Michel Kazan, who gave society and entertainment figures the bouffant hairdo and created the coiffures for the models of several fashion designers, died on Saturday the 13th of May 2000, at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Centre, aged 92.

Kazan remained active until well into his 80’s, and the Manhattan salon at 16 East 55th Street that he opened in 1961 still bears his name.


Kazan was born in Russia of French parents and grew up in Paris, where he studied painting and later researched and sketched historical coifs for productions of the Comedie Francaise. Discovering a desire to work directly with hair, he opened his first salon on Place du Theatre Francaise in 1934.


Image from the Dan Wynn Archive

He left France during the German occupation in World War II and settled in New York, where he became the chief stylist for Helena Rubinstein Inc. By the time he left the cosmetics queen in the early 1960s, he had a worldwide reputation as a coiffure master.


Image from “thehairhalloffame”

Inspired by historical styles, Mr. Kazan brought several famous hairstyles to the modern world, and was best known for the bouffant, essentially a pageboy with the sides teased out, which he created for Jacqueline Kennedy in 1950.

In the mid-1960’s, he came up with the immensely popular idea of attaching little curls to hairpins, which allowed women to simulate widow’s peaks, bangs and curl clusters at the crown of the head.


 Beautifully coiffured Polish model Monika “Jac” Jagaciak and Lettera 32

You can read Michel Kazan’s NY Times obituary here.


Elia Kazan (no relation)