A year later in 2011,Vidal Sassoon himself came to the beauty show and I was able to weave through a Louis Vuitton-carrying, suit-wearing crowd to snap the above photo. His biography and the movie about his incomparable success came out soon after, giving younger generations a glimpse at the importance of his techniques and trend-setting cuts.
When I told a group at my salon that Sassoon had passed away, a normally rowdy group of stylists went silent. It finally sunk in just how important he really was in our world. How did he impact us? I took the moment to speak to a few stylists and friends about how he shaped the way they work.
Laurence Seybold, CEO of Carenza, said, “My wife and I were lucky enough to meet Vidal a few years ago and found him to be a mixture of grace, wit and charm. He was blessed to be one of those industry visionaries, much like Steve Jobs was for Apple. With his well crafted and engineered geometric shapes, Vidal single handedly transformed the world of hair cutting.”
A recently matriculated hair stylist, Heather Beres, said “Vidal Sassoon paved the way for the beauty industry. Every haircut you see today was inspired in some way by Sassoon.”
And his influence on clients? It’s so normal today to pick up a blow dryer and not think about how it came to be and that we style our hair this way for a reason.
Renotta Thompson of Next Door Boutique said of his hair revolution, “It was the first time hair was taken care of. Before Vidal, we were all perming and over-coloring our hair. My friends and I would drive down to Chicago to a Vidal Sassoon salon, to get that perfect sleek bob… we were using blow dryers for the first time!”
It’s hard not to have been touched by Vidal in some way, as almost every hair stylist uses his techniques in one way or another.
He made this world more beautiful through his visions and standards. With his passing it’s hard for everyone not to wonder who the next “big thing” will be. Who will change the world of beauty next? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.