singer Jean and Lupe Ontiveros, actress/AIDS activist.)


Jean (Rodriguez) stood handsome in all the photos for the journal and gave an outstanding performance at the event. His grace and charisma envelope men and women alike.

Lupe, what can I say of Lupe? Lupe is unique. Lupe is direct. Lupe is transparent. Lupe is a woman. Lupe is "tres pares de cojo..." What a spirit. What a life. What an amazing attitude. God bless you Lupe, keep up the good work and I hope we can collaborate more in the future. We all love you!

(Above: Patricia Velasquez, actress, model, philanthropist and mother; and Guillermo Chacón, Vice President of the LCOA)

When Patricia first heard about this project I was producing, she committed without hesitation before I could even ask her. She was going to be there for the LCOA, as simple as that. So in the middle of her own benefit gala preparation for the Wayuu Taya Foundation, Patricia gave us four hours of her time to save lives. Thanks Patrica for all the love and support. Hugs from all at Arcos Communications and the LCOA.

If I ever have the opportunity to choose a father, I would choose Guillermo Chacon. I've already told his wife Donna, just in case he wants to adopt me. It would be an out-of-the-box kind of situation, but it's OK, we are use to thinking outside of it anyways. The camera loves him, but what else can I say, its a reflection of the love he spreads around the world working for the LCOA. Donna, keep an eye, you know, these images might take him to the cover of People's magazine 50 most beautiful people issue. Watch out!

But how about the opening of the spread? India. "Se te paran los pelos" when you hear this woman sing. She gave us passion, "chispa," sensuality, charisma... she's so alluring. Watch her sing and you might as well stop dancing just to admire such spectacle. When she gives it to you, it's a 100% or nothing! She worked it. Thank you India.

(Above: Any resemblance to Karlo is purely coincidental)

Oh well, what can I say? It was a great journey and one that was definitely not lonely. For the success this journal has had already cannot be credited to one single person or organization alone. There are many to thank. The synergy of all these people's work has created this "Cielo Latino Coffee Table Magazine." The "Magazine" headed the printed program for Cielo Latino on May 23, 2007 at Cipriani Wall Street. I'm proud to have worked in collaboration with these wonderful people, otherwise this would not have been able to come to life. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart:

Katie Bleacher and Dean Everard, photographers. Johanna Laracuente, stylist. Antonio Zazua, hairstylist. Javier Romero, retoucher. Jun Olman, videographer. Eagle's Nest Studios/ Grant Leduc. Diamante Studios/ Ben DeJesus. Stephanie Canciello, president of Unali Artists, Inc. The Arcos Communications family; Roy Cosme, President ; Debora Garcia, Account Executive; Yai, Rena, Marc and Barbara. Daniel Ravelo, graphic designer/ LCOA. India, Ana, Natalie Morales, Megan, Jean, Patricia Velasquez, Guillermo Chacon, Dennis DeLeon, Daniel Connolly, Elayne Monnens, Zuleyka Rivera, Marcelo Cunning, Lupe Ontiveros, Latino Royalty, Carlos Campos, Alvin Valley, Juicy Couture, Monif C., Diesel, Moschino, Ben Sherman, Aldo, Guissepe Zannoti, Erika Peña, Ben-Amun, Ted Baker London, D&G, Frye, J. Lindeberg, Rod Keenan, David Yurman and Francesco Smalto.

Special thanks to: Gael Garcia Bernal, Katina, Pablo Meyer, Karina Vieira and Denise Quiñones.

I reiterate my gratitude to Arcos Communications and the Latino Commission on AIDS for their trust, hard collaborative work and being open to new ways and ideas to reach out and make people more aware of AIDS.


Cielo Latino Making off Shooting by Jun Olman

Add to My Profile | More Videos


My gratitude also to the members of the Greeting Committee: Javier Boné (La Perla), Jose Santori, Catherine Correa, Sebastian Burd, Carmen Verdeal, Hernan Rincon, Florencia Minniti and Michelle Otero.