Maurice Fiorio loved The Beatles when he was a young boy living in France in the 1960s. In fact, he and his friends desperately wanted to look like the hottest new music group, with haircuts like John, Paul, Ringo and George.
“Our local barbers only knew how to give us crew cuts,” Maurice recalls, “But we wanted to look cool, with longer hair, sideburns. So my mother cut my hair, keeping it long, and my friends were so impressed that they begged her to cut their hair as well. Afterward, they were all so happy.”
It was Fiorio’s first experience with the joy of getting the right haircut. That’s when he realized the emotional impact a haircut can have on someone.
“I’d always been creative,” he says, “I painted and I liked to draw. So at 14 years old, I did an apprenticeship at a salon in France with a co-op program so I could also attend school.”
Before long, Maurice was cutting hair as a business. That is when his Aunt said to him, “You have golden hands. You really should come to North America and cut hair.” So in 1971, January 29, the young man landed in Toronto. “It was freezing cold,” he recalls, “It was a harsh winter, and there I was, wearing patent leather shoes.”
Within three days, he landed a job at a downtown salon. By 1976, he’d opened his first FIORIO Salon at Yonge and St. Clair.
Maurice’s reputation as an expert stylist continued to grow because of his unique way of cutting hair called “texturizing”. He explains it as a mixture of the softer French styles of the time and the stronger new shaped trends of Vidal Sassoon.
His “highest achievement”? On January 17, 2015, Maurice made it into the Guinness Book of World Records by creating the highest altitude haircut on land at 5,895 m (19,341 ft). The haircut was done at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. In order to achieve the record, Maurice had to perform all the necessary steps of the haircut in pre-cut, elevation, texturizing and clean-up.
As well as cutting in the salon, Maurice became known nationwide as a national spokesperson for Revlon Professional, worked in photo shoots, fashion shows, studio work, and the lifestyle TV show, CityLine. He also has been retailing his own hair care product line, the Fiorio Hair Care Collection, for over 15 years.
Passionate about cutting hair and wanting to share his skills with others, in the fall of 2000 Maurice opened a hair cutting school named the FIORIO Beauty Academy. The project was born from Maurice’s desire to contribute to the development of new talent. “I really wanted to be someone who helps others be successful as well,” he says. The FIORIO Beauty Academy recently moved to the Beaches and continues to train stylists who want to learn from Maurice and his team.
Although Maurice divides his time between Toronto and Miami, he loves the Beaches. “It’s a great community”, he says, “the location and the people are great.” He has three sons, two of them who are in the hair salon business. Many know his son Phillipe Fiorio, a stylist on CityLine who also is the manager at FIORIO Cumberland.
At 69, Maurice shows no signs of slowing down. There are now a total of eight FIORIO salons. “I’ve built up my career by being passionate, by teaching, and by learning,” he says, “and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”