The beloved beauty industry icon, who's worked with everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Meghan Markle, has passed away

By Kaitlyn Frey
December 17, 2018 12:10 PM
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Oribe Canales/Instagram

Beauty industry titan Oribe Canales has passed away at 62, PEOPLE confirms.

The Cuban-born hairdresser became known as one of the most influential pros in the fashion and beauty spheres, responsible for styling runway hair that rivaled the clothes.

He crafted the looks on the biggest supermodels of the late ’80s and ’90s, including Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.

Oribe’s hair career began in Manhattan, when he moved to the city after high school to pursue acting.

“I started working at a hairdressing place that a friend owned in New York,” Canales told PEOPLE in 1991. “I saw that hairdressers made a lot of money, and it didn’t seem that hard.”

In 1991, Oribe opened his Fifth Avenue salon at Elizabeth Arden in New York City. And in 1992, he designed hairpieces for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute galleries, which featured wigs styled on mannequins that all looked like Turlington.

News of his death hit social media early Monday morning with a flood of Instagram tributes, including one shared by Canales’ close friend and makeup artist Mary Greenwell.

The celeb-loved pro with supermodel Kate Moss.
Oribe Canales/Instagram

“I am devastated to hear that my darling friend and work companion has past away. 💔 ORIBE is one of the great ‘original’ hairdressers whose iconic status grew along side the supermodels of the 80’ and 90’. He was a brilliant hairdresser and simply adored by all. I so looked forward to the days that I would be with him and the teams we had around us. He went on to create the great hair brand, ORIBE that everyone uses and is loved by all,” she wrote.

“Here we are in the nineties, holding each other close. He always had his arms around someone or dancing on set. No one made me feel more loved, and no one made me laugh so much. I love you. I am so sad you are gone our beautiful Oribe. The world of fashion and beauty has lost a great soul, and we will mourn that you have left us all behind while you have gone straight to heaven. RIP ORIBE,” Greenwell added.

The late Gianni Versace regularly flew Oribe to Rome and Milan for his fashion shows.

“He’s very simpatico with them,” Versace told PEOPLE at the time of Oribe’s work with the models.

Oribe Canales puts a red wig on Linda Evangelista backstage at a fashion show in Paris.
David Turnley/Corbis/VCG/ Getty Images

Over the span of his more than 30-year career, Canales worked on almost every major runway show (including Versace, Chanel and Calvin Klein) collaborated with high-profile photographers and created looks seen in the pages every fashion magazine from Vogue to Glamour.

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By the late ’90s, Canales shifted his focus to working with celebrities, garnering a long list of A-list clients, most notably including Jennifer Lopez, Cher, Kate Moss, Barbara Streisand, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Meghan Markle and countless others.

In 2008, Canales used his expertise to formulate and launch his namesake luxury product line, Oribe Hair Care, with brand co-founders Daniel Kaner and Tevya Finger, which since gained cult-status in the beauty market.