The Man Behind The Beauty: Greg Wencel
Like many in the fashion world, Greg Wencel grew up wanting to be an artist. Drawing, painting and photography captured his attention as a child and he dreamt of working in fashion and beauty. Sometimes dreams come true, with dedication, trial and error. His big break came when he had the chance to work on the television show Canada’s Next Top Model. Today Greg is a renowned hair and makeup artist who has travelled the world and back and is one of the masterminds behind P1M, a leading boutique artist agency.
In this #stmINTERVIEWED we talk with Greg Wencel about the people who first ignited his creative passion, where his career began and how P1M was started.
Above Photo: New work. Photo by D Picard for Factice Magazine Paris, Model is Agnes of Next Models.
She looked straight out of an 80s music video.
STM – What got you interested in being a hair and makeup artist? What schooling/ training did you go through?
Greg – My mother and grandmother were my first inspirations. My grandmother always had a great classic sense of style and loved fashion and hair and makeup and my mother was a part of the MTV movement and was always eccentric and pushed boundaries with her personal style. She had really wild 80s hair and makeup and used to make all of her clothes and make her own patterns. She looked straight out of an 80s music video.
I was self taught and a lot of learning I did in the beginning of my career was trial and error working at makeup counters was great for that, I worked for Lancôme and Dior and had stints working for many other lines freelance. Later on I assisted key artists on film and photo sets and runway shows and I learned a lot about my trade and the business that way.
The downside to this industry is sometimes it feels like a bit of a popularity contest.
STM – What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your job?
Greg – There are so many amazing benefits in my line of work. I have travelled to so many interesting places and have met so many inspiring people. It’s exciting that new opportunities are always popping up and not knowing what could happen next keeps it feeling fresh. The downside to this industry is sometimes it feels like a bit of a popularity contest. So you really have to focus on your own thing and be true to your brand and be ahead of the curve and not fall into worrying about playing the game.
It’s how you handle the downs and the learnings you take away.
STM – What was the biggest barrier for you entering this line of work? Tips for others?
Greg – Passion and dedication are key. Things do not happen overnight and it takes drive and self motivation to become and remain successful. There are always going to be many hurdles and ups and downs in your career. It’s how you handle the downs and the learnings you take away from both.
She is an icon in the fashion industry…
STM – What would you say was the highlight of your career?
Greg – I have been very fortunate and have had so so many highlights in my career but the most recent one that has stood out as special to me was working with Cindy Crawford. She is an icon in the fashion industry and it was a real dream come true moment for me that I will never forget.
STM – Actress Rachel McAdams is quoted as saying you gave her, “one of the best damn haircuts my head has ever seen.” What is your reaction when people profess things such as this?
Greg – As a guy who loves to please, having someone grateful or elated with the work you have done is the ultimate end goal and is one of the most rewarding parts of this industry when it comes into fruition.
STM – You’re credited as co-founder of P1M with Nanci Vennettilli and Diana Carrelli. What was your relationship with these two and how did you form the agency together? What role do you play there today?
Greg – When I originally met the girls they were my agents. We naturally became very close friends and now they are my business partners and family. We have known each other for over 10 years now. The idea of our agency first developed when we saw there was a real need in the marketplace for a boutique style artist agency with real personal management. We take pride in our agency and our artists’ careers. And always strive for excellence in everything that we do. We sought out to elevate the standards in service to both our artists and clients and change the agency game in Canada . We have a real team dynamic and work with so many incredible people. Today as an owner I have my hands in all areas of the business and oversee all decisions made alongside my two partners and our amazing agency director Ryan Greenwood.
I always seek out to make my subject look beautiful and feminine foremost while considering whatever the relevant trend is.
STM – Let’s throwback. Find a project from the early days (above) of your work and tell us about what it was like when you started out. Then find a more recent project (below) and do the same.
Greg – Fashion and beauty are constantly changing from moment to moment throughout time. I have always remained true to my style while evolving with current trends. I always seek out to make my subject look beautiful and feminine foremost while considering whatever the relevant trend is. I like women to look dynamic and try to embody many characteristics of the beauty that they empower. I always contrast a woman’s soft and gentle side with a mix of her strength and confidence to form a statement. I love to show a woman’s beauty in a new light and constantly push the ideas of traditional beauty.
Now Beauty is very organic and raw and has an artful and realistic imperfection about it!
STM – What are your top two beauty or grooming tips for men and women?
Greg – Have fun and experiment! Do whatever makes you personally feel good. Hair, makeup and fashion are fun so be fearless and creative. The options are limitless. My advice is keep it fresh and try not to get stuck in a rut.
STM – What are your thoughts on men wearing makeup in everyday life?
Greg – I think esthetic is a form of self expression and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I say do whatever makes you happy.
STM – If you could put together your dream project what would it be? Who would it involve and where would it take place?
Greg – I love what I do and have had so many dream come true projects that this is a really tough question for me to answer. I have met so many aspirational people and have been to so many unbelievable places in the world. I have worn many different hats as an artist, an agency owner, a spokesperson and image maker. So I guess my answer is I hope the dream projects never stop coming lol.
STM – If you walked away from this all tomorrow, what would you want to do instead?
Greg – Join the circus!
Before Greg joins the circus, be sure to join him as he continues his journey in fashion by following him on instagram: @gregwencel.
More Images Follow.