Throughout the past 20 years, Hollywood hairstylist John Ruggiero, 44, has coifed the dos of Chrissy Teigen, Sarah Paulson and Olivia Wilde as well as the world’s top models, including Gigi Hadid, Stella Maxwell and Kate Upton.
But Ruggiero also has a passion for interior design. After reading “Wisecracker,” a biography of silent movie star-turned-interior designer Billy Haines, he jumped into the design business about two years ago. When the pandemic hit, his hair gigs began slowing down. Four months ago, as something to do during COVID, he began renovating a vintage trailer he bought near his home in Palm Springs for $5,000. “The agent told me that it is rumored to have once belonged to Desi Arnaz,” Ruggiero tells Variety.
In tribute, he named the 8-by-42-foot trailer “Lucille.” He decided to document the reno-project on Instagram. “I started posting the good days and the bad days,” Ruggiero says. “I honestly thought no one was going to give a shit, but I was shocked by the response. People became very invested in my journey.”
His only plans for the trailer were to live in it when he rents his nearby home on Airbnb. But one of his best friends, producer Fernando Hernandez (FJHP), saw something special and convinced Ruggiero to develop a reality show that would follow him as he renovated more trailers. They’re putting the finishing touches on their pitch now. “Part of me thought he was kidding because we never talk shop,” Ruggiero says, adding, “He finally convinced me. He’s a persistent one.”
Besides, Ruggiero notices more young people buying trailers in the desert when they cannot afford to buy a home.
“Trailers were very cool and a trendy thing in the ’50s and early ’60s,” Ruggiero says. “You can find photos of Lucy and Desi, Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn and Elvis all in Airstreams or rad trailers of the era. Trailer parks were happening in postwar America. Over the past decades, trailers and trailer parks started to get a negative reputation. I want to help change that.”