LIBERTÉ, EGALITÉ, PRIVÉ!
Hairstylist Andy Lecompte remembers landing at the salon that would set his life’s course.
In 1998, when I was 18 years old, I started working at Privé Salon in Los Angeles.
Allure had named it one of the city’s five best salons that year, and it was on the chicest street in town: Melrose Place. Laurent, the owner, had seen my portfolio a couple of times, but it was only after he booked me on a commercial shoot that I got my big break.
He hired me as a hairstylist that very same day.
Privé was so elegant. It was filled with the most beautiful people, and the hair was amazing — the blondes were brighter than any blonde I had ever seen!
My first six months, however, were difficult there.
I was talented and fearless, but I felt like the other stylists were better than me.
Plus, Laurent’s assistant, Leanne, hated me. We were about the same age when I swooped in and, just like that, landed the job that she was working towards.
I only won Leanne’s affection after I found an assistant to replace her so that she could work as a stylist.
We soon became friends, and [a few years later] she approached me about opening a salon together. We’re now business partners at my namesake salon and have an incredible relationship.
I wouldn’t be where I am today if she hadn’t challenged me all those years ago.
— as told to The Thick