August 4, 2011

French Tip Tippi

Now here's a piece of modern cultural anthropology. Do you know who was the catalyst for the emergence of the Asian mani-pedi salons throughout North America? If you recognize the Hitchcock blonde from the picture above you'll know it was Tippi Hedren. Yes, Tippi Hedren, star of The Birds and Marnie, and the mother of Melanie Griffith,  is responsible for the spread of the nail-salons.

In 1975, Tippi Hedren was drawn by the plight of the Vietnamese boat people housed in the tent village of Hope City on the US West Coast. While visiting the relocation centre to see how she could help, the Vietnamese women were fascinated by Hedren's well-manicured nails. Next visit, she flew in her manicurist to teach the women the tools of the trade. Hedren's manicurist worked with a local beauty school to help the Vietnamese women find jobs. Twenty women, once teachers, government workers and business owners learned the trade. And an industry was born.

5 comments:

une femme said...

Fascinating!

At one salon I used to go to, the owner had been some sort of attaché at the American Embassy in Saigon. She was quite well educated. She made it out on one of the last helicopters in 1975. Some of the women at the salon I use now have done quite well and have kids graduating from college and grad school.

Diane said...

... one person really can make a difference...

btw, thought you might have seen Midnight in Paris (for some reason... lol)

Harija said...

Neat post - wanna follow each other?

Tess Kincaid said...

I just saw her on TCM the other night filling in for Robert Osborne. She looked fabulous.

Me said...

I remember her well.Nice post.