Shunji Matsuo X Beau Monde


Celebrity Japanese Hair Stylist Shunji Matsuo – finding inspiration and living his passion by adapting concepts


Celebrity Japanese Hair Stylist Shunji Matsuo / (NTUC PME Unit)

Glamour, lights, fashion and high society!  I was 17 years old when I read about Yusuke Suga – a Japanese hair stylist who was well-known in the New York fashion circuit.  He was 26 years old and earned USD 5000 monthly.  That was like 45 years ago.  I was a Kobe boy who enjoyed playing sports but was not good in my studies.  University was not for me.  This article inspired me and I decided to follow Suga’s footsteps.  I enrolled myself into Yamano beauty school.  I remember I was 21 years old when Suga was in town to look for an assistant.  I jumped at the opportunity and was chosen out of the 400 that applied.  After which, I worked for Suga in New York for the next 10 years and took on many freelance assignments.
 

Shunji Matsuo's Shears Holster / (NTUC PME Unit)

In the 1980s, I noticed a rising trend in Europe – John Lewis David a salon chain delivered a walk-in, first come first served concept, and reasonably priced.  This was new to the New York market where one had to make appointment and this salon was able to expand to 400 salons.  I recognised this business opportunity and decided to open such salon in New York and was successful.
 
Ambition to strive for greater heights drove me to Asia.  I enjoy taking risk and I read an article that Asia will have booming economy in the 21st century.  I took the leap of faith and opened my first salon in Jakarta in 1996 as I had a growing clientele from Indonesia.  Sadly, the Asian Financial Crisis and the fall of Suharto made it difficult for me to survive in Jakarta.  I remember I had to pay millions of rupiah to get out of Indonesia in 1998.  I took refuge in Singapore.  It reminded me of New York and decided to open my first Shunji Matsuo branch on 9 November 1999.  I have an affinity for the number nine and it has been a wonderful journey since.  Today, I have a total of 15 salons around the region.  To keep abreast of the latest trends, I usually send my staff for seminars overseas and follow closely to the New York and Milan fashion week.  Well if you would like to know more of the hair trends of 2016, join my team at Beau Monde Christmas Special on 5 December at NTUC Centre.  Admission to this beauty & fashion workshop can be purchased at bit.ly/ntucbeaumonde

 

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