The Art of Shaving has opened a barbershop-in-shop concept at Bloomingdale’s, and the space forms the cornerstone of a 4,570-square-foot fragrance department and men’s skin care area at the retailer’s 59th Street flagship.
The fragrance department, located on the Third Avenue side of the store, was opened during the last week of February. This was after the floor was closed for a few weeks as a new fragrance bar, case lines and The Art of Shaving’s 200-square-foot, two-chair barbershop was constructed.
“The new fragrance and men’s skin care area at 59th Street is part of major renovations of the main floor,” said Howard Kreitzman, vice president of cosmetics and fragrances for Bloomingdale’s. “We see it as a way to take our service and brand offerings to the next plateau.”
Kreitzman said of offering barber services in the store, “We wanted to offer our customers a unique experience as we opened our new fragrance world, and we believe that Art of Shaving allows us to do that.”
The new fragrance department looks decidedly upscale. In the middle of the floor is a wide, round fragrance bar, which features black, mirror and chrome accents. Around the perimeter walls of the department are case lines with the same sleek, black-and-silver fixtures.
While all the major men’s and women’s fragrance brands are merchandised at the fragrance bar and along the case lines, men’s skin care lines have been moved to The Art of Shaving’s corner, which measures a total of 400 square feet, including the barber space.
Merchandised in an alcove immediately in front of the barber space are brands like Lab Series — “a long time, critical part of our men’s business,” said Kreitzman — and Zirh. In a bid to make the barbershop a semiprivate area, a partition separates the men’s skin care area from the barbershop, which is manned by two master barbers.
The floor of the new department is as sleek as its fixtures, with high-shine black and white tiles — one of the reasons The Art of Shaving slightly tweaked the colors of its barber spa. (“Barber spa” is what The Art of Shaving calls its barbershop format, which features services like straight-razor shaves.)
“We went with white marble counters rather than our regular beige,” said Eric Malka, who cofounded The Art of Shaving with his wife, Myriam. He added, “This shows the great confidence Bloomingdale’s has in The Art of Shaving. It fits with [the floor’s] newly renovated style.”
While he wouldn’t discuss numbers, industry sources estimate that before building the barbershop-in-shop at Bloomingdale’s, The Art of Shaving did about $180,000 annually at the store. In year one, according to sources, the barbershop-in-shop could pull in from $300,000 to $350,000, and within two to three years could be a $500,000 business.
The location — a first for the men’s grooming brand — is not far from The Art of Shaving’s first store, which was opened in 1996 at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 62nd Street. “Bloomingdale’s used to refer customers to us for barber services,” said Malka, “and now, 13 years later, it’s come full circle.”
Kreitzman didn’t rule out building more Art of Shaving barber spas in Bloomingdale’s in the future. “Once we have gained some experience with this new initiative, we will be able to determine the next steps,” he said.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
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Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast