Feres Trabilsie, a giant of the South Australian and national hairdressing landscape, has sadly passed away. We remember his inimitable legacy over decades spent teaching, innovating and creating in the community.
Between his salon, media persona and reputation in the hairdressing industry, Feres Trabilsie was a dearly beloved and renowned figure in the wider hairdressing community, making a mark on the Australian hairdressing scene after moving from Lebanon as a child. His father’s career as a barbershop owner started his love of the industry early, moving him from an early career in printing (where, perhaps fortuitously, he was actually allergic to the ink) to the industry he would happily call home for the rest of his life – and in turn becoming a true gift to the industry itself.
Feres started as an apprentice in his father’s salon and then went on to study women’s hairdressing, igniting his passion for the creativity, innovation and dynamism possible in this sphere. Throughout the 1950s to 1970s, Feres took this passion and built on it, proving himself as a true pioneer and innovator in hair. Feres and his wife Patricia travelled globally, including to Europe, the United States, United Kingdom and Asia to grow his international impact. He owned salons around the country, as well as in Hong Kong and, proudly, was one of the very few hairdressers in the world to be presented with a bound copy of the works of French legend, Guillaume. This spoke to the highly renowned nature of his global reputation.
Taking his passion and knowledge to the wider hair community, Feres partnered with brands such as Delva and L’Oréal as an educator, presenter and innovator. He developed new hair trends, such as his famous Lioness Look, and expanded his salon into a mutli-faceted hair and beauty compound. The space included a beauty salon, men’s hairdresser, wig shop and dedicated perming, colour and styling sections. Continuing on the family tradition, his sons Feres Junior and Christopher joined him in the business in the 1980s.
Recently Feres pioneered what he titled the ‘Feres Trabilsie’s Way’ or ‘The New Wave Concept’, an innovation in cutting and styling techniques, made to increase salon profitability with feminine, wearable looks for salons to create. These styles were made to sustain durable hair looks and inform natural, balanced colour services, further boosting the salon menu and salon revenue. Feres had created the ‘Innovative Consultancy Presentation’, which contained decades of his experience and knowledge in the hairdressing industry, to present to the community for the good of the future of salon business at large.
More personally, Feres was driven by his large family, religious faith and love of gardening, which he partook in particularly during his well-earned retirement. He was loved and celebrated by five children, Ann, Kerri, Feres Junior, Christopher and Bernadette, sixteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, as well as his wife Patricia. They, and the industry, will miss him deeply, and continue to share his work, legacy and anecdotes so that his memory thrives within his family, the industry and beyond. INSTYLE sends them our deepest condolences, as we farewell this important figure in the hairdressing world. Rest in peace, Feres Trabilsie.
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