Zaki Amin confirmed the sad news to the world on December 17 that his husband had succumbed to cancer at the age of 62. Amin told the New York Times that Canales had begun treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer in November 2018. Amin, 48, said that Canales had suffered from liver and kidney failure in a hospital in New York City.
In addition to Amin, Canales is survived by his brother, Francisco, and his sister, Gracie Canales Cuervo. Gracie told Radar Online her brother “was sick for just a few weeks. It wasn’t like anything the had been struggling with for a long time. It was very fast. He ultimately went into cardiac arrest.”
The hair stylist counted Jennifer Lopez, Cher and Rihanna, among his celebrity clients. Many of those clients took to social media to pay tribute to Canales.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Canales & Amin ‘Spent Most of Their Their Downtime in Miami’
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s tribute to Canales, the stylist would spend most of his “downtime” alongside Amin in Miami. At the time of his death, the couple was said to have been living in Florida full-time. Online records show that the couple owned a $1.7 million apartment at 225 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
2. Amin Is an Agent for the Oribe Salon Brand
Amin says on his LinkedIn page that he has worked for Oribe Salon brand since 1996. He describes his role as “Agent.” That page says that Amin divides his time between Miami and New York City.
In January 2017, the Miami Herald reported that Canales was being sued by his business partners over an Instagram post that saw Canales depicted on a crucifix. The article also delved into the history infighting that existed within the Oribe business. That included Canales’ allegations that his partners were undercutting his products because they were releasing a range of lower-priced goods.
3. Canales Said That Amin Was a Key Part of His Support System
In a 2006 interview with Lucire magazine, Canales was asked about the support system that allowed him to flourish. The hair stylist said, “Zaki Amin is my agent and business partner. Artistic people need it. Judi Erikson is still in New York and has been with me for 12 years—people think we’re husband and wife. We’re on the road so much together!”
4. The Couple Bought a Nearly $5 Million Home in Miami in May 2018
Marialby.com reported in May 2018 that Amin and Canales had purchased a Spanish-style villa along North Bay Road in Miami for $4,350,000. The original listing for the home was $4,750,000. The home was built in 1931 and covered 5210 square feet, featuring five bedrooms and five bathrooms. The listed property taxes on the home are $27,537. A separate report said that the couple’s neighbors were Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and Phil Collins.
5. Canales Once Said that Being a Hair Stylist Boiled Down to Giving the Customer What She Wanted; Sexuality Was Irrelevant
In a 1996 New York Times feature on Manhattan hair stylists, Canales said that sexuality was irrelevant, being a good stylist boiled down “giving the customer what she wanted.” Canales said, “Women love for a man to do their hair. That’s why I try to dress in the most masculine way possible.” Canales said in the same piece, “Hairdressers are a funny breed, because they can go really extreme and kind of get off course. I would never hire somebody with terrible personal style.”
Canales said in an interview that his family escaped Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 1956 and he grew up in North Carolina. During the same interview, Canales said that during the 1970s in New York City at a bar where he worked he could be found “picking up naked girls.” The bar, The Blue Angel, later burned down, Canales said.