A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

 
 

Suki's | Over 45 years & thriving

 
 

IN 1972 SUKI TAKAGI MOVED TO VANCOUVER, purchased a small salon at the site of our current South Granville location and changed the future of Canadian hairdressing.

From the beginning, Suki's focus has been on strong, technical cutting, incredible colour work done by specialists  and an unwavering committment to total guest satisfaction.

 

 

Suki Takagi

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HArbin

Japanese by birth, Suki was born in 1939 into Japanese occupied Harbin, in China. A child with an unstoppable positive attitude and a driven family (her father graduated from Columbia Law School and her sister was president of the Japanese women doctors’ association.)

After the WWII Japanese surrender, six-year-old Suki was temporarily placed in a wartime Russian Orthodox orphanage for her safety, before the family was repatriated to Japan.

It wasn’t until much later that she learned from her older sister that the orphanage wasn’t an “exclusive Russian boarding school.
— Quoting Suki Takagi, Vancouver Sun
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LOS ANGELES 

1960s - Suki moved to Beverly Hills on a student visa. She studied at a beauty school on a scholarship finishing first in her class of 300.

She worked with Gene Shacove, hairdresser to Elizabeth Taylor and best man at Vidal Sassoon’s wedding.

 Photo: http://dressala.com/ala/2461-1960-mini-skirts/

Photo: http://dressala.com/ala/2461-1960-mini-skirts/

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VANCOUVER

1972 - Suki and her husband, a Japanese entrepreneur, moved to Vancouver where she bought an existing 700 square-foot business at 3157 Granville Street at 16th Avenue.

The salon’s staff — four men — promptly quit because they didn’t want to work for a Japanese woman. The local Shaughnessy clientele initially shunned the young Japanese hairdresser, but that changed over time.

After Suki's divorce, the salon's landlord refused to renew her lease because, he felt the salon would fail. Because of this, she was forced to move the salon two blocks away.

 

1972 | Suki Builds The Business

 

1972 focusing on the cut and creating exciting, easy to maintain hairstyles, Suki's quickly became "the must see" salon. 

 
 

Imagine yourself in 1972

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Sapporo, Japan

The Munich Olympics has a terrorist attack

Earthquakes rage in Nicaragua, Turkey and Iraq

Antiwar demonstrations draw 100,000 demonstrators in US cities 

The Dow Jones closes above 1000 (for the first time in history)

Atari kicks off the video games release of PONG 

It's the beginning of the Watergate Scandal

Suki opens her first salon

Life in 1972

The average cost of new house is $27,550.00

The average income per year is $11,800.00

The Volkswagen Beetle becomes the most popular car ever sold

The Salon was quite literally built one client at a time, through client recommendations or people stopping clients on the street to compliment them on their hairstyle and ask ‘who did your hair?’
— Bill Moreland, Suki's Operations Manager
 

Photos are credited to The Background / Vancouver Project, 1972http://www.michaeldecourcy.com/background-vancouver/index.htm

 1972 Fashion | credit http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1972.html  THE COST OF FASHION: Roxanne Ladies Swimsuit $30.00, Kodak Pocket $28.00, Wrangler Jeans $12.00, Ladies Timex Watch from $30.00, Ladies Stylish, Over the Knee Boot $22.97, Ladies Deirdra Wig $20.00, Ladies Front Slit Dress $18.00

1972 Fashion | credit http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1972.html

THE COST OF FASHION: Roxanne Ladies Swimsuit $30.00, Kodak Pocket $28.00, Wrangler Jeans $12.00, Ladies Timex Watch from $30.00, Ladies Stylish, Over the Knee Boot $22.97, Ladies Deirdra Wig $20.00, Ladies Front Slit Dress $18.00

Suki quickly learned her Beverly Hills coiffures would not do in the damp Vancouver weather and adopted Vidal Sassoon’s sleek, precision cut, wash-and-wear styles to bring the London trend here. She borrowed from the bank to send all of her hairdressers to London for training with Sassoon.

The audacity came from an unrelenting “passion, tenacity and a tremendous desire to be the best,” both technically and in servicing clients.
— Jenny Lee, VANCOUVER SUN 12.21.2012
 
 
 

1978 | Education is Brought Home

In 1978 the Suki's Advanced Academy was founded to train our growing staff

 
 
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There are things you have to give up [to work for me] like a date, a party ... I demand. I do,” she laughed. “I’m a demanding person.
— quoting Suki Takagi, Vancouver sun
 

Growing interest meant a need to train more stylists in precision cutting techniques.

In 1978 she hired Vivienne Mackender from Vidal Sassoon, to found the Suki's Academy and become the company's first Artistic Director and Director of Education.

To date the Suki’s Academy attracts international students and is considered one of the finest training facilities in the world.

Suki’s academy has trained 1,000 people over 45 years

 

 

 

 
 
 Photo: https://www.arthurerickson.com

Photo: https://www.arthurerickson.com

1986 | Arthur Erickson Designs Suki's South Granville

It must have been a moment of pure pride when Suki returned to the site of her first salon in 1972 and purchased the space. Her decision to employ celebrated architect Arthur Erickson makes Suki's South Granville Salon an iconic Vancouver landmark. 

Erickson took a restrictive long, narrow (27' X 120') vertical space to produce a fresh and airy, 3 floor, 7,000 square foot building designed to house the growing salon and Academy.

The signature exposed concrete walls, towering sheets of glass and double-faced mirrors, designed with Francisco Kripacz, are a reminder of Suki's dedication to original design.

 

 

A member of Intercoiffure, the hair industry’s most prestigious association, Suki has received numerous industry and civic awards and honours

 
 
 

Leading Expectations for the business of Hair since 1972

Suki's was the first salon in Canada to introduce the concept of using highly-trained specialists for all colour and technical services.

First to bring technical cutting to the West Coast of Canada.


Suki was a role model to many of us that started our salons. We would truly try to meet her standards as best as we could.
— Foster Eastman, owner Axis Hair Salon Chain

 

Since 1979 Hairshows

In 1979, Suki assembled the first Canadian team to participate internationally in major hair shows. The first was the prestigious Orovision Hair Show at London’s Wembley Stadium where she boldly asked to be positioned immediately before or after the Sassoon team, a position other teams tried to avoid so they wouldn't be directly compared to the vaunted Sassoon team. The Suki's team received a standing ovation for their appearance.

Since then the company has appeared at shows throughout North America and intentionally, including the world hair championships, the ABA, the ISSE and The Alternative Hair Shows, among others.

 
 

Training & Apprenticeships

With rare exception, Suki’s Stylists and Colour Designers start with the company as Apprentices, complete the Suki’s Academy, and pass a demanding final exam that includes presenting 15 models.
 

 
 

Ken (Suki's son) continues as President

Ken asked Michelle Harrison (now General Manager) to change the Academy’s linear teaching approach to accommodate the needs and learning styles of today's younger generation.
 

In 2014, he gave all stylists and colour designers membership in BeautyCouncil, Western Canada's trade association.


Ken, emphasizes, as does his mother, that guests and hairdressers must be viewed first as individuals.
— Vancouver Sun, 2012

 
 
 

2012 | Suki's Socials

 

Suki's was built on family, and family supports each other. Suki's 45+ years of industry contacts are brought together to provide education and lifestyle seminars for industry professionals in a continuing commitment to improve the industry. Admission is by donation which primarily support the fight of cancers of the blood.

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2016 | AWARDS & RECOGNITION

New York. In front of her peers, her staff and unarguably a generation of hairstylists that were inspired by her determination and her positive attitude, Suki received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Intercoiffure North America.

This award has been given to: Michael Kluthe, Paula Kent Meehan, Founder of Redken, Roy Peters, Paula Kent Meehan, 

 

More --> 

 

Today, the Suki’s vision continues to grow – and to set ever more elevated standards in the beauty industry.

 
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Suki's In The News
(click image to read the article from it's Source)

 BC Living | by  Safeeya Pirani  March 6th, 2018  FEATURING: Award-winning stylist Vicky Han from Suki’s Salons

BC Living | by Safeeya Pirani March 6th, 2018

FEATURING: Award-winning stylist Vicky Han from Suki’s Salons

  Huffingon Post |  Sacha DeVoretz , Lifestyle and Luxury Travel Blogger April  25,  'Hot Hair Colours For Spring'

 Huffingon Post | Sacha DeVoretz, Lifestyle and Luxury Travel Blogger April  25, 
'Hot Hair Colours For Spring'

 CBC Arts | Leah Collins · CBC Arts · April 20, 2016 '8 Canadian locations you might see on Game of Thrones'

CBC Arts | Leah Collins · CBC Arts · April 20, 2016
'8 Canadian locations you might see on Game of Thrones'

 VANCOUVER SUN | JENNY LEE,  Dec. 12, .2012 'Vancouver celebrates style: Suki's Hair Salon turns 40'

VANCOUVER SUN | JENNY LEE,  Dec. 12, .2012
'Vancouver celebrates style: Suki's Hair Salon turns 40'

 METRO LIVING ZINE | SEPTEMBER 8, 2016  'Shine! 2016 Spotlight – Suki’s Salon, Spa and Academy'

METRO LIVING ZINE | SEPTEMBER 8, 2016

'Shine! 2016 Spotlight – Suki’s Salon, Spa and Academy'

 SIDEWALKRUNWAY.COM  | Nov, 13th, 2013  'Kerastase Hair Show at Suki’s'

SIDEWALKRUNWAY.COM  | Nov, 13th, 2013

'Kerastase Hair Show at Suki’s'

 MONTREAL GAZETTE | Dec. 12, 2012 Photos: Suki's hair salon styles over the years

MONTREAL GAZETTE | Dec. 12, 2012
Photos: Suki's hair salon styles over the years

 Salon Magazine |  Veronica Boodhan, 17 Nov. 2016 'Intercoiffure Honours Suki Takagi'

Salon Magazine |  Veronica Boodhan, 17 Nov. 2016
'Intercoiffure Honours Suki Takagi'

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