Moments of Reflection: Patrick Chai draws from the past to create a collection for tomorrow.
Hair and Photography by Patrick Chai.
Patrick Chai isn’t your typical stylist. The award-winning, American Crew–sponsored artist, who plies his trade at Beverly Hills, California’s Michaeljohn Salon, was once a top-tier engineer within the defense industry, developing radar for F/A-18 aircraft and missile launchers. “It was a well-paying and secure job, but I realized I was unfulfilled,” says Chai. So he decided to go back to school—and by “school” we mean Harvard University—to get his master's and become a math teacher. “While I really enjoyed teaching, once again I had that feeling that it wasn’t my true calling,” Chai relates.
Then one day in 2006, on a whim, Chai bought a camera. He started taking pictures “just for fun,” but the whim soon grew into something more. “That void I’d had was finally being filled,” he recalls. Emboldened by finding his true passion—portrait photography— Chai heeded the advice of a favorite professor and enrolled in beauty school to get a sense of how to style hair and makeup.
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