International Creative Director
Leonardo Rizzo has achieved more in 15 years’ of experience than most salon professionals attain in a lifetime.
He is the International Creative Director of the eight salon-strong Sanrizz group (lots of challenges) and looks after a burgeoning clientele in the company’s Guildford salon (which he also manages). He has the demanding role of being Indola’s Global Ambassador (lots of travelling) and still manages to find time to enjoy life in the heart of his family with wife Lucy and baby daughter Amelina, who will be joined by a baby brother or sister before the year’s out.
Of course being born into a hairdressing dynasty and being exposed to the hairdressing world from as early as he can remember has given Leonardo firm foundations for such success. His father is Tony Rizzo, one of the UK’s best loved hairdressing personalities and the legend behind the Alternative Hair Show
“I wanted to be a hairdresser from as early as I can recall,” says Leonardo. “Being surrounded by the business from being a toddler made me incredibly comfortable in the salon environment – it’s like my second home.
“I was 14 or 15 when I started working as a Saturday boy in our Knightsbridge salon, going on to be trained by Sharon Cox, now our International Education Director. My dad did teach me, but it was Sharon, Deco and Tina who taught me mostly.”
And hairdressing wasn’t Leonardo’s only study; while training to be a hairdresser he was simultaneously doing a Business and Spanish degree course at Queen Mary’s University in London. “It was a four-year course and I fitted in my hairdressing training on weekends, high days and holidays alongside doing my degree,” explains Leonardo, clearly not shy of hard work and dedication.
Blessed with a good ear for languages, Leonardo speaks fluent Italian and Spanish with fluent French not far behind. It’s a gift much appreciated by the international audiences Leonardo presents to many times a year as he speaks to them in their own tongue. “Luckily for me I spent a long, hot summer working and training in Spain alongside the famous Luis Llongueras,” says Leonardo. “Apart from perfecting my Spanish, it gave me a fantastic insight to a very different way of working with hair.”
Admitting to cutting as his forte (proven by his ever-lengthening and very loyal client list) Leonardo also loves to let his creativity run riot with avant-garde work – a passion which comes into its own when preparing Sanrizz Alternative Hair Show models. His skill in this complex area of specialist work is confirmed by Leonardo twice being a finalist in the avant-garde category of the British Hairdressing Awards.
“I’m responsible for all the imagery and international work. We do our photo shoots in Hamburg and I’ve travelled to China and across the whole of Europe – Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and the UK of course – to present stage shows, seminars and hands-on teaching.”
So does this super-busy and hugely personable professional have any hobbies? “Not really – no time! Music is a passion and I love football, although I’m a depressed Arsenal fan at the moment,” says Leonardo. And his long term goal? “To be recognised in our industry as someone who stands out would be nice,” he says. “To be known as a man who made a difference would be even better.”