By Kelly Hushin
Celebrity salons are a dime a dozen in Manhattan…or are they? It’s true that you can find one quite easily in this city. Flip through the pages of your most recent Vogue, Elle or Allure magazines and you’ll see a slew of them gushed about as hot spots for celebs, names of whom are dropping all over the pages like rain. So the question becomes: how does one celebrity salon set itself apart from the next? What makes such a salon worth the $500+ you’ll most likely spend there on a cut and color? What makes it worth the hype and celebs want to spend their disposable income at one vs. another? The answer is experience and talent. While some hot spot celeb salons have huge name clientele to boast, if their staff isn’t worth the same raves, the salon’s clout is little.
This is why Marie Robinson’s new salon is distinct: not only can she boast a hotbed of big name clients from Anne Hathaway to Natalie Portman to Liv Tyler, her talented staff have stayed by her and look up to her as they would any mentor or beloved parent. Together, the staff at Marie Robinson is like a family – an assortment of talented stylists and colorists who all share Marie’s passion for color and hair innovation as well as her welcoming attitude, thus creating an atmosphere that is both upscale and homey.
And that’s exactly how I would describe Marie. When I met her, she was dressed in the most effortlessly put-together punk-rock-chic style that exuded a sense of luxury as well as comfort and hominess. Let me be more specific: tie-dye tunic, army green cotton harem pants, bejeweled accessories, messily-pulled back platinum blonde hair. She donned this cacophony of objects that otherwise might have seemed mismatched but on her were the pinnacle of style.
Sadly I did not have the pleasure of getting a treatment from Marie herself, but I got the next best thing – color by her former assistant and current colorist at the salon. Eric Muroski welcomed me to the chair and spoke about color as we stared into the mirror at my no less than three inches of drab brown roots and the brassy blonde length of hair that grew beyond them. At the same time, my stylist, Katie Seguin, (who happens to specialize in extensions – perhaps a return visit, Katie?) talked about cut and how we might be able to turn my style into something manageable during the growing-out phase, as I’m attempting to go a measurable amount of time without chopping more than an inch or two off the length. I have secret – or not so secret – desires to actually have long hair again one day as I longingly look back to photos of me as a five-year old when I had luscious, bum-length blonde locks. But I digress…
After our consultation, we agreed that in the growing-out stage of hair length, the only way to go bolder is with color – and that’s what Eric would do. He proceeded to cover my head with innumerable foils, bringing both my natural color and a vibrant yellow-blonde into the fold. We then washed the color out in cycles. I made trips back and forth to the sink about four times and was shampooed with Shu Uemura’s Silk Bloom shampoo for damaged hair. After the color, Katie cut very little length off my hair but defined the shape with perfection, and then diffused it to look beachy, wavy, care-free…which of course it was not quite so easy to achieve this look but the process wasn’t too intimidating for me to take on at home. Once dry, I was able to really see the color and notice that I felt I should be just a bit blonder. No worries for me – Eric threw a few more foils in the front on either side to brighten up the bang. Once that was washed out and I was dried again, I felt like a new woman – the beachy blonde look was complete. This was the boldness I was looking for – a super blonde, almost white look in the front with the same color balanced throughout but with less prominence. Right about then was when Marie came over to say hello and I thanked her for such a welcoming staff and complimented the gorgeous salon.
If Marie’s name sounds familiar, it’s because before opening her salon this past April, she had been the Head Colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown for seven years. In this new venture of hers, Marie and business partner Abell Oujaddou have aimed to bring an exceptional, service-driven salon with a comfortable atmosphere to a convenient location – Fifth Ave. between 21st and 22nd streets. Abell hails from Bruno Pittini and John Frieda (the latter of the two being where Marie received training and mastered the skill of Balayage under Christophe Robin. Marie’s career started though, with an apprenticeship at the Pierre Michel Salon at age 19. She also spent time working with Danilo. Impressive much?) For the Marie Robinson Salon, Abell and Marie shared a distinct idea about its look and hired Manhattan designer James Ford Huniford to design the interior, which is laid out as a warm, naturally lit loft space the contrasts with colder, more modern looking salons that the pair isn’t fond of.
In the new salon, Marie and her more-than-talented staff will carry out the passionate, intricate and expert work that’s made them so famous…almost as famous as the heads of hair they regularly craft.
Marie Robinson Salon
155 Fifth Ave.
Between 21st and 22nd streets
New York, NY