- Edition 6, Chapter 8.2 -
With a background in theater, Taylor joined the Sassoon organization as a colorist in 1954 at the original location after learning the hairdressing craft while working for Raymond, Martin Douglas and Richard Henry. Taylor established the color department at 171 New Bond Street with Annie Humphreys as his first assistant, participated in the development of the salon at Grosvenor House, and was a color consultant for the motion picture industry. In 1964 he moved to New York to set up the color department at the new Madison Avenue salon, and became manager and Public Relations Director in 1966. He began to manage Vidal’s appearances in the US, and eventually moved to Los Angeles as VP of Advertising and Creative Services for the entire organization.
After working alongside Vidal for 13 years, Leighton went on to found 3 of his own salons, owned John Paul Mitchell Systems Europe with his wife Maxine, and became CEO of DreamOn Research as an inventor of hairdressing tools. Harold realized that there had to be a better way to style and blow dry hair so he stripped down many of his own brushes to make prototypes and developed the first ever radial brush exclusively for blow drying. He is director of international PR for 4Beauty International, a consultant and advisor for the hairdressing industry, and a journalist, photographer, and author of 3 books, including From Salon to Celebrity, a chronicle of 74 of the best hairdressers in the world.
Tidy became an apprentice to Vidal in 1956 and became an artistic director by the time he was 17. He moved to New York in 1964 as part of the team that set out to conquer North America, and toured the world with Vidal and Roger Thompson with a special focus on Japan. He opened his own salon on Madison Avenue in 1974, and has been an editorial stylist and educator ever since.
Annie Humphreys is one of the most influential colorists of the last 50 years, and is to colour what Vidal was to cutting. Joshua Galvin says she has done more for hair color than anyone he can think of. When Humphreys was a teenage apprentice at Jose & Frank in London, Sassoon acquired the rights to the space and offered her the option to stay and work for him. She became colorist Laurance Taylor’s first assistant, and the rest is haircolor history.
Tony Beckerman began his career at Vidal Sassoon in London in 1960, eventually traveling to the US to teach Sassoon techniques and opening the San Francisco Academy with Robert Edele. In 1982, he joined Image Laboratories to rework the company’s entire product line, and in 1994 joined Matrix Essentials to help develop new concepts in products and education. In 2002, Tony developed a full line of hair care products for a major chain of salons in the USA. In 2004, he was appointed as chief development officer for LaVar Holdings, and today heads his own consulting company called TSB-Cutting Edge Resources, which specializes in product, educational, and professional development. In 2014, Tony produced and hosted the first Vidal Sassoon reunion in California.
Christopher Brooker is an original pillar of Vidal's core team, starting in 1960. He went on to lead the Sassoon company as the second International creative director (following Roger Thompson) and part owner, and was responsible for the Crop, the Brush, and the Firefly among other haircuts. He was also the man who cleaned up Mia Farrow’s do-it-yourself haircut two weeks before the celebrated press event when Vidal cut the last half inch. By the early ’90s Christopher had moved on to other pursuits and has rarely been engaged in hairdressing, yet his influence on the industry is legendary.
Joshua was born with hairdressing in his veins; his grandfather was a stylist and master wig maker, his father was a master barber, and his brother Daniel was a renowned colorist. At the age of 15, Joshua studied ladies’ and gents’ hairdressing, wig making, film, and theatre at what is now the London College of Fashion before entering the Merchant Navy to become the ship’s hairdresser. Joshua joined French of London Mayfair in the 1960s before a stint in New York working for John Bernard House of Revlon, 5th Avenue, where he was personal stylist to Judy Garland and Julie Andrews. He returned to London in 1961 to join Sassoon in Bond Street as a stylist; 4 years later he was manager, and by 1968 had become general manager of the London salons and opened the first Sassoon School in Knightsbridge. He opened the Sassoon salon in Manchester, and by 1973 had become the general manager of Europe, opening the first Sassoon salon in Munich. Joshua started his own business, Joshua Galvin Shows and Seminars, with sponsorship from Wella. He opened the first Joshua Galvin Salon in 1980, became the founder of the British Hairdressing Awards in 1984, and founded Joshua Galvin Central Training in 1986. In 1983 he became involved with the first Alternative Hair Show, in aid of Leukemia and Lymphoma Research, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Joshua died in 2011.
Charles Booth opened La Coupe in Montreal in 1967 at 21 years old, having been trained by Vidal Sassoon in London and working in the first Sassoon Salon in New York. He opened two more salons in Montreal soon afterward, a Manhattan location in 1971, and one in Toronto in 1977 where hairdressers traveled from all over the world to for 2-day “Teach-Ins.” In 1983, Charles started La Coupe products, and takes credit for discovering mousse in 1983 in a shop in London and introducing it to North America, saying, "I went from being a dumb hairdresser to a marketing genius overnight.”
18-year-old Richard Stein arrived in New York for the 1965 opening of the first US Sassoon salon before joining fellow Sassoonie Paul Mitchell on The Beauty Floor at Henri Bendel. He became a favorite stylist for legendary fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon, Hiro, and Francesco Scavullo, which led Richard to create his most memorable haircut dubbed ‘The Shag.’ He opened his own Manhattan salons while also publishing two books, Set Free and Split Ends, and wrote and performed a one-man show, Cut + Paste: A Musical Memoir at LaMama. He is also the creator of the product line Fleuremedy Hair Care.
Christopher Pluck went to London in 1964 to join Sassoon's Bond Street salon, created hair styles for Paris and Milan fashion shows, and worked with top photographers Richard Avedon, David Bailey, and Francesco Scavullo with editorial credits in Vogue, Bazaar, and GQ, among others. He moved to New York City with the Sassoon organization, travelled through the US as an educator with Vidal for Redken, and joined friend and ex-Sassoonie Paul Mitchell as an educator at the start of Paul's SuperHair. By 1980, Christopher had established 2 Manhattan salons and opened his studio in Red Bank, NJ in 1997. Christopher has devised CPIS (Christopher Pluck Integrating System) as his return to hair cutting education.
John Santilli was a major part of the Sassoon organization, training at the New Bond and Sloane Street salons, and became one of the first teachers at the first Sassoon school at Knightsbridge in 1968, then Davies Mews in 1971. He opened the first Sassoon Academy in Queen Street in 1974 and was principal. He travelled globally to teach Sassoon techniques, and opened his own school in Rome, Italy. John has worked as platform artist and educator for L'Oreal, Wella, Schwarzkopf, Helene Curtis, Anasazi, and others, and is based in Rome, Italy when not traveling the world as an educator.
Sassoon (nee Adams) was born in Edmonton, Alberta and moved to Burbank, California, where, as a teen, she competed in and won beauty contests before becoming an actress. Adams appeared in various guest roles in television series of the 1960s and in several films. After marrying Vidal in 1966, Adams retired from acting to raise the couple's four children. She published several books on health and fitness, and served as a spokeswoman for the Sassoon organization. In 1980, the couple divorced and Adams returned to acting. She also launched her own line of pet care products, Beverly Sassoon Pet Care System. Beverly and Vidal had four children together: daughter Catya, an actress who died from a drug-induced heart attack; son Elan; adopted son David, and daughter Eden.
Sorbie started cutting hair as an apprentice to his father in 1964 at the age of 15 and opened his own barbershop in North London at 20 in 1969. He became a stylist for Vidal Sassoon in 1972, and artistic director in 1973. Before opening his first of an eventual four salons in 1979 in Covent Garden, he spent time as a session hairdresser at Toni & Guy and John Frieda. He launched his own range of haircare products in 1986. Sorbie, creator of the Wedge haircut and a four-time British Hairdresser of the Year winner, was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in 2004. Sorbie started his own charity known as "My New Hair" as a result of helping his brother's wife create a realistic wig as she battled bone cancer. The charity also works with people suffering from alopecia and medical hair loss. Sorbie has since become involved in writing a wig policy for Britain’s National Health Service.
Kawashima joined Vidal Sassoon in London in 1971 and took part in hair shows as an artistic director. He established PEEK-A-BOO salon in 1977. In the same year, he held the first PEEK-A-BOO live show, which is held every year. He has 220 employees and five salons in Harajuku, Tokyo, and one in Ginza.
Aitch Peters started his career at a small salon called Robert Fielding’s on the King’s Road in Chelsea where clients were the sort of ladies who had their hair done every Friday before going to country houses for the weekend. He attended the Sassoon Academy in Davies Muse in 1973 and started work at the Sloane Street salon. He rose to become a creative director in London, Munich, and Los Angeles, and was asked to become creative director at the salon in Beverly Hills, and lived in Los Angeles for many years. His story, as told to client Jill King, was published under the title A Life in Colour. He is also an accomplished fine artist.
Tony Rizzo started working at Vidal Sassoon in 1973. In 1980 he founded Sanrizz, which has since grown to a group of eight salons in England, plus Sanrizz Education and the Sanrizz Network in the UK, Italy and Japan. He is president of the Alternative Hair foundation and launched the Alternative Hair Show in 1983 to help raise funds for Leukemia research following the death of his son from a rare form of the disease.
Stephen Moody joined Vidal Sassoon in 1980 and chose a career path in the schools and academies where he travelled the world. In 1987 Stephen was promoted to principal of the North American Academy in Los Angeles, and became international executive director of Vidal Sassoon Education globally in 2003. In 2012 he joined P&G Salon Professional Global Education Academy as dean, supporting the Wella Global education team. Steve also represents the “scholarship” portion of Hairdressers at Heart, a Wella outreach program.
Guido Palau started his hairdressing career in the early 1980s at Vidal Sassoon, where he was fired after 18 months. After working in numerous hair salons, he decided that his passion was session hair styling for photographic shoots and fashion shows. An early turning point was styling George Michael's Freedom! music video in 1990, which featured supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitzi and Cindy Crawford. As the supermodel era drew to a close and the grunge moment took hold, Guido began working with photographer David Sims, whose images grabbed the attention of designer Calvin Klein, who drafted Guido and Sims to style James King and Kate Moss and work on the 1994 fashion show. This led to high-profile work such as the Versace campaign in 1996 with Richard Avedon. Today, Guido collaborates with fashion photographer Steven Meisel and continues to work closely with David Sims. His work is featured regularly in leading fashion magazines and over 30 fashion shows each season. His first book, Heads: Hair by Guido, was published in 2000 featuring a decade of his signature work, and a second book arrived in 2014 titled, simply, Hair. In 2005, Guido was signed with Redken as their creative consultant, and was included on the British Fashion Council's list of 25 Most Powerful People in the Fashion Industry in 2009.
When he was growing up in California, Etienne Taenaka wanted to be an architect but as he watched his mother, a hairdresser, at work, he made an imaginative leap between architecture and hairdressing. Etienne joined Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco in 1985. As manager, he transferred to the flagship New York salon and acquired the name Etienne. “My real name is Stephen,” he said. “but there was already a Stephen in the salon. So I switched to the French form.” From New York he was chosen to go to Los Angeles to oversee the business in Beverly Hills. There he worked directly with Sassoon himself, and was personal stylist to both Sassoon and his wife, Ronnie. He is currently manager of the Beverly Hills Sassoon salon.
Caroline Cox is professor of cultural history at the University of the Arts London, a cultural trends advisor at Vidal Sassoon, and a leading fashion authority whose work explores the relationship between fashion, beauty, and culture. A lecturer and broadcaster, her many books on beauty and fashion include: Good Hair Days: A history of British Hairdressing; Stiletto; Seduction; The Handbag; and How to be Adored.
Under fashion editor Molly Parkin at Nova Magazine, Caroline Baker became the first of a new breed of culturally aware aesthetes we now call stylists. Having become fashion editor, the twentysomething Baker “was just trying to be a bit shocking, break the rules.” In 1975, Nova folded, and Caroline began to work closely with Vivienne Westwood on the influential Nostalgia of Mud collection. In the 1980s she influenced the likes of Boy George, designers Sue Clowes and Katharine Hamnett. Caroline was the first to style shows, to collaborate with designers, and influence the catwalks. Her work with the photographer Oliviero Toscani for Benetton is the stuff of styling legend. Her style incorporates feminism, believing that women should dress for themselves and not as female dolls for men. Caroline has also contributed to i-D, Elle, Vogue, Cosmopolitan and The Sunday Times, and is presently fashion director of The Mail on Sunday and You magazine.
Kathy Phillips spent seven years at Vogue beginning in 1992 as Health and beauty director, and is international beauty director for Condé Nast working with beauty titles in Asia. She is the creative director and founder of This Works, creators of natural beauty products. Kathy studied fashion and history of art at St. Martins School of Art, has styled fashion, beauty editorial and advertising shoots over many years, and worked with leading photographers. She had her own weekly page on the Daily Mail at 23, has been a columnist for the Mail on Sunday, a commissioning editor on YOU magazine and has written for various publications including the “Beauty Guru” column in the Evening Standard, and the “Beauty Queen” column in Observer Woman magazine.