Jerry Gordon, legendary hairdresser, has past away at the age of 78. As close friend and mentor to Nick Arrojo, Jerry has an enduring link to our brand. He touched, educated, and inspired us with his esoteric worldliness and love for life.
As a tribute and celebration of his life we share the pictures and words that hang along Heroes Way, a hallway in ARROJO Cosmetology School TriBeCa that recognizes the achievements of Nick’s four hairdressing heroes and mentors, as a means to inspire the next generation of stylists.
“To me Jerry is a father figure and mentor. His achievements as a hairdresser are matched only by his nobility as a person. From our first meeting he has coached, listened, and advised me on hairdressing, business, and life. We have enjoyed numerous discussions on all aspects of the industry; I consider his insights and inspirations a key component in fulfilling my American Dream. I hope to continue the legacy he has given to the industry.” — Nick Arrojo
For four decades the Owner of J. Gordon Designs, Chicago, Jerry was named Salon Owner of the Year by American Salon Magazine and was the past President of Cosmetologists Chicago. A featured guest on Oprah, and on National Public Radio, he was a master hairstylist with 50+ years of experience. Jerry’s groundbreaking work appeared in numerous publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and Allure. A sought after and inspiring speaker on effective business solutions, he is famed for inventing the system of ”Double Shifting,” which enables salons to maximize their space, large or small.
Illustrating Jerry’s standing in the pantheon of hairdressing greats, the other hairdressers featured along Heroes Way are all close friends of Jerry. Horst Rechelbacher, and Jerry, together enjoyed a private audience with the Dalai Lama. To complete the celebration here’s Jerry’s friends along Heroes Way.
My career began at Vidal Sassoon in the 1980s; the mark it left influences all aspects of my work. The education taught me mastery of lines, layers, and graduation; the importance of precision; that craftsmanship and technique are the backbone of hairdressing. The professionalism, discipline, and structure of Sassoon’s organization gave me the template and belief to create the ARROJO brand. — Nick Arrojo
As the Godfather of modern hairdressing Vidal Sassoon was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2009. By mastering how to “get down to the basic angles of cut and shape,” Vidal pioneered a new direction for hairdressers. Crafting organic geometric shapes, he was able to complement the face without the elaborate and time-consuming hair-setting techniques of hairdressers past. His philosophy changed the approach of stylists, and his revolutionary cuts adorned the world’s most iconic women. He opened the first chain of worldwide hairstyling salons, accompanied by a line of hair-care products that also became a successful international brand.
I first met Gordon in London in the 1990s; I was struck by his passion and perception and we made a connection from our similar, though generationally different, heritage at Sassoon’s. When I moved to America we became close friends. From leading a hairdressing corporation for 30+ years, Gordon has a unique insight to how the industry works. His inspirations and guidance continue to be an incredible help to me as I continue my journey. — Nick Arrojo
A stylist at the original Vidal Sassoon on Bond Street in Swinging London, Gordon Nelson was at the genesis of modern hairdressing; his influential work featured regularly in fashion publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle; and he has become one of the most respected and knowledgeable professionals the industry has seen. As Executive Vice President for Regis Corporation, Gordon created education programs encompassing technical expertise, fashion trends, and customer relations for thousands of stylists. He has overseen 130 artistic directors implement Regis’ extensive and award-winning stylist education programs.
A man of absolute integrity Horst Rechelbacher is most impressive to me for his fearless drive and commitment to take his own path, and to succeed. In the early days of my American Dream, Horst’s influence and support meant my first business was an Aveda Concept Salon; he paved the path for me to become a business owner. I continue to strive to match the energy and persistence Horst gave to everything he touched. — Nick Arrojo
Founder of Aveda, Horst’s interest in developing products without toxic chemicals launched the market for natural cosmetics in the United States; he had a vision to bring organic products into the world of beauty and he went out and made it happen, in the process changing how people in the western world think about their daily routines. A true creative visionary and pioneering stylist, his extraordinary leadership grew his brand’s footprint to include salons and schools that brought holistic beauty to the industry, connecting hair, face, and body together.
Rest In Peace, Jerry.