Its roots date from 1912, when a group of German hairdressers organized the “Internationale Gesellschaft der Damen-Coiffeure,” (IGDC). In April 1925, this German association was transformed into an international association with the addition of Swiss and English members at the first World Congress in Hamburg, Germany.
After the end of the war, the association moved its headquarters to Paris, reflecting that city’s post-war stature as the capital of the hairdressing world. During the first World Conference in 1925, the founders of what would grow into Intercoiffure Mondial adopted the pentagram or five-pointed star as its symbol. This iconic image represents Intercoiffure’s core values of honesty, reason, justice, reconciliation and diligence. The most basic prerequisite of membership has always been that an Intercoiffure member must be a salon owner of high moral and ethical character. Over time, the formal principles on which Intercoiffure is based have evolved to include fraternity, friendship, fashion and finance. These principles reveal the true benefit of membership—besides the cachet of belonging to the industry’s elite, members may count on the open sharing of knowledge and experience with their fellows.
In 1933, four young men in America pooled their resources to seek admission to the IGDC. Adolf Beicker of Philadelphia, Carl Griesser of Baltimore, Victor Herre of New York, and Emil Ludiche, also of New York, sought recognition for their talent from the European masters. That summer, they were granted membership and became the founding fathers of Intercoiffure America Canada.
The battle for inclusion was won, but the war for total acceptance continued until 1960, when Adolf Beicker assumed the presidency following Carl Griesser’s last presidential term. As president, Adolf Beicker doubled the membership in two years (from 55 to 110 members), introduced semi-annual meetings, publicized the association’s accomplishments, and built Intercoiffure America Canada into what is now one of the most influential sections of the world organization.
A new milestone was reached in 2007 with the election of ICA’s first woman president—Lois Christie of New York. As president, Ms. Christie has revitalized ICA’s events, launched the prestigious Haircolor Council and Makeup Council, and increased membership. In the spirit of ICA’s founders, the association welcomes talented, successful salon owners of high moral and ethical character to its ranks, to share the friendship, knowledge and creativity that have characterized Intercoiffure since its earliest days.