On Saturday, March 21, the beauty industry (including hair care, skin care, and nail care companies, as well as schools, media partners, and more) united to posthumously honor Pivot Point International’s founder Leo Passage. The hairstylist and cosmetology school founder was an advocate for continuing education and he was selected by Beauty Changes Lives (BCL) to receive this year’s Legacy Award for revolutionizing the business of beauty education.
Passage’s wife Lenie and son Robert accepted the award on Leo Passage’s behalf. Held at the Art Institute of Chicago, the sold-out event was attended by a “who’s who” of industry and media leaders and served as the signature gala event for America’s Beauty Show (ABS). The event’s location in the museum’s “Modern Wing” paid homage to Leo Passage’s passion for the arts, particularly the Bauhaus principles of art and design that influenced his extraordinary career.
While Leo Passage delighted in the arts, he was also an extraordinary business visionary and advocate for continuing education. Throughout his career he made a point of nurturing emerging talent, never forgetting how the industry helped him upon his immigration from The Netherlands in 1958.
The convergence of art and beauty was on full display during the evening’s feature presentation “Trilogy of Beauty,” to spotlight NEXTGEN artists, the beauty industry’s future leaders. The “Trilogy of Beauty” represented the NEXTGEN’s interpretation of Street Wear, Underground and Avant Garde. NEXTGEN artists were hand-picked by established icons and mentored the NEXTGEN in their development of the “Trilogy of Beauty” collection.
Leo Passage is the third Legacy Award honoree. Previous recipients include beauty legend Vidal Sassoon and actress, humanitarian and nail industry champion Tippi Hedren. “The Legacy Award celebrates the spirit that lies at the very heart of the beauty industry,” said Lynelle Lynch, president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation. “Our industry is about so much more than art. Every day, established beauty professionals are nurturing and mentoring the next generation of leadership and no one demonstrated that generous spirit more than Leo Passage,” said Lynch.
She added that the ABS venue for the Legacy Award escalates the visibility and stature of Beauty Changes Lives. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation which awards scholarships and mentoring opportunities to aspiring and licensed beauty and wellness professionals.