Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hairdresser's Heiress; America's Top Crimper and One of Its Richest Women Are an Item. James Langton Reports

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hairdresser's Heiress; America's Top Crimper and One of Its Richest Women Are an Item. James Langton Reports

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES LANGTON

Ms Johnson has a well-earned reputation as a good-time girl who has been known to take a MiG-29 fighter out for a spin IT is said that Frederic Fekkai literally has some of the most beautiful and powerful women at his fingertips. Spin the French-born hairdresser's Rolodex and names such as Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Kim Basinger and Hillary Clinton flicker past your eyes. Oozing Gallic charm, and with penetrating chestnut eyes peering from under a thick lick of raven hair, Fekkai demonstrates that there may be nothing more dangerous than a handsome Frenchman armed with a pair of scissors His fans are undeterred by a four-month waiting list and a bill that might easily run to $500 ([pound]360). "There's just something about him," gushes one respectable mother of three.

"He makes you think, even just for a few minutes, that you are the only woman in the world."

Imagine, then, the shock wave along the washbasins when the New York gossip columns reported that Fekkai has a new woman in his life. An older woman, no less; a society heiress with a fortune estimated at well over $1 billion.

His new love is Libet Johnson, 50, whose fortune comes from the family pharmaceutical company that gave the world the Band-Aid. The first sign that Libet had fallen under the Fekkai spell was her newly tousled blonde locks.

Not long after, she was seen in public on the arm of her new amour. It is a coup that would have left even Warren Beatty in Shampoo breathless with admiration.

While hardly a household name, Ms Johnson is one of the richest women in the world, with a well deserved reputation for enjoying her fortune.

In December, it emerged she was selling her 20,000 sq ft apartment in the Trump Tower for a record $62.3 million to buy a snug Upper East Side town house as a love nest with her new boyfriend. Despite the recent attention, the couple have been an item for almost a year. To have lasted so long is a major achievement in itself for Fekkai. Ignore the childish corruption of her first name.

Elizabeth "Libet" Johnson is quietly one of Manhattan's most voracious man-eaters. In her youth she enjoyed a passionate affair with a French chauffeur from the Ritz Hotel, followed by the Flashdance star Michael Nouri and the power-balladeer Michael Bolton.

In between, there have been five husbands and four children. Each spouse is reported to have got a seven-figure settlement.

Not that Fekkai could even be remotely described as a gold-digger. With salons above the Chanel building in New York and in Los Angeles, the 42-year-old has celebrities from Sigourney Weaver to Meryl Streep queuing at the door.

It was inevitable that Libet Johnson would find herself drawn to such company.

Fekkai's star has gleamed ever brighter since he first worked for fellow countryman Jacques Dessange at his Manhattan salon back in the early 1980s. …

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