His father is possibly the world’s most famous hairstylist, and he’s already run a chain of high-end medi-spas, so it was only a matter of time before Elan Sassoon—son of Vidal—started building his own beauty empire. Sassoon, 38, will open the Mizu Boston salon at the new Mandarin Oriental hotel in September, followed by Mizu New York on Park Avenue in October.
The salons, which have all-white interiors set off by gold Asian-style screens, aim to entertain as well as beautify customers by providing them with iPods (to tune out the blow-dryers) and high-tech goggles that screen movies.
Sassoon also has another major Beantown project in the works. Though he’s not a stylist—preferring to concentrate on the business end of operations—he’ll open what he describes as “the Harvard of hair schools” next year. The $22 million academy will be the first in the U.S. to offer dormitories and will also boast a 200-seat auditorium. “Most hair schools use textbooks that talk about tools that the cavemen and the ancient Egyptians used to barber,” he said. “There’s nothing in them about the last 150 years, about Michael Gordon, Trevor Sorbie or my father.”
And what advice does the legendary coiffeur give his son? “Technically he’s not allowed to,” Sassoon said with a laugh, referring to the noncompete agreement that the elder Sassoon has with Procter & Gamble, which owns the rights to his name. He does, however, offer “good one-liners from Winston Churchill,” said Elan, citing “Success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” as one of them.