Odile Gilbert is a prominent French hair stylist, known for both her editorial work and her runway looks. She has been called upon to style campaign hair looks for Dior Homme, Balanciaga, H&M, Tod’s and Karl Lagerfeld. In addition the hair stylist has had lucrative contracts with Calvin Klein, Lancôme, Giorgio Armani and Jean-Paul Gaultier to style the hair looks for their fragrance and beauty campaigns.
Gilbert is a prolific collaborator on the runway, perhaps best known for her ability to craft natural tousled looks, although she is regularly called upon to create more stylised and avant garde looks too. She is the stylist of choice for New York designers, including The Row, Joseph Altuzzura, Jason Wu and Rodarte.
Gilbert began her career in 1975 as first assistant to Bruno Pittini, one of the top hairstylists of the time, in his salon and studio. Working with Pittini gave Gilbert an enviable apprenticeship in studio styling, due Pittini’s regular commercial and editorial clientele.
In 1982, she moved to New York and started working on fashion and beauty editorials with photographers that included Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Irving Penn, Steven Klein, Peter Lindbergh, Jean-Baptiste Mondino and Paolo Roversi, among others.
In 2000, she opened her own agency, l'atelier(68) in Paris, which represents Gilbert and new talents in the beauty industry. In 2001, she created her hair accessory line, Odile Gilbert Créations. Two years later Steidl/7L Editions published Her Style, Hair by Odile Gilbert at which included a preface by Karl Lagerfeld.
In 2005, Sofia Coppola called upon Gilbert to art direct the imperative hair looks for the main character of her next movie, Marie-Antoinette played by Kirsten Dunst. In 2006 she received the honorable insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. To date, she is the only female hairstylist to be awarded the honour.
In 2007, the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of New York bought one of the top hats made of natural hair Gilbert created for Jean Paul Gaultier's Haute-Couture autumn/winter 2006 show for their permanent collection.