My Life in Beauty: The Early Years, My Friend Vidal

By Harold Leighton | 04/11/2013 11:13:00 AM

 

Here I continue my writing of “The Vidal Year”, a story that I hope to have published one day into a great beautiful “arty” coffee table book.

 Writing about a friend or family member that passed away is always sad and I am sure most of you out there agree. In this case I want to enlighten you about the friends I have lost, names that mean so much to our world’s industry and names that you have heard (or maybe never heard) but were most important in many people’s lifetime.

  Lidija Gjorievska Harold Leighton After the war, I met a chunk of people that came into my life and little did one know where they would take me.  Within one year I had the thrill and pleasure of meeting a young man who was just out of the war where he had been a Prisoner of War (POW) in one of Rommel’s war camps in the Far East (as I remember) and his name was Leslie Green. Leslie was a man of great strength, humor and character that was to stay with me until March 19th 2013. This man was the man that came to work in a salon in London 'Romaine of Park West.' He was the man that really kick started my career and that of many others of my generation.

 The other great man in my life you do know, but not by his early name. I knew him as Viddy Sassoon and the world knows him as Vidal.  So, Leslie was the older at this time by nine years and very experienced in life. He was the most creative and he molded hair like you can never see today.

Others Leslie trained:

Vidal Sassoon

Lionel Freeman

Gerry Saper

Jean Fays

Yvonne Moss

Gabriel Paretta

Edward Issacs

Gerry Austin

Richard Mizzalas

Many other names I cannot remember

and little me, Harold Lipski, now Leighton.

 This man, Leslie, was so important in these early years as he developed us, guided us, groomed us and trained us to have the stamina that Vidal needed as he grew into stardom. He trained us to get into training and to be trained after our work hours which gave us the ability to understand working and growing together, that I am sure continues today.

 In between all of this, we were all entering the hair contests, some of us losing and some of us winning, and he taught us how to shoulder this and wear it with pride. At this time--maybe a year or two later-- another skinny, good-looking guy came to meet me (I must have been 20 and he 17 years young) and  his name was Paul Thompson Mitchell.  How did I know what that would be like to meet at this time of my life the TWO giants in the industry of the 21st century. If we all knew now and managed to use it 'then' what would we have done different?

That’s life and that is what I leave you with today. What would YOU have done?

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Harold Leighton

Harold Leighton is a hairdresser, publicist and advisor to the hairdressing industry. His book “Haircutting for Everyone” published by Arthur Barker, is available on Amazon. “This is my bible relevant to almost everything you would need to know about hair.”

 


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