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Smiling Nicky Clarke looks relaxed in a pair of joggers and a hoody in London

Nicky Clarke looked very different from his usual stylish self as he ran some errands in north London on Monday.

The 63-year-old swapped out his signature smart, country-style men’s look with black joggers and hoodie, while teaming the casual look with a pair of socks and flip flops.

The outing comes after Nicky, who is better known as Britain’s most famous hairstylist, was forced to close his flagship Mayfair salon in April after more than 30 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Casual: Nicky Clarke looked very different from his usual stylish self as he ran errands on Monday in relaxed sweatpants with socks and flip flops in north London

Casual: Nicky Clarke looked very different from his usual stylish self as he ran errands on Monday in relaxed sweatpants with socks and flip flops in north London

The award-winning hair colorist, whose clients included Princess Diana and the Duchess of York, looked instantly recognizable with his signature, effortlessly styled strawberry blonde mane.

Smiling Nicky looked cheerful on the day as he made his way through the English capital, hitting some deadlines.

It comes after the hairdresser left staff in his salon opposite the Connaught hotel in April when he informed them “with great regret” that he would be closing immediately.

Nicky achieved huge success when his salon turned into an empire worth an estimated £60 million

Slim: Nicky achieved huge success as his salon turned into an empire worth an estimated £60 million (pictured in 2016)

“This prestigious salon has been in Mayfair for over 30 years and has been a big part of our lives, both personally and professionally,” said Nicky.

“However, the last two years have been the toughest we’ve been through, with Covid-enforced prolonged closures, rising rates and overheads making the salon unsustainable economically.”

Nicky, whose business empire was reportedly worth £60m before Covid hit, added: “This was not an easy decision to make, we spent months exploring alternative solutions to keep the salon going but unfortunately these have not come to fruition.

“All affected employees will be paid in full and all our obligations to them met. We are incredibly grateful for the dedication and hard work of all employees.”

Tough times: Nicky announced in April that he was closing his iconic Mayfair hairdressers in west London, which helped the hairdresser achieve fame after mounting pressure from Covid-19

Tough times: Nicky announced in April that he was closing his iconic Mayfair hairdressers in west London, which helped the hairdresser achieve fame after mounting pressure from Covid-19

A haircut with Nicky, whose hands were once insured for £1 million, cost £650. On one occasion, he was booked by L’Oréal to style movie star Isabella Rossellini’s hair. ‘I’ve blow-dried three times for £12,000,’ he explained.

He set up the business with long-term girlfriend, Lesley Clarke, 68, thanks to a £20,000 loan. But the couple, who have two grown children, split after Nicky had an affair with Susie Bick, a Vivienne Westwood model.

However, they continued as business partners. Lesley told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s heartbreaking. I am very sad. It’s something I never thought would happen, but the pandemic took its toll on us.

Friends of Fame: Fergie cuts the ribbon as hairdresser Nicky Clarke lends a hand at the royal opening of his Mayfair hair salon (photo December 2021)

Friends of Fame: Fergie cuts the ribbon as hairdresser Nicky Clarke lends a hand at the royal opening of his Mayfair hair salon (photo December 2021)

“The lack of visitors in Mayfair, the rents, the fares, no travel because we have a lot of international customers. Mayfair is no longer a residential area – we couldn’t even rely on passing trade. It was a joint decision.

“We’ve tried really hard to keep it going and we’ve both put our own money into it. It’s like losing a child. The staff is like a family.’

Growing up in a London flat, Nicky received an OBE in 2008 and was the first crimper to appear in Who’s Who.

He says he is determined to keep his Birmingham salon open, as well as his power hair tool business. Last year, he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children.

They met 12 years ago when Kelly was a stylist at his salon. He admitted that he found an older father a challenge, saying, “I should be driving Ferraris, not changing diapers, and getting up at six in the morning.”

Lucky: Last year he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children.  They met 12 years ago when Kelly was a stylist at his salon

Lucky: Last year, he married fashion designer Kelly Simpkin, 40, with whom he has two young children. They met 12 years ago when Kelly was a stylist at his salon

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