Antoni Cierplikowski vel. Antoine (1884-1972)
The hairstyling legend was born in Sieradz in 1884, and grew up to become „the king of hairdressers and hairdresser of kings”. His career began when he began apprenticing under the eye of his uncle Paweł Lewandowski at his salon in Łódź. Ultimately, Antoni dreamed of opening his own salon but his sights were set on Paris. And so, he arrived in the French capital in 1910.
He was the man behind the a la garconne trend, first giving Lavalli’s a boy’s haircut in 1909. The biggest stars of world cinema would come strutting through his salon doors including Sarah Bernhardt, Josephine Baker, Edith Piaf and Brigitte Bardot, along with the most stylish debutantes from aristocratic families. Still, women felt just as privileged as royals when Antoine was styling their hair. He had a knack for creating the perfect ambience, raising the bar for hair stylists across the world.
Antoni also did the hairstyles for major film studios, including Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. His small-scale salon soon rose to imperial status. By the 1960s, he already had 60 locations throughout the world: in France, the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Sweden, Japan and even Australia. To create a captivating, he enlisted the help of a close friend, the brilliant sculptor Xawery Dunikowski, and his partner, the textile and interior designer, Sara Lipska.
He achieved remarkable success in Paris, London and New York. Cierplikowski was in charge of styling the hair of all 400 women in attendance at the coronation of George VI! Despite being so busy, Antoni made sure to visit his homeland frequently, returning for good after the death of his beloved wife Maria Berthe in 1969.
Maksymilian Faktorowicz – Max Factor
The 1920s saw a burst of dynamic change in the cosmetics industry. This boom was driven most intensely by film stars, whose dramatic looks popularized beauty products like false eyelashes, mascara, hairspray, nail polish and rouge.
Max Factor (born Maksymilian Faktorowicz to a Polish Jewish family in Zduńska Wola in 1872), made his fame and fortune in the cosmetics industry after emigrating to the United States. He’d worked as an apprentice hairstylist and cosmetician since the age of nine. When he arrived in Hollywood, he set up his own cosmetics company which flourished with the rise of the golden age of cinema – and quickly grew into a veritable cosmetics empire.
The cosmetics his company produced were remarkably innovative, such as liquid foundation that came in a range of shades (debuting in 1914) and was rub-proof… or the camouflage paint he produced for the military. His lipsticks and powder blocks enjoyed mass appeal. In fact, the word ‘make-up’ as a noun was coined by Factor himself. And, of course, Max Factor make-up adorned the faces of Hollywood’s biggest stars: Rudolf Valentino (who used Max Factor foundation to lighten his dark complexion), Rita Hayworth (who dyed her hair red at his suggestion), Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Pola Negri, Marlene Dietrich and Charlie Chaplin. Max Factor was not only a cosmetics pioneer, but also a knowledgeable expert and tastemaker in the field of beauty in general. He was a constant figure on film sets as an expert on all things having to do with beauty.
His most famous invention of all? A strange-looking instrument called a beauty micrometer which calibrated how closely a woman’s face matched the established parameters for the statistically ideal face
The cosmetics industry wasn’t just the domain of men. Helena Rubinstein (1872-1965) was a beauty powerhouse in her own right. Her name has been synonymous with cosmetics for over a century.
An who would come to be known as the ‘empress of beauty’ was born into a Jewish family in Kraków’s Kazimierz district as the eldest of eight siblings. In 1900, she decided to emigrate rather than marry, residing in Austria for a short time before moving to Australia. There, she began working at a pharmacy and eventually started selling her homemade Velaza cream and other tinctures. She eventually opened up her own beauty salon.
art of one of the biggest cosmetics giants of the 20th century. She owed her success to the rising popularity of beauty treatments and products as women began looking for new ways to improve their complexions, fight wrinkles and battle weight gain. Her salons cropped up all over the world, particularly in the U.S. and Australia.
Rubinstein became one of the richest women in the world, boasting wardrobes full of couture clothing and fine jewelry, and the finest works of art adorning her walls.
She may have remained in the shadow of her partner Xawery Dunikowski, the world-famous sculptor, but Sara Lipska (1882-1973) was an accomplished painter, sculptor and designer in her own right.
In 1912, she emigrated to Paris, where she began designing costumes for Serge Diaghilev. She also collaborated with Jacques Rouche, director of the Opera Garnier, at the start of the 1920s, to create the set design for Arthur Honnegger’s Songs, a show that proved incredibly successful and contributed to her rise in popularity. Lipska received more and more commissions, while also launching her own textile designs and clothing collection. She opened up her own boutique towards the end of the 1920s along Rue Belloni in Montparnasse. In 1934, she moved her shop to the Avenue des Champs-Elysees (where it operated until 1939). Her most illustrious clients included Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Ałła Nazimowa, Cecile Sorel, the Marquise Luisa Casati, Ganna Walska, Antoni Cierplikowski and also Helena Rubinstein, with whom she shared a particularly close friendship.
Sara Lipska’s set and costume design for the 1922 operetta Anabella at the Femina Theatre were produced at the Maison Myrbor.
She often collaborated with the famed fashion house, and with the illustrious Paul Poiret.