Legendary Italian hair stylist Aldo Coppola died on Wednesday night at his home in Milan after a long illness. He was 73.
This story first appeared in the November 22, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Funeral services are to be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Known for his natural approach to hair styling and his savvy entrepreneurial attitude, Coppola has been a key figure on the international beauty and fashion scene for half a century, ever since Milanese designer Biki asked him to create the hairstyles for her show at Pitti in Florence in 1961. After that, Coppola worked with the major designers in the world, including Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace, Gianfranco Ferré, Franco Moschino and Valentino Garavani, among others, along with international photographers such as Gian Paolo Barbieri, Horst P. Horst, Carlo Orsi, Norman Parkinson and one of his best friends, Oliviero Toscani.
Coppola built up his own hair business to a venture that has revenues of about 22 million euros, or $29.6 million at current exchange, and counts more than 1,000 employees. In 1965, he opened his first salon on Milan’s Via Manzoni, which was followed by two additional doors in the city; he created a namesake line of hair-care products and established the first Italian freelancer agency, providing hair and makeup services for fashion photo shoots and advertising campaigns. In the Nineties, he asked Philippe Starck to design the concept of his new luxury salon on Milan’s Corso Garibaldi; he introduced a franchising system, which affirmed the popularity of the Aldo Coppola brand outside the fashion circuit, and, in 1993, he opened a hairstyling academy.
Coppola, who spent his last years far from the limelight in a farmstead in Lombardy’s countryside, is survived by his wife Franca; a son, Aldo Jr., and a daughter, Monica.