We mourn the loss of Toni Mascolo this week. What a great man who made an immeasurable difference to hairdressing both in the UK and globally. As co-founder and then CEO of the Toni&Guy empire – opening the first salon in Clapham in 1963 – Toni achieved astonishing success in our industry, helping to bring it wealth and visibility on a global scale. Born in 1942, one of a close family of brothers, we smiled to be reminded of this wonderful picture [above, left to right: Bruno, Toni, Guy and Anthony] taken by hairdresser/photographer Harold Leighton in 2003.
An obituary in the Guardian [12 December] writes: “Mascolo was born in Naples in 1942. His father, a celebrated hairdresser, taught him and his four brothers to cut hair from a young age. Despite an interest in a career in law, Mascolo began working in London salons, firstly as an assistant to his father. When Guy was given the opportunity to take over the Clapham salon where he worked, Mascolo left his job and the pair opened the first Toni & Guy.”
Among many accolades, in 2008 Toni was awarded an OBE for services to hairdressing and in 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Primi Dieci by BAFTA (recognition of Toni being one of the ten most successful Italians in the UK).
Nicky Pope, publisher of Tribu-te magazine UK recalls a meeting in the 1990s: “As features editor of Hairdressers Journal at the time, I was sent to Washington DC to cover the World Championships, where I met Toni for the first time. Finding me alone at the airport, he offered me a lift on the Toni&Guy team bus – making a detour to drop me at my hotel. On board, he and Anthony and Sacha Mascolo regaled me with stories of family life – not least explaining how Toni was really Guiseppe and Anthony called Tony. He was, always, so warm and interested in people around him. A great loss.”
At Respect, we’re constantly reminded by the huge success of Toni&Guy including 475 salons across 48 countries. The body of work and the love for the brand he inspired, as well as the huge regard of the global hairdressing community will ensure Toni Mascolo’s legacy remains strong.
We send love and best wishes to his wife Pauline, and children Sacha, Pierre and Christian, and all the wider, wonderful Mascolo family.
In 2015, Toni published his autobiography: Toni: My Story – Hardback, £17.99. John Blake Publishing
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