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Celebrity Hairstylist Patrick Alès Dies at 88

Founder of Alès Groupe, he coiffed the likes of Catherine Deneuve and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

PARIS — Celebrity hairstylist Patrick Alès, founder of Alès Groupe, has passed away at the age of 88, the company said on Tuesday.

He coiffed the likes of Catherine Deneuve and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and built his business with plant-based hair-care products. Alès is credited with conceiving the blow-dry technique, and styled many a models’ hair for Paris fashion shows, including Givenchy’s first display.

In 1969, Alès founded the Phytosolba laboratory, which specializes in hair-care products known under the brand name Phyto. He grew the activity with the addition of dermocosmetics through the acquisition, a decade later, of Laboratoires Lierac.

Alès’ salon, the Espace Beauté Patrick Alès, stands at 37 Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Paris’ 8th arrondissement, a stone’s throw from Avenue Montaigne.

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After steering Alès Groupe for a half-century, the executive in 2015 decided to step down from operational management while remaining chairman of the company’s supervisory board until 2018, when he passed the baton to his son Romain Alès.

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The entrepreneur’s aim was to “make women more beautiful,” the company said in a statement.

“During his entire life, my father knew how to share his passions, his love of plants, his vision and his curiosity,” it quoted Romain Alès as saying. “He made Alès Groupe into a company whose brands are known today everywhere in the world, 50 years after the creation of Phyto. His passing plunges our family and everyone who was close to him into deep sadness.”

Phyto plant-based hair care
Phyto plant-based hair care Courtesy Photo

Late last month, Alès Groupe announced it was in transition mode, welcoming a new minority shareholder, Co-Capital, and appointing a new board chairman, Frédéric Poux.

The Paris-based beauty company is also parent of brands Jowaé and Laboratoire Ducastel.

Alès Groupe sales rose 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 versus the same prior-year period to 54.6 million euros, mostly buoyed by the Lierac business and the introduction of Jowaé outside France.

In 2018, the company registered sales of 208.3 million euros, down 8.9 percent in reported terms and 10.1 percent on a constant-currency basis.

Alongside Romain Alès, Patrick Alès is survived by his two daughters, Sylvie and Patricia.

Funeral plans for the hairstylist have yet to be set.