Last year, De Leon was the co-director of hair at Columbia Style Week and was on the hair and makeup team for Charleston Fashion Week. This year while working at a Columbia Style Week pre-event in the basement of the Sheraton Hotel, De Leon got the call of a lifetime. He was offered the job to work on hair and makeup at the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
“Chills ran through my entire body,” said De Leon. “I wanted to jump and run around like a crazy person but I couldn’t. I had to keep my composure and that was really hard.”
De Leon is no stranger to award ceremonies. Last year he worked on the 64th Annual Prime Time Emmy Awards as well as the 2012 Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. While at the VMAs he worked on celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Katy Perry.
De Leon worked on an array of people at the Oscars: celebrities, orchestra members, production teams, VIPs, bloggers and Academy Award organizers. He wasn’t permitted to disclose their names, however.
He described the heat of the red carpet drama as amazing, and the knowledge that he was creating was being seen by millions of people throughout the world was an incredibly invigorating feeling.
“There was one point we were told we had 20 minutes to complete a team of entertainers and as they sat in our chairs, they yelled ‘there’s been a change you have nine minutes’ and that was for hair and makeup,” De Leon said.
He attributes his skill of learning how to work under pressure to working on timed competitions and fashion weeks. The experience he got working on 44 runway shows with hundreds of models definitely helped “pick up his speed.”
Friend and co-worker of De Leon Keri Bailes is thrilled by his success. Bailes is a celebrity stylist for the VMAs and New York Fashion Week, and she worked with De Leon at Columbia Style Week as co-directors of hair. Bailes explained in a previous interview how eager and “amazingly talented” he is when it comes to hair and makeup.
“I was blown away by his natural talent and dedication to the business,” said Bailes.
Last year when De Leon worked on the Emmy Awards, he was brought to the awards by Dinair Airbrush Company. He was able to work with Dinair again this year at the Oscars. He explained that working with their amazing company as well as working with an incredible team of stylists was an experience of a lifetime.
“My favorite part was just being there and being able to experience it all,” said De Leon. “To have watched the show my entire life on television and then to be asked to come style hair there was a dream come true.”
After an eventful weekend at the Oscars, De Leon’s work is not nearly done. He is back on the East Coast working all of his jobs while maintaining his full-time clients at Salon Envy. He will be working at Charleston Fashion Week in March and Columbia Style Week in June, where he will be the co-director of hair for the second year in a row.
De Leon has been booked for two up and coming TV pilots where he will be the head of the hair department. For more information about his work on Columbia Style Week please visit www.columbiastyleweek.com. You can follow him on Facebook for pictures from his events and news about his upcoming work.
“The blessings continue to come and I am so grateful,” said De Leon.