Bumble and bumble
In 1977 Gordon moves to New York City to open Bumble and bumble on West 57th Street, known then as ‘Hairdresser’s Row’. Inspired by the makeshift products concocted by editorial stylists for their personal kits, Gordon creates a revolutionary product line, released in 1994, that includes the cult Surf Spray and Hair Powder. In 2000, Estée Lauder takes a stake in Bumble and bumble and green-lights financing for the House of Bumble in NYC’s meatpacking district—a six-floor, expansive oasis centered around “the craft, culture and commerce of hairdressing.” Noticing that hairdressers and salon owners face extraordinary challenges running salons, Gordon creates Bumble and bumble University with an extensive curriculum to empower hairdressers in the salon network. In 2006 Estée Lauder acquires the remainder of Bumble and bumble. Gordon departs.
Published in 2001, Gordon’s coffee table book Hair Heroes celebrates the true legends of hairdressing from Jacqueline Kennedy’s trusted coiffeur, Kenneth, to revered session stylist, Christiaan, and Gordon’s personal hair hero, Vidal Sassoon. "It's important to recognize those who have raised the bar and forced hairdressers who followed to reach higher and achieve more," says Gordon. "Ours is an artisan craft but for reasons I do not understand we don't pay homage to the artists who have preceded us."
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie
Gordon produces Vidal Sassoon: The Movie, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010. The critically acclaimed documentary traces the life of a self-made man who was more than just a hairdresser—he was a rock star, artist and craftsman who “changed the world with a pair of scissors”. With the geometric, Bauhaus-inspired hairdos he pioneered in the ’60s and his "wash and wear" philosophy that liberated generations of women from the salon chair, Sassoon revolutionized the art of hairstyling and left an indelible mark on popular culture.
Vidal Sassoon: How One Man Changed the World with a Pair of Scissors
Following the success of the Vidal Sassoon documentary, Gordon publishes an accompanying book. It’s a captivating look at the career of the visionary hairstylist who went from a Jewish orphanage in London to become a household name, and was an instrument of change during the cultural shifts of the 1960s.
Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme is Gordon’s first attempt at reinventing traditional hair products with the intention of being completely detergent-free. Garnering great attention and accolades from the press, this new generation product plants the seed for Hairstory.
In 2014, Gordon invites editorial stylist Tony Kelley, colorist Roxie Darling, and haircutter Wes Sharpton to collaborate on creating striking photography, stories, and films about hair. Hairstory Studio, dubbed “The Warhol Factory of Hair” by Style.com, is born.
Witnessing mass brands relentlessly coming out with more and more hair products that do the same thing (and feature the same ingredients), Gordon is roused to make a positive impact on environmental issues through the industry he knows inside-out: hair. He identifies detergent as the source of nearly all hair problems and sets out to create a gentle yet highly effective, minimalist product range that restores every hair type to its optimum state. In 2015, Hairstory launches with detergent-free New Wash cleansing cream and a concise collection of three styling products featuring environmentally savvy packaging.
Gordon began taking photographs in 1985, and took all the photos for Bumble and bumble from 1985 to 2006. With a soft spot for shooting on film, and favoring black and white portraiture, Gordon is inspired by the work of Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, Arthur Elgort and his longtime collaborator, Steve Hiett. Gordon continues to engage and expand his photography practice by taking the majority of pictures at Hairstory Studio.
Yoga & Meditation
Gordon has been practicing yoga and meditation for 45 years, beginning his tutelage with Mani and Alan Finger in South Africa. A champion of harmonious and holistic working environments, he pioneered yoga in the workplace by offering classes to staff during his time at Bumble and bumble and continues to do so at Hairstory. Introducing yoga to many of his clients and employees over the years, he has encouraged quite a few to pursue teaching yoga, including his daughter, Sian, founder of Love Yoga. At Love, Gordon has taught Buddhist meditation, which he began studying and practicing in 2004. Spirituality and wellness is integral to Gordon’s personal and professional life, and he enjoys an annual meditation retreat with his teacher and dear friend, Jinpa.
Events & Consulting
Available for public speaking engagements, Gordon hosts events both educational and inspirational. His talks address leadership and transformation. Gordon also offers creative and career consulting services to hairdressers, salons and business owners. Please see contact page for more information.