A Little Bit Of Barrow Street, In The Bay Area
When stylist Michelle Snyder (a.k.a, Michelle Fiona) left her post at New York’s Whittemore House to head back to her hometown of San Francisco, me and my hair were devastated—and I’m certain I’m not alone in saying that. In her years at the West Village salon—and at Bumble and Bumble before that—Michelle had built a steady clientele of women, including many an editor and famous face (she is responsible for Zooey Deschanel, Amanda Peet and Karen Elson’s locks), who came to rely on her singular snipping abilities. She gave me bangs for the first time; confidently lobbed off a foot of my hair when it had reached straggly lengths; and, when I needed a major change, she bestowed me with a Louise Brooks-inspired, chin-grazing bob. Now, after a brief stint at San Francisco’s Harper Paige, Michelle has finally gone out on her own, opening the doors of her brand new Barrow Salon just last week.
Both the destination’s name (after her favorite West Village street), and the philosophy, nod to her former Manhattan home. “With the salon I wanted to bring a bit of my interpretation of the New York aesthetic to San Francisco, and some of the city’s talent as well: in the future we will host workshops for hairdressers and clients led by some of my favorite New York stylists,” she explains, pointing out that she took special care curating every detail of the new space. “I was very picky choosing the people that make up Barrow; I’m going for quality not quantity,” she says. “I also wanted to incorporate a library in our reception area because I want people to find new references and get inspired. I’m selling the books and also hard-to-find gems like Japanese hairpins and Italian round brushes”—not to mention products by cult favorite lines like Wella and Oribe (Michelle is particularly fond of the latter’s Dry Texturizing Spray and Creme for Style). A “sucker for Bardot,” Michelle’s styling calling card favors long layers and thick fringes, which is likely what will continue to earn her accolades and clients aplenty, although she swears that she’s broadening her inspiration profile. “I’ve been obsessed with Hedy Lamarr lately, and I love bobs right now—especially a French-y doll look.” That’s my cue to start seriously considering a bicoastal lifestyle.
256 Sutter St., 4th Fl., San Francisco, CA; 415-732-0356; www.barrowsalon.com.