He is perhaps one of the greatest personalities in the field of hairdressing and sculpture of the 20th century, as in his hands trusted their hair Maria Callas, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Soraya, Martine Carole, Catherine Deneuve, the Melina Merkouri and thousands of other divas and stars of the last century. He was ambassador of Greece abroad and in the international jet set for many years and until today everyone remembers Karolos Kampelopoulos as the Greek that once, thanks to the tenacity and courage, managed to overcomein the professional arena every other colleague.
Panagiotis Kampelopoulos , born in Cairo, Egypt in 1931. Second son of Greek parents, Chris, originating from Heraklion Crete and mother Anastasia, from Smyrna.
Karolos enjoyed brushing his grandmother’s hair giving her different styles just at the age of five. His grandmother, Constantine, is a defining presence in his fate. Basically, she grew him up and educated him. Even the name Panagiotis gave him in honor of her son, a monk on Mount Athos. Himself mentions a little story: "The tradition in the first bath of the newborn thrown into the water together with a a little salt and a sugar to give the infant wisdom and sweetness. Holding the newborn Karolos his grandmother threw the whole portion of the sugar-box in his grandson's bath". And he wonders - "Maybe that's why I'm so sweet".
In Cairo Karolos attends a French School. There he learns to speak seven languages. French, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Greek. Grows in a comfortable environment. But at 14 years of his life overturned - his father loses his entire fortune. Then he needs to work. So he decides to become a hairdresser. He excels very quickly.
At the age of 20 is becoming a successful hairdresser in Egypt, but despite his excellent professional status he is in a constant quest. His dream is to go to Paris for higher studies in hairdressing and so decides to leave Cairo in 1951. During his attendance reveals in Paris his talent, and give it his degree only in 15 days. So having more time ahead for him starts visiting the museums and becoming acquainted with Paris.
Longs to experience the French culture, to visit all the major museums, admire the works of famous artists. There, in Paris, will stay over fifty years. Thus, these two cities, first in Cairo and then in Paris, capital of Art and Letters, influenced and shaped the man Karolos in the years of his creations.
In Paris he developed into a talented hairdresser, a significant creator, an artist. With tenacity, intelligence, and the demons flowing in his blood as a Greek, he manages to become famous and to overcome the professional arena any other colleague. The arts, particularly sculpture, grab his attention. He is experimenting and constantly creating. He managed to become one of the greatest personalities in the field of hairdressing and sculpture in Paris in the 20th century. It is no coincidence that his life and his work has been recorded in the Encyclopedia "......." in 1996, as an excellent and artistic personality of the 20th century.
In 2007 he is becoming "Face of Europe." The image employs the international media. He becomes an ambassador of Greece abroad and the International Jet Set for many years and even until today.
The Greek Culture Foundation declares him as the first one in the list of honorary members. In Paris you will witness the greatest personalities of art and politics.
Karolos is a man with special characteristics. He is always honorable. Admires and considers virtue manners. Prefers the authentic elements in the personality of each individual and does not tolerate anything plastic and fake. He is loyal, consistent, and above all discreet friend.
Always creative, motionless and luxuriant. His philosophy is that the more work a man creates, he is not aging.
Karolos is always ready to make new things. Encourage young people. He knows, he wants to pass on. But also has got a downside – he is not forgiving.
Karolos loves reading poetry. Reads constantly literature, preferring Homer. His house has a rich library that does not stops to enrich.
With the number one has some special identification. The dates that mark him, ending in one:
Karolos has traveled a lot, all over the world. Only one party has not yet visited - despite his great desire, is the Holy Mountain in Athos. Afraid, that if he’d gone he’d stay there forever.
So at his last years, he returned to Greece, the land of his origins.