By Stephanie Williams
Like an over-hyped band, film or book, I’ve become jaded and wary of most brands “tailored” for the luxury market. So imagine my surprise when I found that one such brand was worth the hype…and even worth a trip to the suburbs (gasp!)
A visit to Frédéric Fekkai’s Greenwich, Connecticut salon is sure to result in more than a handful of turned heads upon your return to Manhattan – reason enough to make the short jaunt on the MetroNorth. Off the beaten path of the tiny suburb’s main shopping drag colloquially known as “The Avenue,” the salon pleasantly surprised me as a worthy gem in an area where competitors get away with underwhelming results hiding behind the smoke and mirrors of glitzy facades and high markups.
Alexandre Chouery, Creative Director, Fekkai Greenwich
Alexandre Chouery, Creative Director at Fekkai’s Greenwich sanctuary, brings the best out of anyone who has sat in his chair with effortless ease in a town that is difficult to please. He could transform Susan Boyle into a scion of style with a simple “O Mon Dieu!” or “C’est Magnifique!” The Paris native has styled hair in a bevy of boutiques serving elite clientele in London, Dubai and Monaco. The pinnacle of his European career was perhaps working with celebrities like Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruz at the Cannes Film Festival. Bringing a “European Experience” to Greenwich was a welcome change for Chouery, whom Fekkai handpicked to lead the 10-seat boutique salon in a “selective, under the radar” neighborhood.
“Your hair is the signature of your personality,” Chouery said. Discussing his technique, he emphasized the full picture: “I observe my clients from the minute they walk into the salon – her clothes, her body language, her speech and her attitude.” Unlike some stylists who may ignore or belittle the client’s vision, Chouery humbly understands the woman sitting in his chair expects perfection and collaborates with her to develop what she’s after and is well aware he is cutting for reality and not the runway. “If you’re going to pay my fees, you are going to get the full experience!”
Chouery has assembled a team of stylists who are as talented as they are gorgeous. From the minute I arrived, Alexandre’s assistant, Rita, made me right at home in the loft-style building. They claimed to be incredibly swamped on the Saturday afternoon I visited, however this had no effect on the smooth sailing of anyone’s appointment. I arrived with my unkempt and outgrown locks tied in a bun and ready for anything. Despite what a hot mess I was compared to the grande dames he was accustomed to, he knew exactly what I needed which, surprise-surprise, was exactly what I envisioned and hoped for someone to emulate.
(Spoiler Alert: Alexandre Figured It Out In A Snip-Snap)
I’ll never settle for a Brookstone-branded (let alone a nail salon) massage chair ever again after I experienced Fekkai’s self-reclining leather seating during my shampoo. It felt a little silly peeping down left and right searching for a lever to lift my legs up, only to feel them rising as Rita began treating my hair with Fekkai’s Silky Straight Ironless Shampoo and Conditioner. As Chouery dazzled me with his lush European accent and gentle flattery – being called beautiful by a European man is always a confidence booster – he also proved his talent as an adept teacher of his craft, a purveyor of steeze (that’s style and ease folks). Instead of only telling me which products he was using and why I should bring them home with me, he took great care to explain step-by-step how to properly utilize each in my morning routine. I ended up bringing home a bottle of Coiff Bouffant Lifting & Texturing Spray Gel, a heavenly-scented spritz which helped my hair achieve softness and moisture it had never felt before.
This is a do-not-miss salon when all a girl needs is some self-pampering time. The level of service each client receives at Fekkai in Greenwich is incredible. It is reasonable to admit, though, that the salon’s rates are on the extravagant side when on the market for an on-call stylist. Additionally, the Fekkai salon hosts private parties and is an ideal venue for a bridal shower, engagement or birthday party, or just a fun girl’s night with a complete array of the salon’s offerings from blowouts and brows to makeup and mani’s.
Frédéric Fekkai Salon
2 Lewis Court
Greenwich, CT 06830
(New Haven Line: Greenwich Station Stop)