Management Practices

Personal Compass: Vaughn Acord

Stacey Soble | February 17, 2015 | 8:59 AM

One of the most sought-after authorities in men’s grooming, Vaughn Acord did not find success by accident. The son of a barber, he gave his first haircut as a teenager in 1976.  After spending time as a successful model in New York, he was cast in a hair campaign for Vidal Sassoon and Trevor Sorbie in Europe, and his passion for haircutting and styling was ignited. 

Back in New York City, Acord quickly found himself behind the chair, grooming a loyal list of clients, as well as behind the scenes at photo shoots working with the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Robert Maxwell and the late Herb Ritts. Today, Acord’s client list includes some of the most well-known names in the world—Bruce Springsteen, Richard Gere, Daniel Day-Lewis, President Bill Clinton, Ashton Kutcher and Al Pacino, and his work has strutted runways for top designers, including Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, and Isaac Mizrahi.

Owner of the salon Mizu, with bustling locations in New York and Boston, Acord followed his desire for classic men’s grooming products and launched V76, named for the year he first cut hair. A husband, father and also a drummer and musician, Acord embraces all his talents simultaneously. Friendly, approachable, bright and genuine, Acord is a guy who still has his feet on the ground, despite the success that surrounds him.

What time is your alarm set to wake you up in the morning?

Acord: “Just before 6:00 a.m.”

What’s for breakfast?

Acord: “Nespresso.”

First item you like to cross off of your list?

Acord: “A good stretch.”

Which do you check first: email, Facebook, Twitter, or voicemail?

Acord: “I check all email accounts—there are three.”

What time do you go in to the salon?

Acord: “On average, I get to the salon around 10:00 a.m. after a long commute, and am there at least 4-5 days a week.”

What’s for lunch?

Acord: “When I have the luxury of eating lunch, it can be sushi, soup or a salad.  I do graze on healthy snacks.  Love nuts.  And lots of water all day.”

Who do you wish you could have lunch with?

Acord: “I wish I could have lunch with my mother.  She's not with us any longer so...Hmmm, not easy. Perhaps The Dalai Lama.”

Tell me something that would surprise me about you.

Acord: “I’ve been playing drums and percussion since I was 5.  I was on Star Search!”

Daily fitness ritual?

Acord: “My daily ritual of fitness would have to be walking as much as I do.  I’m on my feet all the time.  A few days a week I lift and spin.  I also love swimming whenever I get the chance.”

Biggest waste of time on a daily basis?

Acord: “Commuting is my biggest waste of time.  I try and make the most of it, though.  I spend a lot of time thinking of new ideas or just reflecting and resting while listening to music.”

When do you get your best ideas?

Acord: “I get many ideas while traveling.”

Cat, dog, both, or something else?  

Acord: “Dog.  Pugs.  Always.”

What’s for dinner?

Acord: “Kale Salad with toasted almonds and some chicken tonight!”

Do you cook, and what’s your favorite meal?

Acord: “I love to cook.  Fish!”

How do you unwind?  

Acord: “A Martini.  Family.  Friends.  Jamming.”

What time do you go to sleep? Do you sleep well?

Acord: “I fall asleep around 10 or 11 p.m. these days.  I don’t sleep as much as I would like!”

What do you love about your life?

Acord: “All of the opportunities.”

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