A Bit of History

I had the pleasure of working at the Vidal Sassoon 171 New Bond Street Salon (in London) from 1960 until 1971, I then moved to the USA to help begin the “Sassoon” revolution, which became the bible of haircutting for the professional hair industry.

I left the Sassoon organization in 1976, but strangely enough I  was rehired in 1982 in Los Angeles to help rebuild their Santa Monica school. I still keep in touch with as many of the original “Sassooners” as possible.  Vidal was my friend and mentor and we spoke often. My philosophy and standards were established by Vidal and my team and I are proud to continue the same within my business and life.

Besides Vidal and may others, I also owe a great debt of gratitude and thanks to another one of my Sassoon mentors who was my very close friend, Robert Edele. Robert believed in me when I was a kid and he gave me the opportunity to come to America on April 25th 1971 along with Keith Taylor-Sharp, we were based in NYC. I was promoted to Director of Training USA and I travelled North American introducing precision cutting to American and Canadian stylists and barbers, while Keith worked closely with Vidal on business development. In 1973 I moved to San Francisco to help Robert open up the first USA advanced hair cutting academy on Ellis Street in San Francisco for Vidal Sassoon. At that time (1973) I was the only teacher there instructing 30-40 students a day. Quickly we became very busy and I was no longer able to teach everyone by myself. So, I first hired and trained Alan Bush into the VS cutting system. As we continued to grow, many of our industry “icons” were trained at that school as we began to teach a system of haircutting and styling that would change the USA (and the world) forever. In London, the VS academy was headed and run by Jayson Pellar and John Santilli. We still all stay in touch.

We imported a few stylists from London to help teach in the San Francisco school who were very special like Max Papier; and we a gave opportunities to a few talented American students like: Ruthie StandaartMargie Steiner (the Nun); Kenny Burke (great haircutter); and many more. We were all under the direction of Robert Edele.

Robert was the President of the salons and academies. He truly was one of the originals, as he was with the Sassoon organization from the very beginning and stayed there for over 30 years.

After I left Sassoon’s around 1976 Alan Bush took over as the San Francisco Academy director under Roberts leadership.

I am saddened to say that we lost Robert Edele in September 2013 after a long illness. He is survived by his wife Jan who lives in Los Angeles, California. I continue  to stay in touch with Jan and often reminisce about old times.

Sadly, Vidal passed away in 2011, he was living in Los Angeles with his wife Ronnie , he is greatly missed by me and many others, but his spirit lives within us all.

Send me a message, I’d love to hear from you too…were you there?

Tony