The Man Who Changed The World With A Pair Of Scissors

1960s hairdressing legend stars in new film

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A top hair stylist, who was born in Shepherd's Bush more than eighty years ago, is the star of a new movie about his life.

'Vidal Sassoon The Movie' spans 80 years, telling the story of the man who has been described as “the most influential hairdresser in history”. The documentary follows Sassoon's life from his humble beginnings in London to fame and success in America. It was filmed in London, LA and New York, over the course of three years – but none of the scenes were shot in W12.

Vidal Sassoon was born in Shepherd's Bush in 1928, but his father walked out on the family when Vidal was just four years old. Destitute, the young Sassoon left Shepherd's Bush with his mother and younger brother, moving to the East End and at the age of five, he was put into a Jewish orphanage by a mother who could not afford to care for him.

Sassoon started his career as a shampoo boy in a barber's shop but made his name in the 1960s, creating two classic hairstyles: the bob and the five-point cut – both considered 'liberating' for women after the conventional hairstyles of the post-war period.

As well as starring in the new film himself, the 82-year-old Sassoon is accompanied by Mary Quant, another top name from the Sixties. The movie includes interviews with Sassoon's former staff, family members, reporters and historians. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York at the end of April, but no date has yet been set for its UK release.

The film's producer, Michael Gordon, said he first met Sassoon in the mid 1990s when he interviewed the hair stylist for his book, 'Hair Heroes'. He said he considered Sassoon to be the most influential hairdresser in history. “The idea for the film started off as a personal tribute to him as he was approaching his 80th birthday, and then it grew into a major initiative to capture this man's life both in a film and a book. My intention was to leave a lasting memory of him that would inspire young people and re-inspire the older generation of hairdressers, as well as the millions of people in the world to whom the name Vidal Sassoon is either familiar or personal or evocative,” said Gordon.

Sassoon was awarded a CBE for his services to the British hairdressing industry last June.

The Sunday Times Rich List has valued his personal fortune at about £80 million.

26 May , 2010