There is no stopping Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble and bumble, who wrote and co-produced Vidal Sassoon The Movie, in his quest to give beauty industry players the kudos he believes they deserve. “Watch any reality show, and the people who are hairdressers look like idiots. It’s a career that people still tend to look down on,” says Gordon.
This story first appeared in the March 11, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
One of the reasons he wanted to make the film (released in February) was to educate hairdressers—who are often unaware of the history of their industry, he says—about one of its greats. It was his first major project after selling Bumble and bumble to the Estée Lauder Cos. in 2000 and exiting the business six years later. “Vidal was the one person out there who has had the most impact on hairdressing. He changed the entire industry. You cannot be a hairdresser today and be separated from Vidal and his work,” says Gordon.
The film is only the beginning of Gordon’s mission to give a voice to players in the beauty industry. Gordon is currently at work on a new Web site, IfYouKnew.com, that will be a forum for content and dialogue about the industry. The name was inspired by Diana Vreeland’s legendary column for Harper’s Bazaar, “Why Don’t You?,” and he says he sees the new site as “a safe place; an outlet for like-minded people.”
“If you look at Vogue from 40 years ago, there were fascinating stories on figures in beauty. That doesn’t exist anymore. Vogue recently did a short feature on the stylist Julien d’Ys. He’s a genius! That story could have been five pages.”
The new site, Gordon says, will cover hair, makeup and beauty in an in-depth way, and will be similar in spirit to Nowness, the LVMH-backed trends and lifestyle site. He’s working on the content now—the site will feature short films of “interesting” people—and will soon hammer out the commercial end. IfYouKnew.com, which is funded entirely by Gordon, is set to launch next year. But it’s only taking up part of his time: Gordon says he’s also “leaning toward a concept” for a new line of products, but did not give any details. Retirement, clearly, was never really an option. “I miss hairdressing. Mostly, I miss the people.”