21 posts tagged "Blackbook"
When one thinks of Murray Hill, an East Side neighborhood in Manhattan that extends from 34th to 40th Streets, the word hip isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Kim Vu, owner of Bristle + Crème—a recently opened full-service salon on Third Avenue that offers everything from cuts to color to facials—set out to change all that (alongside Comme des Garçons, which moved in just an avenue and block over). Her story doesn’t begin in beauty; instead, Vu started out in an industry that couldn’t be more different: finance. As an investment banking consultant, she knows a thing or two about building a business, but as far as wielding a curling iron or providing a bikini wax, she leaves that to the pros who fill the new, two-story space. “I let my creative people be as creative as they want to be,” she said.
There are some things, however, that bridge the gap between bankers and those with a more bohemian spirit—such as artisanal coffee, music, art, and spa treatments. And Bristle + Crème has all of them. “I never felt comfortable in a salon; I wanted a place to hang out,” Vu explained. By day, hairstylists share the main floor with baristas, but by night, it easily transforms into a gallery, dance floor, or concert hall where champagne and wine are free-flowing. The canvases that hang on the walls come courtesy of emerging local artists and rotate every three months. Deejays and bands are invited once a month to spin/play after hours, and there’s even talk of having silent theater on the second level. It may seem like a hodgepodge of haircare, caffeine, and creativity, but a melting pot that brings fashion types (like her close friends Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs of Cushnie et Ochs) and buttoned-up business execs together is exactly what Vu had in mind. “That’s NYC, right?” she quipped. Right.
416 Third Avenue, New York, NY, (212) 685-9475; bristleandcreme.com.
After the successful launch of a freestanding store in Moscow last November, Kilian Hennessy has set his sights on New York City. The first By Kilian fragrance boutique in the U.S. debuts tonight at 804 Washington Street, a chic block nestled in the cobblestone landscape of the Meatpacking District. The black-and-white decor combines the sleek, sophisticated By Kilian aesthetic with the cool, industrial vibe of the neighborhood. Think custom-made furniture, Japanese lighting, and silk carpet, plus exposed brick painted in white lacquer. Customers will get to explore the brand’s complete collection of fragrances, including Apple Brandy, a sweet and woody scent that will only be sold at the NYC location. In between final preparations for the store opening, we got Hennessy to talk shop.
What made you want to open a boutique in New York City—and why now?
Who doesn’t dream of opening a store in New York City? We have actually been searching for the right location for a year!
Why did you choose the Meatpacking District?
We knew right from the start that we wanted to be downtown. When the space next to Louboutin Men’s and in front of Nicholas Kirkwood became available, we jumped on it. The square footage was perfect, and it will be amazing when the Whitney Museum opens in 2015.
What are some of the design elements that you wanted to include in the space?
I absolutely wanted the feeling of a downtown store, which is why we kept the exposed brick on the walls. To offset this, however, we lacquered the brick in white, added black marble flooring, and dropped in a black lacquered ceiling. I also really wanted to give our clients the feeling of entering into my private world. That’s why the [boutique] has been designed to mirror my apartment. For me, it is of utmost importance that anyone who enters the store feels at home. [A customer] can stay as long as she wants to discover our bespoke service offering, or to [experience] our collections of perfumes and evening bags.
Why did you decide to create an exclusive New York-inspired scent for the boutique, and how does it epitomize NYC?
I didn’t want my New York store to be a copy/paste of my Moscow store. Of course, the key visual identity elements will always stay, but I really want to keep the flavor of the city and its culture. I always want to preserve a sense of uniqueness. This comes through some design elements and through exclusive products. No other store in the world will carry [Apple Brandy]. This scent is very personal. It’s an accord of apple liqueur melting with woods. Of course, there is a wink to the Big Apple, but I would have never done it if the two didn’t blend so well together.
As a member of the family that developed one of the world’s most beloved cognacs, we trust that you know a thing or two about brandy. Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
804 Washington St., New York, NY, (212) 600-1298; www.bykilian.com.
In New York City, where nail shops and hair salons are almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks, it was only a matter of time before someone stepped in to fill the obvious void in beauty services: makeup. That’s all about to change on Wednesday, when Rouge, a new makeup lounge in Soho, officially opens for business.
The space is the brainchild of makeup artist Rebecca Perkins and actress Stephanie March, who became close friends after they met on the set of Law & Order: SVU. (Perkins was the makeup department head and March played ADA Alex Cabot). The idea for Rouge came when Perkins realized that many of the women she knew would jump at the chance to have a makeup pro on speed dial, just like her celebrity clients. “Women would often tell me how much they wish they had their own makeup artist. High-end salons offer makeup, but the price is prohibitive. Also, the makeup artists aren’t always there. You have to make an appointment, and you don’t know anything about their experience and training,” Perkins says. Department stores aren’t ideal, either. The high-pressure sales techniques, hectic environment, and lack of privacy are all turnoffs. Rouge is the opposite of that. The intimate space has six stations outfitted with glamorous mirrors surrounded with the kind of big, bright bulbs you might find in a dressing room at a theater. The comfy, leather chairs, as March happily demonstrated, recline all the way back so that customers can lie down while they’re getting dolled up.
Although Rouge offers quick services such as individual lash application and eyebrow waxing, makeup is the focus. The menu of services includes three different options, ranging in cost from $50 for the natural “You…Only Better” look to $75 for the full-on glam “Total Polish” face. Products are for sale upon request (from brands such as Face Stockholm, Julie Hewett, and Yaby), but you won’t find tester units or shelves stocked with goods prominently displayed here. Clients are even allowed to bring in their own makeup if there is a particular shade of, say, foundation or lipstick they want to incorporate into their look. Not that you need to. I was impressed with the diverse range of colors Perkins pulled out to paint my face, and her work got rave reviews from the friends I met for dinner after my appointment (trust me, they wouldn’t lie).
Before I visited Rouge, I wondered if a makeup lounge would only feed the increasing pressure women feel to look perfect all the time because of celebrity obsession and social media, but I left with a different outlook. Sure, some might use the service as a crutch, but I imagine that the majority of the clientele will think of it as just another way to look their best before an important meeting or special occasion. After all, as March puts it: “Women have been rouging for years.” They’re just here to help.
130 Thompson Street, (212) 388-1717; www.rougeny.com for appointments.
When Boston-based hairstylist Jeffrey Dauksevich dimmed the lights of his Umi salon two years ago, he took all that went with the name—including his range of carefully considered hair-care products and styling goods. At the time, the line had amassed something of an underground following (die-hard clients ordered his Umi Hair Powder by the case). So after reopening the salon with a new name—Jeffrey Boston—a year later, it was only a matter of time before his cultish hair goods reemerged as well. After a soft launch at the shows this past season, the lineup has been officially released, with the five originals back in rotation: the aforementioned Powder, a weightless dry shampoo that lends styling grip, volume, and a subtle scent of lavender, bergamot, apple, and bamboo; Crème for controlling curls and taming flyaways; Serum to thwart frizz and mend dry ends; Pomade to deliver hold and separation; and Gel, infused with silk protein, to fix strands in place with a nonsticky finish. Although the formulas remain the same, the containers have been pared down to resemble lab bottles, simply labeled “(Products) Jeffrey.” It’s all part of Dauksevich’s fresh and minimalist approach for both his products and reimagined studio. “I want to keep things small, strip away the layers,” he says. But, thankfully, he’s keen on adding more to this assortment—expect to see a cleanser, base spray, and more come spring.
Jeffrey Boston, 75 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, (617) 247-0770; jeffreyboston.com.
Should upcoming travel plans involve a trip to the fine city of Dallas, consider checking in at the Joule. The recently opened boutique hotel is a pretty cool place to hang out—note the artwork by the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros, the lifestyle shop curated by TenOverSix, the Taschen library, and the fine espresso from Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters. But here on Beauty Counter, we’re all about the bi-level Espa Spa. Spanning 8,000 square feet (everything’s bigger in the Texas, right?), the space features a vitality pool, an ice fountain (for stimulating circulation), an amethyst-and-black-quartz-crystal steam room, a wood sauna, and “experience” showers with ambient lighting. Six treatment rooms offer an extensive menu of face and body services, two of which are unique to the hotel: The Joule, a rubdown with warmed volcanic and jade stones, and the Earth-Inspired, a deep-tissue massage designed to undo tension with ginger-root exfoliation. Those not in any hurry to leave such serene quarters should book the Espa Time: a multi-hour session involving a facial, a massage, body exfoliation, a manicure, and a spa bento-box lunch (depending on the length of time requested). With such a lavish—and, frankly, hard-to-top—setup, it’s no wonder the spa will serve as Espa’s flagship location in the U.S.
Espa Spa at the Joule, 1530 Main Street, Dallas, Texas, (214) 748-1300, www.thejouledallas.com.