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London celebrity hairstylist Nicky Clarke forced to close salon post Covid: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

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A celebrity Mayfair hairstylist has had to close its salon after 30 years due to the Covid pandemic.

Nicky Clarke – whose clients have included Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher and David Bowie – told salon staff on Monday with “great regret” that he was closing immediately.

The company said the combination of the Covid pandemic, the drop in Mayfair transit trade and rising rates all contributed to the decision to close the store.

Clarke, 63, told the Daily Mail: “The last two years have been the toughest we have ever experienced with Covid-enforced, long-term closures, rising rates and overheads that make the salon no longer commercially viable.

“This was not an easy decision, we spent months looking for alternative solutions to keep the salon running, but unfortunately these have not come to fruition.

“All affected employees will be paid in full and all our obligations to them will be met. We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and hard work of each and every employee.”

A haircut at the top salon would cost £650 with his business empire being worth an estimated £60million before Covid struck.

Clarke started the business with then-long-term girlfriend Lesley Clarke, 68, on a £20,000 loan, with whom he remained a business partner.

It was opened by the Duchess of York in 1991.

Lesley told the newspaper: “It’s heartbreaking. I’m really sad. I never thought this would happen, but the pandemic has taken its toll on us. We tried very hard to keep it going and we both put our own money into it. It’s like losing a child. The staff is like family.”

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The company will continue to operate a Nicky Clarke salon in Birmingham and will manufacture a range of electric hair tools.

Clarke, who grew up in London council housing, received an OBE in 2008.

Last year he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children.

They met when Kelly was a stylist at his salon 12 years ago.

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https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/london-celebrity-hairstylist-nicky-clarke-forced-to-close-salon-after-covid-its-heartbreaking-41593192.html London celebrity hairstylist Nicky Clarke forced to close salon post Covid: ‘It’s heartbreaking’

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