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Personalitys in the revolution of hair design in the 60s 70s | all galleries >> Galleries >> roger_thompson_gallery > Roger Thompson
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Roger Thompson

As he will be remembered by all of his friends.
In the early 60s Roger was the art director of Vidal Sassoonís Company after Vidal went to the United States. He ran the Sassoon salon in the Grosvenor house hotel with Rogers name on the sign Rodger Thompson at Vidal Sassoon's. His first official haircut (as I remember) was a piece of wire with hair dangling from it. It was then permed and cut and was for sale to be tied around the head and let loose, to give a new effect to the Greek goddess haircut. A kind of "hippy" style! The "hair piece" was not a success but then he had a brilliant Idea to get the same effect by a NEW technique he invented, today called the layered cut. He took the Greek Goddess and cut the top hair shorter than the under hair. The first model had a nick name and he called the haircut after her. MOUCHE. The very next haircut was the haircut called the Isadora. Named after the film of the same name, that came out that year by Ken Russell. Isadora. It was apt as it was longer in the back and shorter at the front, so was inspired by the fact that Isadora Duncan had long flowing cloths. The first photographs were published in a news paper in February of 1969. Later on the same year, Roger did something that would be a sea change for hairdressers all over the world and would put the United Kingdom on the map as one of the top places to go if you want to study hairdressing. (THAT'S HOW IMPORTANT HE WAS) He took his first hairstyle the Mouche and the second the Isadora and blended them to give us the hairstyle that in the United States is called the shag. Later coming up with a hairstyle called the Breeze and the lion look.
Today, many people say that they are the mother of the shag or the "wash and wear" style, but if they are the mother then he was the father.We seem to have one father, but a lot of Mothers.....
In the mean time his haircut called the HAVINGTON, was cut starting behind th ear and went around the head and was a round technique.
I think it was his best haircut! and was not to be sneezed at, as just last year 2007 one of the most famous company's in the world has done a haircut thatís just the same but they have put gel or what ever in the hair and frizzed it up a bit. And thatís forty years later. If I show this hairstyle I am told I am being old fashion but If they do it they are innovative.
I am told that Rodger Thompson went for his initial hair training to the Maurice school of hairdressing around Piccadilly London. Two others that went to the same school at the same time and who worked at Sassoon's, was His brother in Law Joshua Galvin and Aldo Pompeo. He was art director when Paul Mitchel worked in Sassoon's bond street. Paul was one of the people that went around the United States doing the layered haircut to thousands if not millions showing that you could do a great haircut without having to put rollers in the hair to finish it off. (and you could throw away your round brush.)
One of Roger's clients at the time was the Italian designer Laura Biagotti? Who was so thrilled with the look that she still remembers it today. So he was not only an innovator but an image maker to many famous names. Names will follow.....
He went to work in the United States of America in New York and has not got the fame that he deserves there. This web section is dedicated to his memory...! and to give witness to people that make claims about the 50 most important hairdressers from the twentieth century and his name is not even on the list. Be ashamed!!!


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Guest 01-Feb-2016 17:09
Roger,Allen Bush.Tony Beckerman,Fernando Romero,were my gods when I was taking classes at VS Acadamy.
Guest 02-Jan-2016 21:16
Such an amazing and true article.. Hoping to work with Mark Slicker. He is deep within the company now(:
Guest 21-Nov-2015 06:59
Miss you so much love doreen . you ehere the best !!! Love doreen
Guest 07-Sep-2014 04:08
Another year has passed ! And u gave me strong I with never forget u thank u for always being there for me I will never forget u rip always love doreen
doreen 17-Apr-2014 03:07
The best ever
doreen 17-Apr-2014 03:07
He will always be missed ! Love Doreen
D sapanara 02-Apr-2014 02:23
I cry every year and say to myself I will work in Brooklyn but I can't after working with him I felt at home he was the best xoxoxo u left your heart with good people and u always had a great heart and so did your wife who was so pretty god bless
As 02-Apr-2014 02:14
God how I wish today he was here today ! God how I miss him xoxo
James J. Keating 02-Dec-2013 08:12
Not only was Roger a gifted hairdresser, he was a mellow soul. Am privledged to have had the opportunity to work and socialize with him! He was a champion of hair!!
M D Merriott 04-Dec-2011 01:25
Rodger was the BEST. No one person even comes close. I worked with him in London. Thank you Rodger for the amazing memories.
Ellis Reuben 24-Nov-2011 19:05
i must have been eighteen years old when Roger took me to back wash to tell me that i got the job but was sorry that he could only offer me seven pounds a week, i jumped out of my chair andproclaimed that i would be happy to work for no money.i got to work early monday morning first one there. Mark Harrington who was in charge of the juniors took me to his room and gave me an overall it was brown in colour. At nine Roger had his first client i watched him create with such intenticy excluding every thing else, after ten minutes Roger looked up and called me over he said what are you doing wearing an overall, i looked up at him and said im not sure why i was wearing this overall simply because i was asked to. he said go and change in to your normal cloths. i watched a great deal of the so called great hair dressers including Vidal when he came over to Grosvenor house with out any dought Roger was the crown of all the crop, he did not talk a lot, when he cut hair it was wastching a great master at his craft to perfection. thank you Rodger your humble assistant Ellis Reuben
Doreen S 28-Feb-2011 02:25
Roger Thompson he to me was #1 . He showed me the best !!!! I came right out of school and he gave me a job and made me the person i im today !!! He is very much missed love u roger and thank u xoxox love always Doreen Sapanara
Phillip Adam 07-Feb-2011 18:35
He changed my life and direction as a haircutter like no other hairdresser in the world. I will never forget him. A giant in our creative industry. The best!
Phillip Adam
Peter Harley 19-Jan-2011 09:20
Inspirational, Honest,Modest, THE VERY BEST!
Stephen 29-Dec-2010 04:15
Roger was a great haircutter that love to mold the hair like it was clay. I learned a lot about shape, and form from Roger -- He was an inspiration to work with!
Stephen Congiusta
arsenal234412-Dec-2010 02:44
To me Roger you were the best ,you will never be forgotten. Harvy Kaye
Peg Cribari01-Dec-2010 04:00
This is my favorite photo of Roger as it captured his genuine personality...and additionally how he looked during the decade I spent working and training with him...His integrity, dignity and talent are unparalleled. There is not a day goes by that I don't think of you Roger!
~Peg Cribari
keith miller 14-Dec-2009 23:01
I met roger at sasoons in the late 60s by then he was already a legend . the best haircutter I have seen even now over 40 years later no one comes close . he was also an insirational teacher . i am convinced that he will be rememberd by all who met him as simply the best
tim w05-Mar-2009 17:11
Roger Thompson is amoung the top 10 hair cutters from the twentieth century. Each year I hear the Art directors at the VS Advanced Academy mention that if they were to pick one person to most represent, it would be Roger. Thank you for putting these pictures, and tributes together. they are great
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