Vidal Sassoon: Profile of a Hairdressing Legend
May 20, 2012
By: Natalie Tipping
After a childhood which saw him get put into an orphanage due to family poverty, and a stint in the Israeli Defence Force during the Arab-Israeli War, it is amazing that Vidal Sassoon came to be the celebrated hairdresser that he is today.
Sassoon trained to be a hairdresser under Raymond Bessone, who owned a salon in Mayfair during the Second World War. He opened his first salon in 1954 in London, and began creating his trademark geometrically shaped haircuts – most notably geometric perms and bobs. Sassoon recreated the classic bob in 1963, fashioning a short, angular hairstyle which propelled him in to the hair-dressing elite.
By 1983, Sassoon had moved from London to the US, and sold the empire which was making him $113million per year to pharmaceutical company Richardson-Vicks. Sassoon sued Richardson-Vicks owners, Procter & Gamble, in 1985 for neglecting to market his company in the same way they did other brands under their control, such as Pantene.
After being named as a Commander of the British Empire in the 2009 Birthday Honours List, Sassoon had finally received every accolade he deserved for revolutionising the fashion and film industries with his iconic hair-cuts. Unfortunately, the 84 year old legend passed on the 9th of May 2012, after a three-year battle with leukaemia.
Following his death, his family issued a statement which said that ‘he will be greatly missed by his wife of twenty years Ronnie, his children, grandchildren, family and friends’. It’s safe to say that these are not the only people who will miss the man responsible for many of the iconic cuts of today however, as an entire industry will miss his influence and talent.