HUNG VANNGO

HUNG VANNGO

GIVING THANKS

Makeup artist Hung Vanngo on meeting the man who launched his career.

Daria Werbowy photographed by Max Abadian for Flare, September 2009, makeup by Hung Vanngo

When I first started out, believe it or not, I was very shy.

I worked as a hairdresser at a salon and did makeup on the side. I didn’t really know what direction to go.

I reached out to KELLY STREIT, who owned MODE MODELS CALGARY at the time. He scouted a lot of the top Canadian models.

Helena Christensen photographed by Max Abadian for i-D, December 2009, makeup by Hung Vanngo

Kelly met with me, and I started working on his girls’ headshots and castings.

He knew everybody in town and would recommend me to local shoots, advertising campaigns, and fashion shows. I did everything that he had the power to suggest me for in Calgary.

Without Kelly, I wouldn’t be doing makeup for celebrities and models.

Lindsey Wixson photographed by Henrik Bulow for Fat Magazine, March 2014, makeup by Hung Vanngo

I went with him on my first trip to New York and I basically fell in love [with the city], but I had nothing besides a little portfolio from his model tests; you can’t really get a working visa — or anything at all — with that.

So he and I worked together on a plan for me to move to New York. Kelly saw talent in me and encouraged me to get out of Canada.

If I have anyone to thank for beginning my career, it would be him.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Makeup artist Brigitte Reiss-Andersen enters the house of Yves Saint Laurent, makeup artist Frank B. displays his talent in a 2007 Self Service editorial.

Claudia Schiffer photographed by Max Abadian for i-D, December 2009, makeup by Hung Vanngo