Antoine de Paris

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Antoni "Antek" Cierplikowski (1884 – 1976) became the world's first celebrity hairdresser when he opened the salon Antoine de Paris in Paris and became known as Monsieur Antoine.[1]

He was born in Sieradz and learnt hairdressing by working for his uncle in Łódź. He moved to Paris in 1901 where he worked in the salon at Galeries Lafayette. During the summer season, he worked in Deauville, following the high society of Paris who vacationed there. In 1904, he created a stylish coiffure for Lily de Moure when she lost her fashionable hat. When she appeared hatless on the arm of a royal prince, this caused a sensation and other fashionable ladies then wanted to have their hair styled by le petit russe (the little Russian).[2]

He started a fashion for a short bob cut in 1909 which was inspired by Joan of Arc.[3] He then introduced the shingle cut in the 1920s which became popular with daring young women — the Bloomsbury set and flappers.[3] In 1924, he dyed his dog's hair blue. This blue hair was taken up by the first professional interior designer, Lady Elsie De Wolfe Mendl, which started a new fad. He created the iconic “garconne” hairstyle for the likes of Coco Chanel, Josephine Baker, and Edith Piaf.[4] His creations were rumoured to cost up to 500 francs - more than £1,000 in today's money.[5] In the 1930s, he introduced blonde highlights and a style of upswept hair.[5]

In 1924, he opened a salon at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York which became the most fashionable hair salon in America. Other famous hairdressers established their reputations there, such as Sydney Guilaroff.[5] The peak of Antoine's career was the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937, when he supervised 400 coiffures in one night.

After the death of his wife in 1973 Monsieur Antoine moved to his birthplace Sieradz, where he died in July 1976.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hubert Demory (2006), Monsieur Antoine: grand maître de la haute coiffure française, l'Harmattan, ISBN 978-2-296-01549-4 
  2. ^ Steven Zdatny (1999), Hairstyles and fashion: a hairdresser's history of Paris, 1910-1920 
  3. ^ a b "Bob haircut celebrates 100th birthday", The Daily Telegraph, 9 Jan 2009 
  4. ^ Zhang Pengfei, Antoine De Paris feted in Poland, CCTV.com 
  5. ^ a b c Hairdressers Journal International (2012), Hairdressing Icons: Antoine de Paris