Hello, Goodbye

Sexy Hair celebrates the future by honoring its past.

When Launchpad received the invite to attend the Sexy Hair RED Party, I accepted without hesitation. Not only do I truly love the venerated brand, but also I was excited to witness the farewell bash for its founder, Michael O’Rourke (who has since started a new company, Love Your Hair). If I knew Sexy, then I knew it was gonna be a par-tay!

What appears to be a crude happy face....

...is actually a painting of the Statue of Liberty!

Suffice it to say, Sexy Hair met my expectations. Extreme artist Jean Francois got the party started, painting with unbridled ferocity what at first seemed to be a rather simple happy face. Then the painting was turned upside down. What appeared to be a crude illustration was in fact an amazing depiction of the Statue of Liberty! A spot-on likeness of Michael O’Rourke quickly followed, with the crowd cheering as the portrait (and Michael’s Cheshire-cat grin) got nearer and nearer to completion.

Michael O'Rourke's likeness

Then an ebullient Karl-Heinz Pitsch, Sexy Hair’s prez and CEO, introduced the company’s founder, remarking that although Michael was leaving, he’d never truly be gone from Sexy Hair. To a standing-only crowd, Michael bounced to the stage, outwardly joyous as well as genuinely touched by the applause and cheers. Karl-Heinz remarked that although he had planned on giving Michael the finished painting, he wanted to keep it at Sexy Hair as a reminder. But he didn’t want Michael to go away empty-handed—and gave him a brand-new motorcycle!

Michael O'Rourke takes the stage

I’ve met with Michael on many occasions, and he’s never failed to be inspirational. However, I have to say that the speech that he gave last night was one decidedly more empowering, more forceful than I’ve ever before experienced. He called on stylists to be a force for change, to continue to be hardworking, educated, and disciplined, in order to succeed in the new world. Michael also stressed the importance of putting family first, relating with heart-wrenching honesty how he regrets putting his job before his daughter (who just had her own child three days ago!). “When she was four years old,” he recollects, “she said, ‘Daddy, why don’t you spend more time with me?’ And I said, ‘Next year, things will be better and we’ll spend more time together.’ At 29 years old, my daughter asks me again, ‘Dad, when will you spend time with me?’ And I again answer, ‘Don’t worry—next year, things will be better and we’ll have more time.’ So many years later and I’m giving her the same answer!”

Michael delivers a heart-wrenching and heartwarming farewell speech.

But tears aside, the evening was joyous and saw dancing (thanks, Ian Browning, for your red umbrella!), laughing and much fun had by all! Here's to a great future for both Sexy Hair and Michael--and all of the legions of fans who worship both.

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