Nicky Clarke, 63, swaps his trademark dapper country gent look for relaxed joggers with socks and sliders after being forced to shut his Mayfair salon after 30 years due to Covid
Nicky Clarke looked a far cry from his usual stylish self as he ran some errands in North London on Monday.
The 63-year-old swapped his trademark dapper country gent look wearing a pair of black joggers and hoodie while teaming the casual look with a pair socks and sliders.
The outing comes after Nicky, who is better known as Britain’s most famous hair stylist was forced to close his flagship Mayfair salon after more than 30 years in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Casual: Nicky Clarke looked a far cry from his usual stylish self as he ran some errands wearing a pair of relaxed joggers with socks and sliders in North London on Monday
The award winning hair colourist, whose clients have included Princess Diana and the Duchess of York looked instantly recognisable with his signature his strawberry blonde mane styled effortlessly.
Smiling Nicky looked in great spirits on day as he made his way about the English capital meeting some deadlines.
It comes after the coiffeur left staff at his salon opposite the Connaught hotel devastated in April when he informed them ‘with great regret’ he was shutting immediately.
Savvy: Nicky achieved huge success as his salon transformed into an empire worth a reported £60m (pictured in 2016)
‘This prestigious salon has been in Mayfair for over 30 years and has been a huge part of our lives, both personally and professionally,’ Nicky said.
‘However, the last two years have been the toughest we have experienced, with Covid-enforced, long-term closures, rising rates and overheads making the salon no longer economically sustainable.’
Nicky, whose business empire was said to be worth £60million before Covid struck, added: ‘This was not an easy decision to make, we have spent months exploring alternative solutions to keep the salon in business but unfortunately these have not come to fruition.
‘All staff impacted will be paid fully and all our obligations to them fulfilled. We’re incredibly grateful to the dedication and hard work of every single member of staff.’
Tough times: Nicky announced in April that he was to close his iconic Mayfair hairdressers in West London that helped propel the hair stylist to fame after building pressure from Covid-19
A haircut with Nicky, whose hands were once insured for £1million, costs £650. On one occasion, he was booked by L’Oreal to style film star Isabella Rossellini’s hair. ‘I did three blow-dries for £12,000,’ he explained.
He founded the business with long-term girlfriend, Lesley Clarke, 68, thanks to a £20,000 loan. But the pair, who have two grown-up children, split up after Nicky had an affair with Susie Bick, a Vivienne Westwood model.
However, they continued as business partners. Lesley told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s heart-breaking. I’m really sad. It’s something I never thought would happen, but the pandemic took its toll on us.
Famous friends: Fergie cuts the ribbon as hairdresser Nicky Clarke lends a helping hand at the Royal opening of his Mayfair hairdressing salon (pictured December 2021)
‘The lack of footfall in Mayfair, the rents, the rates, no travel because we have a lot of international clients. Mayfair isn’t a residential area any more – we couldn’t even rely on passing trade. It was a joint decision.
‘We tried very hard to keep it going and we both put our own money in. It’s like losing a child. The staff are like a family.’
Nicky, who was raised in a London council flat, received an OBE in 2008 and was the first crimper to appear in Who’s Who.
He says he’s committed to keeping his salon in Birmingham open, as well as his electrical hair tools business. Last year, he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children.
They met 12 years ago when Kelly was a stylist in his salon. He admitted to finding being an older father challenging, saying: ‘I should be driving Ferraris, not changing nappies and getting up at six in the morning.’
Happy: ast year, he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children. They met 12 years ago when Kelly was a stylist in his salon