The Nancy Kwan - An Iconic Sassoon Cut

Published 23rd Feb 2024 by Josie Jackson

To celebrate Sassoon's 70th Anniversary, HJ is taking a look back at the most iconic haircuts by the man himself, Vidal Sassoon.

The Nancy Kwan was the haircut that truly put Vidal Sasson on the global fashion map. The cut, on American Chinese actress Nancy Kwan, was requested by director John Kirsch for a new movie that he was making in London called ‘The Wild Affair’ that would star Nancy Kwan as a young secretary.

Nancy Kwan duly arrived at the Vidal Sassoon salon in London's Bond Street with her manager, publicist and various assistants. She sat while Vidal cut her hair into this now, landmark look.

Vidal later shared: "Nancy sat and quietly played chess with her manager while all of this hubbub was going on around her. When I took the first snip and three feet of hair fell to the floor, a single tear trailed down her face. I continued, cutting and cutting until gradually the look began to appear in front of my eyes.”

Vidal called his friend, photographer Terence Donavan, and that same evening, together they created this timeless image that was featured in British and American Vogue.

“It is still the ultimate image of a haircut,” says Mark Hayes, Creative Director at Sassoon. “The look of the hair, the make-up and absence of styling means that it could have only been shot in the sixties, but like all great design, it has transcended the time in which it was created."

Did you know that the iconic brand recently launched House of Sassoon? You can find out more about this here.

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 23rd Feb 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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