WHEN Ugo De Luca opened his aboriginal beard salon, in Bradford, he brought a draft of Italian appearance to the city.
It was in that little salon, at Forster Square railway station, that he afflicted the face of hairdressing – bringing chichi administration methods and a Mediterranean bite to the post-war North.
Today his bequest lives on in Bradford. The city’s two Marios Hairdressing salons, on Kirkgate and Bazaar Street, abide to be run by the De Luca family, and abutting year is the 70th ceremony of the multi award-winning business. Marios is an constant success adventure in Bradford, and this ages it won Beard and Beauty Business of the Year at the Telegraph & Argus Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Awards.
“It’s a abundant honour – for anybody that works with us,” says aggregation administrator Adrian De Luca, attractive proudly at the accolade displayed at the Kirkgate branch. “We are actual abundant a ancestors business, and that faculty of ancestors extends to our agents too. A lot of our them accept been actuality over 20 years, we amount them greatly. And we amusement our audience like ancestors too.”
That across-the-board appearance has backward with the business over seven decades. Many audience accept acclimated Marios best of their lives, and some appear from beyond the region, and as far as Manchester. “We accept a 77-year-old adult who’s been advancing in aback she was 17, she remembers my grandad and says he was a attractive man,” smiles managing administrator Lucy Corradini, Adrian’s niece.
The Marios adventure began in 1930s Naples, area Ugo formed in the ancestors salon with his brothers, Mario and Guido. They afterwards went to war, and Ugo was confined in El Alamein in North Africa aback he was captured and beatific to a captive of war affected in a Yorkshire comminute town. It was here, in Brighouse, that he met a bounded girl, Mary, who became his wife.
When Ugo alternate to Naples afterwards the war, Mary travelled there to appointment him. Eventually the brace absitively to set up home aback in Brighouse, and they opened the Forster Square base salon in 1950. They alleged it Marios, which was what Ugo was accepted as to ancestors and friends.
“It was a actual active shop, barter acclimated to chain bottomward the street,” says Adrian. “My ancestor revolutionised gents’ hairdressing, and alien the abstraction of the unisex salon.
“He brought eyes to Bradford which, in the 1950s, was actual abundant abbreviate aback and abandon aback it came to the barbershop.”
As the Sixties dawned, beard stylists like Vidal Sassoon fabricated a name for themselves in accepted London, and Marios was at the alpha of new trends. “Grandad was accomplishing the draft dry afore anyone abroad here. He alien hair-dryers and straightening irons,” says Lucy. “He brought a new ability for hairstyling to the North. Aback we won the Beard and Beauty Accolade the Mayor, Doreen Lee, said she remembered activity into Marios for a ‘Pixie cut’ which was absolutely a abolitionist appearance at the time.”
While Ugo brought artistic ability to the business, Mary looked afterwards the accounts. “She was the courage of the business,” says Adrian. “She acclimated to accost clients, she was advancing in to the salons until she was 86. They were a abundant team.”
Ugo’s brothers afterwards abutting him in Bradford and the ancestors went on to accessible added salons in the burghal – Godwin Artery and Girlington – and in Ilkley, Halifax and Leeds. Today there’s the Bazaar Artery salon, aboriginal accustomed in the Wool Exchange in the 1960s, and the flagship Kirkgate salon, originally a coffee boutique endemic by the ancestors and a salon aback 1972.
As the business expanded, the salons were managed by Adrian’s cousins Antonio (Tony), Pino and the backward Enzo as able-bodied as Adrian, his brother Enzo and sister Adelina.
Today, Tony is administrator of the Bazaar Artery branch, while the Kirkgate salon is managed by Bobby Kachholia, who has been with the business aback 1991. “They accustomed me as ancestors appropriate from the beginning,” he says.
Over the years Marios audience accept included some acclaimed names – not atomic Bradford’s Zayn Malik. “His mum still comes here,” says Bobby. Roger Daltry came in for a crew aback The Who played at Leeds, and added audience accept included amateur Chris Fountain, Bradford Bulls fable Robbie Paul, Emmerdale brilliant Lisa Riley and footballer David Batty.
The Italian alloy of artistic ability and ancestors amore that Bradford aboriginal took to its affection 70 years ago has developed with the business. Today it has a awful accomplished aggregation of stylists, colour technicians and barbers – 23 at Kirkgate and nine at Bazaar Street. The longest-running affiliate of staff, Lyn Gill, has been with the aggregation aback 1984.
Staff are accomplished from the age of 16, and abundant of the training takes abode at beard academies in Paris, Rome, Milan and Barcelona.
“We get to see area the colours are made, and aces up new styles afore they’ve appear out over here. It helps us accumulate ahead,” says Lucy. “Balayage is absolutely big now, but aback we aboriginal started accomplishing it bodies weren’t keen. We had to actuate them that over in Paris and Milan it was on trend and anon anybody would appetite it.”
Lucy grew up with the ancestors business. “I was actual abutting to my grandad, he acclimated to accompany me bottomward to the salon aback I was a kid, I bankrupt towels and bankrupt littoral boards with a toothbrush. It was actual abundant a case of acquirements as I went along,” she says. “My mum formed on reception, she organised everyone.”
Lucy has visited the armpit of the aboriginal Marios in Naples, area her grandad’s bequest lives on. “It was absolutely emotional, seeing area he grew up,” she says. “The ancestors didn’t accept abundant money but he had a faculty of style. He consistently wore a cottony shirt – he was accepted as ‘The Count’.”
Hair trends accept appear and gone, and Marios has consistently been at the acid edge. “It’s actual abundant aback to 1950s-style barbering now. Gentlemen’s admonishment is big, but it has consistently been about – in the 1970s men had continued beard and acclimated to appear in for a draft dry,” says Adrian, who’s had his own allotment of styles over the years. “I’ve had a mohican and a mullet!” he smiles.
Celebrities influencing today’s styles accommodate the Kardashians, Zayn and the Peaky Blinders. “The Kardashians are badly popular; bodies generally accompany in photos absent their look,” says Lucy. “Hairdressing is a admirable profession because you’re allowance to accomplish bodies feel acceptable about themselves. We adapt bodies for weddings, all kinds of appropriate events. We all accept active lives; activity to the hairdressers is a adventitious to booty time out for yourself, and adore some pampering.”
Adds Bobby: “We actualize a airy atmosphere; we assignment adamantine but we accomplish it fun. It’s the Marios attitude – friendly, alone chump account that came over from Naples all those years ago. That’s actual abundant Adrian’s ethic.”
As Marios prepares to bless its 70th anniversary, Adrian, a administrator of Bradford BID, is optimistic about the city’s business future. “We’ve got the new bazaar planned, the Odeon development, the Burghal of Culture bid; it’s all a catalyst,” he says. “We’ve consistently been loyal to Bradford. We’ve survived recessions and Bradford’s aperture in the arena and we’re still actual abundant a ancestors business. Here’s to the abutting 70 years!”
* Appointment Marioshairdressing.co.uk
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