BJÖRN AXÉN THE STORY
“An eccentric hairdresser, an apprentice and a will”
It is 1963 and a young Björn Axén has just welcomed the first customers to his newly opened hairdressing salon in Stockholm. Björn, taught by the legendary Monsieur Alexandre de Paris, had brought knowledge, creativity and innovation home with him from the French city of fashion. He took glamour to Sweden, raising the profile of the entire hairdressing profession. Björn Axén placed great emphasis on service, always making each customer feel as if everything revolved around them. It didn’t take long until Björn’s name was on everyone’s lips.
By 1984 Björn was well-established and could call himself Purveyor to the Court. Queen Silvia’s beautiful updos have been influential among the European courts, and Björn’s work laid the foundation for the trends that can be so clearly seen today.
The same year, Johan Hellström aged eighteen, started his apprenticeship with Björn. Johan immediately showed great talent at the salon, and was rewarded with top marks at the end of his apprenticeship, but after a while he chose to concentrate on his career in dance and musicals. The years passed and Johan and Björn only had sporadic contact.
In 1993, Björn suddenly and tragically passes away. It turns out that nine years earlier, only seven months after starting his apprenticeship with Björn, Johan had been written into the will. Twenty-seven years old and with entirely different visions for his future, Johan is suddenly the sole heir to the life’s work of legendary royal hairdresser Björn Axén. Everything is turned upside-down. People advise Johan not to take over a company which, despite its strong brand name, it is a sinking ship financially.
But Johan needed just a few seconds to decide to take on this difficult challenge, in partnership with his colleague Peter Hägelstam. After a few very tough years and a lot of hard work, they succeeded in cleaning up the company and have been able to start a new era for the Björn Axén brand.
Quality and service had always been Björn’s keywords, which Johan, Peter and their rapidly growing team have taken with them. However, Johan and Peter do not just want to keep things as they are, they want to take the company into the contemporary world and keep developing.They are now creating a values-based company on the core values of humbleness, knowledge and ambition.
Björn Axén is now Sweden’s strongest hair care brand, an unpretentious organisation that is associated with flair and luxury, as well as quality and a high level of service. Björn Axén continues to develop – both in Sweden and abroad – just as it has done for the last 50 years.