Being asked to cut one of the most iconic hairstyles in the fashion world should be any salon owner’s dream come true.
But given the fact that this particular hairstyle belongs to arguably the most famous editor of all time, Anna Wintour, you can forgive York hairdresser Sarah Cotton for being more than a little nervous.
Ms Wintour, editor of US Vogue, is coming to the city next week to attend the Northern Youth Fashion Show, run by her niece Ellie, a student at York University.
And when her team were looking for someone to style Ms Wintour for the event, they came across Sarah’s salon, Bang Hair, which has two branches in the city.
Sarah’s husband Jon, managing director of Bang, received an email from Vogue’s publishers Conde Nast, asking if they would be able to do the hair of an unnamed client.
Jon emailed back asking for some information on the client - and the couple were stunned when they received several pictures of Anna Wintour.
Sarah, 40, said: “I thought it was a wind-up. I said to Jon ‘no - it can’t actually be her’, but when we emailed back to check, it turned out to be legitimate
“My first thought was ‘oh my goodness, what on earth am I going to wear?’
“Being asked is a real accolade, but I’m sure anyone in her presence for the first time is nervous.”
Conde Nast told the couple, who opened the first branch of Bang in 2007, that they had been specially selected after they did extensive research into York’s hairdressers.
Ms Wintour has worn her hair in a distinctive bob with a heavy fringe since she was 14, and apparently blow dries it twice a day to keep it in pristine condition.
And when mother-of-three Sarah visits her hotel room to attend to the famous hairstyle on January 29, she says it’s unlikely that she’ll be asked to give her a new look.
She said: “I don’t think Anna Wintour would want me to try anything new! And I’m not sure I’ll be making the usual hairdressing small talk about holidays and boyfriends either.
“I just want her to be pleased with the haircut.”
Ms Wintour has a reputation for being a demanding and difficult person to work for but Sarah thinks it’s all probably part of her persona. She said: “I’m sure she will be lovely. She’s very philanthropic and she’s coming all the way to York to support her niece in this event, I’m sure she’s a very nice person.”
Jon, 43, said: “They’re going to get along famously. I think in Sarah, Anna may have met her match.
“It’s just overwhelming really, and it’s a nice testament to the work we do at Bang. We must be doing something right - I’m really chuffed.”
The salon’s first branch opened in 2007 on Gillygate. Its premises later moved to High Petergate, and the team opened a new branch on the popular Bishopthorpe Road last year.
Sarah said: “Before we opened our first salon, I showed our hairdressers how to shampoo over our bathtub. If you’d have told me then that nine years later I’d be asked to do Anna Wintour’s hair, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“I don’t think I’d ask her if she wanted her hair washing over the bathtub! It’s just a dream come true.”