It’s been said that Nicholas French, Matrix Artistic Director, Matrix Global Design Team Member and Creative Director of She By SO.CAP USA Hair Extensions, is a king of NAHA. In addition to his numerous nominations—nine—and awards, French is, again, a contender in this year’s Avant Garde category. A former salon owner (he owned several in his native United Kingdom) French devoted himself exclusively to editorial work and sharing his knowledge. He has traveled the world educating both advanced and novice salon professionals, and his work has graced covers around the world.
BORN AND RAISED: Chelsea, London, UK. Currently resides in the Hamptons, New York.
FAVORITE FASHIONS: My vintage Versace gold-studded jacket originally created for Elton John. I bought it from his stylist 25 years ago. My favorite item in my wardrobe is my Dior suit. I sold a house and bought a suit.
THE COOLEST LOOK I EVER CREATED: In 1976 I had a 10-page story in Vogue on an African American/ British model. I Marcel-waved her hair but the heat of the studio moved it into a marvelous V shape!
FAVORITE TOOLS: My Nicholas French Pin-Ups Magnetic Wristband and, of course, my small hands.
THE BEST THING ABOUT MY JOB: To see young people grow and self-start their creative engines.
THE BEST JOB I EVER HAD AS A HAIRDRESSER: Making a Pink Floyd pop video of which I made a appearance in, dressed as a sailor in the Falklands War.
MY PERFECT DAY INVOLVES: Playing a lot of tennis in the sun.
MY SECRET WEAPONS: My energy and patience.
GUILTY PLEASURE: Champagne.
MY MENTOR: I have two. My father, Freddy French of French of London and, of course, our “Hairdressers’ Hairdresser,” global spokesman and ambassador for our industry,Vidal Sassoon. I worked with him in the early days of my career.
I AM INSPIRED BY: The multi-faceted artists, painters and photographers of the 1950s, like Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson and my father Freddy French who produced many Vogue covers in the ’50s.