I'm absolutely thrilled to be writing this column for American Salon and look forward to sharing with you news from the London salon scene, especially my artistry, technical and business expertise, as well as London hair trends, celebrity styling news and developments in education.
For those of you who may not be familiar with me, my name is Beverly Cobella, and I go by Beverly C. It's somewhat difficult to talk about one's life and achievements without sounding like a boaster, but by way of introduction, I suppose a couple of things worth mentioning about myself are that I was the first woman to be named British Hairdresser of the Year, a title I held for two consecutive years, and was recently bestowed with a Masters Award by Australian Hairdressers Journal.
Hairdressing is my life. In fact, it's hard to remember a time when I wasn't doing hair. I started out as a hairdressing trainee when I was 13, and in 1978, I trained extensively at Morris London, an internationally acclaimed UK academy attended by some of London's finest hairdressers. Lucky for me, I took to the scissors better than to the classroom, and shortly after finishing my training, I was invited to lecture at the famous college in London's Tottenham Court Road. Because some people felt that my age didn't match my talents for teaching, I actually had to pretend that I was 25 when, in fact, I was only 18. (Imagine me passing myself off as seven years older now...the irony!) I've always been known for my open, down-to-earth nature, which I want to inject into this column.
Beverly C is international creative director of all Essensuals salons, including this one in Taipei.
For years, I worked in partnership with my former husband, Anestis Cobella, presenting seminars around the world. As a team, we were named the London Hairdresser of the Year at the 1987 and 1988 British Hairdressing Awards. We took the Cobella name into Selfridges, creating a gorgeous salon in the upscale London department store, before opening the beautiful Akqa Spa in Kensington. One of my many monumental projects at that time—I'm not happy unless I'm working 27 hours a day, nine days a week—was The London Collections, the hairdressing equivalent of London fashion week. This set the industry on fire and captivated many of my colleagues and fellow presenters, including Trevor Sorbie and Anthony Mascolo.
After Anestis and I parted ways, I served as a consultant for Harrods Urban Retreat before signing on to be the international creative director of Essensuals, the 70-strong hair salon group owned by Toni, Pauline, Sacha and Christian Mascolo—other names you may recognize. Essensuals is on the brink of finalizing plans for expansion into the USA; hence my huge excitement of getting to know all of you better through this column. The timing couldn't be more perfect.
In the months to come, I look forward to bringing a slice of my London salon life to you, starting in December, where I'll give you a sneak peek at what an average week encompasses. Prepare to be exhausted!