3 posts tagged "Chris Salgardo"
Beauty Nostalgia is a weekly column on Beauty Counter in which we ask influencers, tastemakers, and some of our favorite industry experts to wax poetic on the sticks, salves, and sprays that helped shape who they are today.
The Pro: Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s Since 1851
The Product: “I have a very distinct memory of being six years old and first smelling Old Spice cologne, which is what my uncle wore. He always smelled amazing and I can still picture him with the cream white bottle and metal top. It has this warm, spicy, amber undertone that really lingers with such a nice dry-down. Of course, that’s not how I described the cologne when I was six! Back then, it was just a manly scent to me. My uncle was a tough guy; he was 6’3″ and a jack-of-all-trades. He was an outdoorsman, taking me camping and fishing, and he loved to box, which I did too, for a number of years. Out of all the men in my family, my uncle was the only one I remember wearing fragrance. My father never did. When I tried on the cologne, I applied it very sparingly—I just slapped my cheeks a little with it, and that’s it. As a teen, I wore Ralph Lauren Polo in high school, then I got into Chanel Antaeus, and in the nineties, I discovered Kiehl’s Musk Essence Oil. That, too, has a warm, spicy scent in the same family as Old Spice. Even though I didn’t wear Old Spice as an adult, it brings back so many memories. And it must have had an impact because I have an anchor tattoo on my arm, and I do love cable-knit sweaters!”
“I’m so happy you’re in my neighborhood,” Justine Koons told Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s U.S.A., at the brand’s newly opened location on the Upper East Side last night. “Now I don’t need a passport to go to your store!” Koons and Salgardo had gathered a group of friends like Alan Cumming and Sky Ferreira to fête the fourth free-standing Manhattan location of the legendary East Village apothecary. In honor of the occasion, Kiehl’s made a large donation to the Koons Family Institute, which Justine and her husband, the artist Jeff Koons, run in conjunction with the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
This wasn’t your average store opening. Kiehl’s was debuting another milestone in the form of a three-treatment-room spa situated on top of the retail location—the first of its kind for the company. “Three and a half years ago I saw this space and I fell in love with it,” Salgardo told us of the split-level, 950-square-foot spot on the corner of 64th Street and Lexington Avenue. “But I didn’t take it then. It was a question of when could we devote the time to get it right.” Divided into specific zones, the spa features an Apothecary Room, showcasing artwork from Curtis Jinkins; an Adventure Room, with wallpaper created out of images from Kiehl’s-led expeditions to Mt. Everest and the Mojave Desert; and the Rainforest Room, which displays artwork from David LaChapelle.
Oversize lab jars filled with add-ons like rosemary, arnica flower, ginger root, and sugar line the shelves in each room to allow aestheticians to customize the facials and body treatments that utilize existing hero products from the Kiehl’s line. That’s the major selling point with Kiehl’s expansion into spa. “Our customers like facials but they never get [them with] products that they like,” Salgardo pointed out. Kiehl’s male clientele also stands to benefit from its new venture, thanks to a two-chair grooming station that offers haircuts, shaves, beard and mustache trims, and brow maintenance. “Formula 133 is great for our beards,” hirsute designers Robert Tagliapietra and Jeffrey Costello said of Kiehl’s Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid. “And we’re ready for facials.” Them and everyone else. The spa is booked until September.
Kiehl’s Spa 1851, 157 East 64th Street at Lexington Avenue, NYC, (888) SPA-1851, www.kiehls.com/spa1851.
This year marks a big milestone for Kiehl’s, as it’s turning 160 years old (yup, believe it). To properly celebrate the birthday of the world’s most popular apothecary brand, the famed home of Crème de Corps, Cucumber Toner, and Lip Balm #1 has decided to pay homage to its heritage by transforming half of its famous New York flagship into a virtual time capsule. “I’d talk to people and they’d be like, ‘you’re how old?’,” Kiehl’s president, Chris Salgardo, told us at a press preview last night. “And even when they did the math, they still didn’t quite get the magnitude of it. I mean, we’ve been around since before Abraham Lincoln was president! So I felt that it was important to take the opportunity to tell the history.”
Besides all manner of neat old apothecary vessels, the makeshift museum also boasts iPad stations, where you can catch a piece of the Friends of Kiehl’s documentary featuring the likes of Chloë Sevigny; a row of vintage dispensaries, where you can avail yourself of free samples the old-school way (pumping your own lotion can actually be a very satisfying experience); and a video booth should you wish to perform that soliloquy you’ve been composing about the brand’s Coriander Body Wash. Perhaps most thrilling, though, is the motorcycle photo booth, where you get to straddle a 1934 Indian “Suicide Shift” Scout motorcycle that belonged to Steve McQueen and have your picture taken—one strip stays in the store, one strip goes home with you, and all photos are uploaded to the Kiehl’s Facebook page. “We have a great motorcycle collection…like Clark Gable’s bike, and Evel Knievel’s, but I thought people would be so excited about McQueen’s,” says Salgardo.
There are also limited-edition bottles of Crème de Corps to commemorate the anniversary (the special series is only available at the flagship). And come June, with the launch of Kiehl’s Gives, the brand will ask customers to vote on how it distributes a $160,000 donation among three charities. There’s plenty to be excited about, but Salgardo is especially jazzed about one thing: the response from his neighbors. “I can’t wait to see the neighborhood’s reaction! We only turn 160 once, and for us it’s always been about the community. This is for the East Village.”
The Kiehl’s Since 1851 retrospective will be on view at 109 Third Ave., NYC, through August 2011. For more information, call (212) 677-3171 or visit www.kiehls.com.