PARIS — Celebrity hairstylist Jacques Dessange died on Tuesday at the age of 94.
Known for his “coiffé-décoiffé” — or “perfectly messy” — hairstyles sported by the likes of Jean Seberg and Jeanne Moreau, his other clients included silver screen stars such as Liz Taylor, Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner.
Dessange was born in Sologne, France, in 1925, and learned to cut hair in his father’s salon. Dessange then moved to Paris in the Fifties and worked under fashion hairstylist Louis Gervais. In 1954, Dessange debuted his first salon, in the French capital, at 37 Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Dessange developed his business in the Seventies based on a premium-brand franchise model, which today includes more than 1,700 salons in 43 countries under the umbrellas Dessange, Camille Albane and Fantastic Sams. The group manages, as well, the Phytodess product label, product licenses and distribution activity through Coiff’Idis.
Dessange International counts a network of more than 20,000 professionals.
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Since 1985, the Jacques Dessange brand has been a partner of the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2008, OFI Private Equity Capital acquired 65 percent of Dessange International for about 80 million euros from Jacques Dessange and his partners. The executive retained 20 percent of the group and remained a strategic adviser to the company’s management team, including his son Benjamin Dessange and others, who together held a 15 percent stake in Dessange International.
In 2010, OFI took a further 21.6 percent stake in Dessange International for about 17 million euros from Jacques Dessange, who was retiring.
One year later, Dessange International launched legal proceedings against its founder for “defamatory attacks” allegedly made against Benjamin Dessange, then president of the firm’s board. In an e-book, Jacques Dessange claimed a conspiracy led to his eviction from Dessange International.
Dessange was also named in 2015 in the journalist investigation dubbed “Swiss Leaks” related to a vast tax evasion scheme allegedly linked to HSBC.
Today, Eurazeo, which acquired OFI, holds 64.8 percent of Dessange International. That company registered sales of 94 million euros in 2018.