Hairdressing changed his life, and ours, forever. Born into poverty of Jewish parents in London in 1928, Vidal Sassoon was honored at a star-studded memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London this October, just five months after his death from leukemia at the age of 84. In attendance were British fashion icon Mary Quant, actors Jeremy Irons and Michael Caine, and hairdressers from all over the world, including John Frieda, Nicky Clarke, Tony Beckerman, Vivienne Mackinder and much of the team that made history with Sassoon in the 1960s.
Marie Ferro, who owns Marie’s Hair Studio in Malibu, California, attended the service and filed this report exclusively for Launchpad:
Jeremy Irons, who spoke at the funeral, was a personal friend of Vidal’s. He told a story about how Vidal visited him at his home after he had been diagnosed with leukemia. Irons was worried that his friend would appear weak and frail, but then Vidal bounded up the stairs with the same energy he always had. It was as if even illness could not diminish his enthusiasm for life. Vidal’s son, Elan, gave a moving eulogy in which he talked about what a loving husband and father Vidal was. Just before he died, he told his wife, Ronnie, that she was “his girl, that she would always be his girl.” Elan also remembered the advice his father gave him and which he tries to follow: “Always surround yourself with talented people and keep your ego out of the way.” It was an amazing service and showed just how much one person’s passion and love for the craft of hairdressing could change so many people’s lives.
Marie Ferro with Vivienne Mackinder, who was mentored by Sassoon early in her career:Marie Ferro with Tony Beckerman, who worked at Sassoon’s Bond Street salon in London from 1960 to 1971:Marie Ferro with Vidal Sassoon's son Elan and his son.
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