Roger Thompson, Vidal Sassoon’s first ever international creative director and a successful businessman in his own right, commanded a great deal of respect throughout his life. He played a consistently influential role in the development of hair artistry throughout the last five decades – starting with his work alongside Vidal Sassoon himself, perpetuating the hair revolution that began with Vidal’s own geometric cuts.
Among his portfolio of landmark cuts were the Veil, the Greek Goddess, the Isadora, and the Havington, all softening the hard lines of the geometric styles and creating a while new generation of looks. Apart from the Greek Goddess – he also did the Veil where he layered the geometric cut with softer tendrils, way before anyone else. He took Sasson’s work even further. His work appeared monthly in Vogue & Harper’s Bazaar magazine and photographers such as David Bailey, Terence Donovan, Barry Latigan and Hans Feurer sought him out.
Despite all the temptations to submit to the wider trappings of the fashion industry, He was a purist and even rejected hair coloring for many years, but finally gave in. He believed in giving everyone who worked for him a chance at greatness, it didn’t matter their background or finances, as long as they had talent.
Roger Thompson wasn’t just a pioneer in the hair industry. In 1986, the Roger Thompson Salon opened in the world’s most prestigious store, Barney’s New York, on 17th street in Lower Manhattan. This changed the whole landscape of Lower Manhattan. Suddenly it became hip and trendy to go downtown to get your hair cut and go shopping. That was thirty years ago and now Lower Manhattan is home to the best restaurants, best shopping, and the best hair salons,
in New York City.
Sadly, Roger died in 1999. His talent, his memory and his timeless, brilliant haircuts live on through a new generation of hairdressers.