It was a grand event Monday night in Las Vegas as hundreds of friends, colleagues and family assembled in the Hard Rock Hotel to celebrate Dwight Miller and his fifty years as a beauty professional. Dozens of his former colleagues took to the stage to roast Miller and share stories (the few that could be shared) of how he touched and impacted each and the industry in general.
Miller HAS touched so many throughout his journey in the industry. He regularly found the most talented hairdressers and guided them in their own journeys. More than 250 people were in attendance including Robert Passage, Johnny Plant, Nadeen Koepky, Albie Mulcahy, Margo LeDuc (vocalist from San Francisco) and Phillip Sutton. Long time friend and associate, Carl Bloat, was there to co-produce the special event.
MODERN was honored to work with Miller throughout his career, working with him on covers or editorial spreads. We were there to learn more about him at the celebration as he was "roasted" by such luminaries as Eden Sassoon, Eric Fisher, Luis Alvarez and John Donato
Grabbing a comment from Dwight at the event was a bit difficult (he was mobbed all the time) so we tracked him down the following day. Not surprisingly, he was already back working with clients at his Salon Sante Fe Inc. in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a city Miller describes as “paradise”. But the celebration really did impact him: “Having so many of the industries finest, the most recognizable names one after the other…wow! Once in a lifetime - what a way to celebrate this moment!” The event, all orchestrated by Charlet Pelissier, Miller’s “better half” was truly special, a reunion of top artists and industry leaders. When asked for a highlight, Miller said it was impossible.
“There were so many,” he said, “but the film from Angus Mitchell, the presentation from Vidal’s daughter Eden, comments from sponsors like Zotos, Matrix, Pivot Point Int’l, Aquage, Atar Gold; and then past members of my teams coming to the stage was great. Luis Alvarez gets the most heads up for impersonating me during the roast. Having Charlet’s and my families at NAHA and the Celebration, including nieces, nephews and my godson’s family, these are all highlights.”
For the few of you who don’t know him, Dwight Miller is a widely acclaimed World Master Hairdesigner and industry leader. A true industry authority, he has traveled the world sharing his knowledge and developing new talent. In a nutshell, Miller was destined to be a salon professional. Born in Johnstown, PA, from ancestry of Amish, English and Scottish, he eventually moved to California and graduated from the Comer & Doran Beauty School in San Diego. His expertise was noted early and he eventually became a benchmark player with such names as Marinello-Comer, Lapin’s, Redken, Pivot Point, Zotos, Matrix, American Crew, Anasazi, John Frieda, Amos, John Sahag and V L V T. He was the first US born stylist to be invited by Vidal Sassoon to come train in London with his team. Appearances at the World Congress and Alternative in London to Italy’s Cosmoprof to the World & European Championships were as important to Miller as his appearances on stage for hundreds of salons, schools, distributors and universities. His work has appeared in trade and fashion magazines, and he has appeared on radio and television internationally. Not surprisingly, he has been invited to judge hair competitions around the world, from NAHA to the Norwegian Master and Australian National Championships
For fifty years, Miller has been at the root of major changes in hair fashion and technique, from the Sculpture Pin Curl of Marinello-Comer in Hollywood, to Sassoon’s strongest period of cutting in London. Systems produced by Miller like Pivot Point’s Sculptic Cutting Program (’75) are the basis for training students around the world. He was instrumental in refining Pivot Point’s original systems in the late 60s. As the author of the cutting system in the Milady Standard II (’97), Master Cutting System (’00), his influence will be felt long into the future. Prismatics (‘83) Haircutting System, one of the best examples of his ability & knowledge, one of the best books on the subject (120,000 sold in the first two months of it’s release & now in reprint), makes him one of the strongest underlying influences in the industry today.
Miller has influenced industry changes, from his stack perm in the 70s to the many trends throughout the 80s, 90s and now into the new century. In addition, he is co-founder of H. A. I. R. Int’l. (Hair Artists Institute & Registry) and founder & President of Anasazi Salon Systems, Santa Fe, NM (90s). He is now a consultant for, educational companies, product manufactures, professional, retail, domestic & Int’l. But Miller is most proud of the success of the members of his previous teams. Many have gone on to high-level positions within product companies including, VP’s, Artistic Directors and some, their own product companies.
Miller’s awards include the London Gold Cup, Best Presentation (’82), London Beauty Festival, the Dr. Everett G. McDonough Award (’88) for excellence in permanent waving, World Master Award (’92) from AF&G and the North American Multi-Cultural Artist of the Year (’00). CEW Awards, Best Hair Care Product, John Frieda Professional Hair Care, ’00, ‘01. ’02, on product’s Dwight played a lead role. His achievements include his British Master Craftsman and his Honorary Doctor of Science from the London Institute of Applied Research ‘(73). Graduate, Visual Merchandising ‘The Academy, at Chicago’s Fashion Mart, and the Society of Cosmetics Chemists course at London’s Polytechnic. Dwight has an Honorable Discharge from the US Marine Corps (’64) and presented in Paris (’76) with Thailand’s Order of the White Elephant. Hon. Pres. AHC of North America, and he received his Order of the Arrow from the B.S.A., is a member of the Doodyville Historical Society, the Society of Martial Artists (Shodan, 1st Dan, Goju-Ryu, Karate-do, Okinawa) and life member of the Harley Owners Group. Miller is listed in, Men of Achievement, Who’s Who in Cosmetology, Personalities of America, Who’s Who in American Beauty, Lexington’s Who’s Who, Marques Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance & Industry, Who’s Who in US Executives, Strathmore’s Who’s Who, Continental Who’s Who, Who’s Who in American Bikers, Who’s Who in Professional speakers, Who’s Who Registry of Global Business Leaders, Dictionary of Distinguished Americans, Int’l Registry of Profiles and Int’l Dictionary of Distinguished Leadership.
Believe it or not, there are many things we left out! Miller is truly an icon, a living legend, and still going strong. It was a great and fun party and a thrill to have been there to celebrate his 50 years in the industry.