1970 – Jacques Dessange cuts hair during a performance in front of dozens of hairdressers © DR
In Paris, the salon was a huge success, and certain hairdressers were making known their interest in having the Jacques Dessange above their salon. So it was that the second salon opened in Saint-Tropez in 1955. It was only 160 ft² but was so successful that clients sometimes had to be accommodated outside, on the sidewalk! At the time, however, Jacques Dessange was afraid to have too many salons bearing his name for fear of losing quality.
Jacques Dessange’s reputation was growing and his salon on Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt was experiencing considerable success. By now, its top employees had built up their own loyal clientele and some felt the need to spread their wings. When they expressed the desire to open their own establishments, Jacques Dessange quickly realized that he needed to offer them something so that they wouldn’t become competitors. He took the decision to support them financially to open their salons under his name. He continued this arrangement for many years with Gin, Maurice Daumann, Jeanne Dereux…and so began to build the network of Jacques Dessange salons.
In the 60s, Jacques Dessange fell ill and was ordered to stop working so much. He now had to take care of himself. Back at the salon after a period of rest, he realized that the business had carried on without him and his clients had changed their habits. He no longer felt so indispensable. On the advice of those close to him, he began to see a different future, and so the star hairdresser made way for the businessman.
It was during this period that he created the first Prestige and Creation shows, events that hairdressing professionals would attend to learn about fast and effective cutting and styling techniques. To begin with, in the 60s, they were held in the great Parisian hotels and were similar to fashion shows. In the 80s, they moved to the Cirque d’Hiver to welcome a growing audience.
Anecdote: Jacques Dessange had become so famous and sought after that the first shows were presented by French stars Michel Drucker and Sacha Distel!
Today: Without knowing it, Jacques Dessange created what would become an unmissable event in the industry and a real institution. 60 years on, these shows are still part of the brand DNA, with hundreds of spectators attending each year to see experts from DESSANGE demonstrate cuts and styles in spectacular, creative showcases.
Hairdressers from all over France flocked to attend the Prestige and Creation shows. It was following one of these shows that Michel Cauvin, then the owner of a hair salon in Le Havre, contacted Jacques Dessange to ask to use his name and reputation in the region, in exchange for an annual fee. In 1979, having been inundated with such requests, Jacques Dessange decided to set up franchise agreements. Many professionals began displaying the Jacques Dessange name above their salon. It brought real added value for the hairdressers, who benefited from Jacques Dessange’s fame, as well technical support giving them the opportunity to build on their expertise.
A true pioneer, Jacques Dessange understood that operating a franchise model in the hairdressing industry would require him to provide a continuously improving, high-quality service to his franchisees. To that end, he surrounded himself with specialists: He was joined in turn by Michel Cauvin, Bruno Pittini and Daniel Conte, who would become valuable players in the rise of the Jacques Dessange brand.