Lady Gaga was on hand at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion Los Angeles Awards on Sunday night to help honor her longtime hairstylist Frederic Aspiras by presenting him with the Hair Artist of the Year Award.
“I’ve been through many highs and lows, consistently throughout my career, and Freddie has been there for it all,” Gaga said. “[He] has picked me up off the floor and told me I’m strong, I can persevere, more times than I could ever count. If I was on the floor, he was right there with me.”
Gaga, who has worked with Aspiras for over 10 years, also said that simply calling Aspiras a hairstylist would fall short.
“Even saying his full name, as the rockstar he’s become, I find myself thinking, ‘No, he’s not just in my eyes, the greatest hair artist in the world, he’s the brother I never had,’” she said.
Gaga recounted the highlights of his work, such as coming up with her signature “piss blonde” hair color while she was on her Monster Ball tour in 2009, his ability to change her lace-front wigs in 35 seconds while she changed costumes between performances, and the 2019 Academy Awards. The night before the Oscars, Gaga said the two stayed up all night, “because we’re both going, ‘B—-, we didn’t come this far to go to the Oscars with a root. We have to bleach it.’”
The Oscar winner also revealed a fact she said not even Aspiras knew, that he inspired her to write “Hair,” off her 2011 album, “Born This Way,” because “he helped inspire me to love myself, and be myself every day.”
Taking the stage after Gaga, Aspiras told the crowd that he represents “the American Dream.” He said his mother was a hairdresser who emigrated from Vietnam, and that it was difficult for him growing up, because he was “different, growing up gay, being Asian, and not being able to express yourself at such a young age.”
“You’re being bullied, because you’re being beat up every single day, because you love to do hair and because you’re 13 years old and no one cares or are calling you names,” Aspiras recalled. “I am the American dream. It is to fight hard, it is to work through all your adversity, it is to fight, it is to demand, it is to believe in yourself.”
Aspiras also said he wants his story to influence young people with similar dreams. “I hope to inspire a generation of young artists out there who hopefully, who hears my story and sees this tonight and that follows me, that believe that this can happen to you too,” Aspiras said.
Prior to the event, Aspiras spoke to Variety about working with Gaga throughout the years. “She believes in me and she trusts me to just do me. That’s what keeps me going,” he said. “You have to allow yourself to really be true to yourself, that people will see that. That’s what is so special about today is that I did nothing but just be myself this whole time.”
The evening’s other honorees included designer Christian Siriano, models Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, and Slick Woods as well as Kate Hudson, who was recognized with the Fashion Entrepreneur honor for her sportswear line, Fabletics.