That the people Frausto works with happen to be some of the biggest pop stars (Lil Nas X), models (Bella Hadid), and all-around cool girls (Lourdes Leon) of the moment means that his “whole thing” has landed him at the center of the current zeitgeist. For Lil Nas X’s latest album, Frausto dreamed up bomb-pop-blue Marge Simpson curls, switching to a demure, weeping bride wet-look mullet when the artist appeared at the VMAs; he outfitted Lola Leon with an impossibly lustrous Cher wig for her Met gala debut last fall; and he has taken Hadid from bobbed and baby-banged to a gloriously bombastic Barbarella, turning her into something of a Linda Evangelista hair chameleon for the TikTok generation. His collection of wigs, often constructed into gravity-defying, cartoon-surreal coifs in electric orange and fluorescent purple, has been the subject of endless acclaim, and is on full display in the image above. “I’m very much obsessed with collecting vintage hair pieces,” Frausto explains of his arsenal of fronts and falls, in a range of hair types. To riff on ’60s-era Vogue covers, when hair was treated more as an art form than something anyone could do at home, Frausto color-matched model Abby Champion’s flaxen lengths with archival extensions he sourced at a small beauty shop in East Los Angeles. The edge work, which has become something of a signature technique, is just freehand magic, a nod to the only unifying hair philosophy Frausto seems to abide by: Try anything and everything—and don’t be afraid to get weird.
Frausto is quick to spread around the credit for much of his recent success. “Bella has helped me out a lot,” he says of Hadid, whom he considers a friend and, above all, a creative collaborator. “She’s brought me onto shoots and introduced me to people, and she didn’t have to do that, but she did.” Hadid also didn’t have to engage in an email exchange about what makes Frausto so special, but she happily obliged. “I love Evanie’s brain,” the model says. “His work is a modern take on old-school creative, and I think that’s what is so beautiful about him. He can take anything and make it his own.” Then there is the clutch of young, convention-bucking designers who have defibrillated New York Fashion Week and who have sought out Frausto for the way he is able to subvert prescribed trends: His slick TLC-inspired ponytails for Raul Lopez’s spring Luar show, his piecey multicolored chops for Hillary Taymour’s Collina Strada show in September, and his rhinestone extensions for Area’s pre-fall video received almost as much buzz as the collections themselves. “We’re like the beauty art freaks,” Frausto says of these relationships, which have developed from a shared desire to push more accepted ideas about beauty and fashion forward.