Hersheson told Vogue how modern day salon should look like as he showed them around the brand new 5,000-square-foot Hershesons space on Fitzrovia’s Berners Street.
He spent the last year working on it alongside design house GP Studios and architect Racheline Michaels. However, it is a space rather than a salon – the latter would certainly feel too simplistic a word to describe the full-circle beauty experience now on offer.
According to what he told Vogue, ‘’we wanted to challenge the idea of what a salon is. Most of them look the same and behave in the same way – it’s essentially just rows and rows of chairs with bad lighting. The idea with this new space was to question everything.”
Hersheson Sees Hair As His Forte
Hair is, of course, Hershesons’s forte, which is why the brand has called upon its contemporaries in other areas of the beauty industry for the additional services on offer.
He Describes The Salon
To your right as you step through the vast front door, bathed in the bright natural light which pours in through the broad glass frontage of the space, are areas dedicated to Suman Brows, The Light Salon and DryBy, the Mortimer Street nail salon which is perennially booked out for its subtle nail art and Shellac manis and pedis. Skin treatments by Dr. Barbara Sturm and – in something of a global coup – Sunday Riley are housed in quiet, private rooms off the spacious hair area towards the back of the salon, and waxing and laser hair removal is coming soon from Ministry Of Waxing.
“We asked ourselves, what do people not like about going to get their hair done? And we’ve tried to tackle every one of those things, one by one”
“We wanted to bring in other brands that are really great at what they do. So leave the hair to us because that’s what we do so well. But then it was about finding other brands that are owner-run businesses that clients will want to visit in their own right, not just as add-ons.”
Giving His Clients Some Treat
Hersheson explains. “So if you want to have a manicure at the same time as a blow-dry then you can do that. Or maybe you just want your brows done. Or just come for a coffee.”
Ah yes, the coffee- Whilst most salons offer a menu of snacks and drinks alongside your treatment – we’ve all been through the battle of being told to “look down” whilst desperate to take a sip from the rapidly cooling latte in front of us – Hershesons’s new food and drink offering is instead based around a sunny café space by East London-born eatery Sans Pere at the front of the salon, which offers a full menu of delectable treats alongside strong, hot coffee a world away from the tepid cappuccinos of salons past.
The magazine selection is also more extensive than your regular salon offering – think The New Yorker, The Economist and World of Interiors alongside the full range of glossies. “Why should it only be fashion magazines? That doesn’t make sense for everyone,” Hersheson shrugs.
The cut, colour and styling services are as world-class as ever, of course, but the space allows a break from traditional salon norms. Many of the mirrors are retractable – meaning that if you don’t want to stare at your face surrounded by foils as you have your highlights done then, mercifully, you don’t have to – and customers are invited to sit wherever they want “like in a restaurant” rather than seats being arranged into cut and colour “sections” which mean moving around for separate services.
Mostly though, it’s the little, thoughtful touches which make it a place you’d truly want to hang out, mostly down to Hersheson’s own perfectionist nature as creative director of the brand.
“If you like that, you’re going to love this,” he grins when I compliment the sunken shelves within which the products are stored at each hair station, opening a drawer with a flourish to reveal brushes and tools neatly stashed in custom-built holders, wires tucked away in orderly fashion so that not a single trailing hairdryer flex will trip up an unsuspecting assistant again. Assistants and front-of-house staff, by the way, are casually dressed in striped J. Brand tops and Reebok Classics – “why does everyone always have to wear black?” – whilst corners filled with comfy armchairs and trailing greenery makes the space feel instantly more modern than the now-shuttered Conduit Street location.
“If we were going to make a move then it had to be to something considerably different,” Hersheson tells vogue. “When we found the space with this big, impressive glass frontage and everything on one floor we just thought: let’s start from scratch. We asked ourselves, what do people not like about going to get their hair done? And we’ve tried to tackle every one of those things, one by one.”
Adapted From: VOGUE