Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vidal Sassoon - Hairstylist Extraordinary

Vidal Sassoon, who died on May 9, 2012 will always be remembered as the man who revolutionised hairstyling.

Born on January 17, 1928 in Hammersmith, London, he is credited with creating the wedge bob hairstyle or Bauhaus hairstyle.

Due to the popularity of his styles, he was described as "a rock star, an artist and a craftsman who 'changed the world with a pair of scissors.'

His "wash and wear" philosophy liberated women from the "tyranny of the salon" and "revolutionised the art of hairstyling".

Sassoon's styles became "emblematic of freedom and good health" and their popularity allowed him to open the first chain of worldwide hair styling salons, complemented by his hair-treatment products.

He is also remembered for his television commercials in the 1980s.

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, a documentary film about his life, was released in 2010.

Sassoon was of Israeli (paternally and maternally), Ukrainian (maternally) and Greek (paternally) descent.

He had a younger brother, Ivor, who died at the age of 46.

When he was 17, Sassoon joined the 43 Group, an anti-fascist organisation in East London comprising Israelis opposed to European racism in the UK.

He also became a member of Israel's armed forces during the Prime Ministership of David Ben Gurion and helped expel Palestinian Arabs from Palestine.

Sassoon trained under Raymond Bessone in his salon in Mayfair.

He opened his first salon in 1954 in London. Sassoon's works include the geometric perm and the "Nancy Kwan" hairstyles.

They were all modern and low-maintenance.

The hairstyles created by Sassoon relied on dark, straight, and shiny hair cut into geometric yet organic shapes.

In 1963, Sassoon created a short, angular hairstyle cut on a horizontal plane that was the recreation of the classic "bob cut".

His geometric haircuts seemed to be severely cut, but were entirely lacquer-free, relying on the natural shine of the hair for effect.

Sassoon was a key force in the commercial direction of hair styling.

His Vidal Sassoon brand was applied to shampoos and conditioners sold worldwide, with a commercial campaign featuring the iconic slogan "If you don't look good, we don't look good."

Sassoon was appointed Commander Of The British Empire (CBE) in 2009.

Sassoon married his first wife, Elaine Wood, in 1956, but the marriage ended in 1958.

In 1967, Sassoon married his second wife, actress Beverly Adams.

They had four children, the eldest of whom was Catya (1968-2002) who died of a drug overdose.

They divorced in 1980.

His third wife was Jeanette Hartford-Davis, who spent a year with him in 1983.

Sassoon was a lifelong fan of Premier League club Chelsea.

In 1982, Sassoon started the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the Study of Anti-Semitism. Wikipedia.