NICHOLAS FRENCH—AVANT GARDE GURU
Born into a world famous British hairdressing family (his father was Freddy French of French of London), Nicholas French has gone on to make his own considerable mark on the industry.
After owning several salons in the U.K., French moved to the U.S. in 1994, where he soon connected with the Matrix owned Logics brand of haircolor. That was the beginning of his relationship with Matrix, and over the years he has served as a multi-faceted, global artistic designer, responsible for the development of many of the company’s most significant trend collections and products.
Nicholas has produced more than 1,500 high energy educational shows for professional hairdressers worldwide in the USA and in glamorous destinations around the world including Japan, Australia, Italy, France, Spain, Hong Kong, Thailand, Canada, London, Holland, Switzerland and Croatia. He has received numerous main stage, educational and artistic awards, including four NAHA titles in the Avant Garde category (along with nine nominations) and three British Hairdressing Award nominations. He was selected as one of Modern Salon Magazine’s Top 75 Educators of the Century and was nominated as a behindthechair.com Stylist Choice Award Platform Artist of the Year. French’s work has appeared in a vast array of publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Oprah and ELLE. He has also worked with many A-list celebrities, including Elizabeth Hurley, Jerry Hall, Dame Judi Dench, Hugh Laurie and Princess Margaret.
After losing his mother to leukemia, Nicholas became heavily involved in the Alternative Hair Shows, appearing in the shows at his own expense, and helping to produce for 10 consecutive years. The Alternative Shows are dedicated to raising funds for leukemia research.
Despite his many personal accomplishments, one of Nicholas’ greatest sources of pride is mentoring his fellow stylists to explore and perfect their artistry. “I know how to do everything. The nitty gritty is to get out to the people and help them be better hairdressers. My mission now is to develop teams of young hairdressers –to bring them to the edge and convince them that if they jump, they will actually fly.”
Get to Know Nicholas French:
Proudest Professional Moments: “Being a British Hairdressing Awards finalist three times. Earning nine NAHA nominations and four wins. Doing 10 Alternative Hair Shows to raise money for leukemia research.”
What Inspires Him: “Urban culture, graffiti, architecture. I do lots of drawing, sketching ideas and trying to bring hairstyles to life. Fashion. And I often refer to archives of my father’s work, as well as my own.”
Mentors and Role Models: “Vidal Sassoon. Trevor Sorbie. My father, who was marvelous but mad. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.”
Personal Style: “I’m the old guru. Eccentric. This isn’t my first barbecue.” Professional Style: “Runway to reality. I am committed to interpreting the textures, moods, colors, etc. of high fashion and translating them for stylists behind the chair.”
Best Advice He Ever Received: “’Never put your hand out unless you’re going to help someone up.’ Also, ‘It’s all about the ‘P’s: Passion Precision, Perfection and Pain.’”
On His “To-Do” List: “I did some work for films and theatre at one time—I’d like to come back and design the overall look for a ballet or perhaps a Cirque du Soleil production.”