Yesterday saw the passing of the legend that was Vidal Sassoon. He died peacefully in his home in LA at the grand old age of 84.
Hugely influential, a Campaigner and Innovator. I remember as a teenager getting terribly excited about booking to have my haircut at his South Molton Street Salon on the Student night. I couldn't afford the real deal but just to sit in the salon having my hair cut into his creation, The Bob, made me feel a million dollars. Indeed I had a bob for most of my late teens and twenties. He revolutionised and liberated the world of women's hair. A set and curls was thrown out of the window and women were set free. He developed a World wide brand that remains a huge success even today.
We often forget his humble beginnings, born in 1928 in Hammersmith and bought up in an orphanage for six years (his father left when he was five leaving his Mother to struggle alone with two children). He is the embodiment of the veritable rags to riches story. After the war his Mother encouraged him to take his apprenticeship in a Barbershop in the East End. This was the beginning of a Fairytale. He said last year in an interview with The Observer:
"From my 14th birthday on, my mother encouraged me to be a hairdresser. She had this premonition. But had I gone to college I would have definitely chosen architecture, without question. That's where my inspiration lay. Cutting hair for me was just creating shapes, always inspired by buildings."
He was also an avid Anti Fascist Campaigner, and as a Veteran of the Israeli 1948 War of Independence he also later set up the Vidal Sassoon International Centre for the study of Anti Semitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
He will be remain a legend in our hearts and an everlasting influence on generations to come. You will be missed Mr Sassoon.