1988 – Opening of a Jacques Dessange salon in Sydney, Australia © Bruce Milton Miller/Fairfax Media via Getty Images
The first international salon appeared very early on in 1962, well before the development of the franchise in France. That first establishment opened its doors in Tunis. Jacques Dessange and his team traveled the world, and soon eponymous salons had opened on every continent. Visiting the United States in the 1980s, Jacques Dessange sensed the potential of this country where salons were badly run and where, at the time, cleanliness left something to be desired. In 1984, he and Bruno Pittini opened a salon on Madison Avenue, which was a huge success.
Anecdote: Jacques Dessange believed that the special attention paid to hygiene contributed hugely to the brand’s success. When a Jacques Dessange salon opened in Madrid, a journalist is said to have titled his article “At last, a clean hair salon in Madrid!
Jacques Dessange had proved that his concept could be exported anywhere! The cutting technique and strict hygiene measures that he saw as the two pillars of the brand could be replicated anywhere in the world.
Hence the creation of the Jacques Dessange Training School in 1979, where employees could attend regular training courses and continually learn new techniques. Daniel Conte took on the running of the school, whilst Bruno Pittini, a true virtuoso of cutting, put Jacques Dessange’s actions into words to create a technique that could easily be taught. Between them, they imparted “Monsieur’s” know-how to each employee.
“At the Jacques Dessange school, I unlearned what I knew, in order to relearn” Rémy Ansola, manager of the DESSANGE Training Center
The man himself described the School as the “cement of expansion” and strived to guarantee the unity of the brand embodied by his name. All over the world, every hairdresser had to be able to meet their clients’ expectations with the same commitment to excellence. Jacques Dessange always attached great importance to training, in particular the teaching of both the psychological (understand the client’s expectations) and technical (meeting their expectations) aspects of the hairdressing profession.
“Consistency is essential to the durability of our image”: while Jacques Dessange encouraged his employees to cultivate the creativity necessary to do their job, he was also insistent that everyone developed a sense of belonging to the brand.
Today: More than 40 years after the Jacques Dessange franchise was launched, the DESSANGE brand has more than 310 salons in 35 countries.
These collections were also an essential element in powerful advertising campaigns like the “Jacques Dessange, recoiffe-moi le moral” campaign, which ran in the 1980s. This slogan was an instant hit and would be used again and again. The Jacques Dessange philosophy was that if your hair looked good, you would feel good.