Hannes Richter

In Memoriam: Horst Rechelbacher

Hannes Richter

Horst Rechelbacher, founder of the renowned beauty brand Aveda, has died at the age of 72 at his home in Osceola, Wisconsin. The succesful Austrian, who dedicated his life to beauty and wel-lbeing, was also the founder and chairman of the Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to social and environmental preservation projects.

Horst Rechelbacher was born in the Austrian city of Klagenfurt in 1941. Already at a young age he discovered his passion for beauty, wellness and well-being.  At age fourteen, he embarked on a three-year apprenticeship in the beauty and salon industry followed by extensive travels through Europe as part of the European hairstyling circuit. During a visit to the U.S. in 1964, where Rechelbacher was holding seminars across the Midwest, he sustained serious injuries in a car accident, which subsequently prompted him to open his first beauty salon “Horst of Austria” in 1965. Rechelbacher was deeply committed to standards of excellence for salons and stylists alike insisting on exemplary execution from product to service. He went on to open five more salons over the next eleven years under the name Horst and Friends and a Horst Education Center for cosmetology, esthiology and massage in 1977. A journey to India, where Rechelbacher studied the tradition of yoga and meditation, eventually inspired him to create the globally successful plant-based beauty company Aveda. Rechelbacher was also the founder and chairman of the Horst M. Rechelbacher Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to social and environmental preservation projects that operate on a grass-roots level. In October 2009, the President of Austria awarded Horst Rechelbacher the "Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria.” He died at the age of 72 at his home in Osceola, Wisconsin.