14 June 2021

Coiffure Legendaire: the story of the Carita sisters

The name Carita has become a synonym of top hairdressing. The name Carita became known as the signature hairdressers of major luxury and prestige in Europe.

This is the fascinating story of Rosy and Mary Carita, two sisters that although many people thought were French, actually came from the town of Salardu in la Vall d’Aran, Spain. From there they set off in the mid-1930s – fleeing war and poverty, heading in the direction of Toulouse, where they soon managed to open their own salon. Thanks to their talent and great ambition, as well as their vision of a luxury hair salon, that cared for all of the smallest details. Their fame started to grow, and in 1943 they decided to move to Paris, where after two years they opened their first salon there, they had to conquer the world capital of fashion.

They became the face as the ‘grand maison’ of top hairdressing, prevailing in Europe between 1950 and 1970. In those three decades, and from its legendary headquarters in rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Carita built a clientele list with the highest of European society of the era. There were Queens, princesses, and ladies of high nobility, as well as the great actresses and singers of the time such as Catherine Deneuve, Mireille Mathieu, Sylvie Vartan and Isabelle Adjani, among many others.

The Carita sisters were the first who were the first hair salon able to see, that behind the hair hides a face, a look, a woman… and knew how to combine all the elements needed to “create beauty” and really understood that as a global concept, something that later exported to Milan, Madrid, Barcelona and Rome. This is how the Maison of Beauty became the soul of the beauty of luxury in Europe. The sisters launched facial cosmetics, makeup, hair care products… In their Parisian salon, they occupied an entire building on the rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and offered hair and nail services.

The Carita sisters really opened the world of women in hairdressing – until then this profession was considered reserved to men, the sisters formed numerous hairdressers and are real champions for helping this transition of change. However, their best-known students were men like Jean Marc Maniatis or Raffel Pages, who were shaped in the school by the Carita philosophy. Raffel Pages that was ‘recruited’ at the age of 17 by Rosy Carita and went to Paris with her to discover a way of understanding the profession that would change his life forever. Raffel Pages biggest tribute to his teacher Rosy is all the documentation and treasures of the Carita sisters in his Museum of History of Hairdressing.

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