For the first time since a destructive fire in the Nineties, Bumble and bumble has given its 56th Street location in New York City — which industry sources estimate generates $8 million to $10 million per year — a facelift. The redesign, according to the brand, was inspired in part by its downtown salon, as well as client and stylist research.
“We wanted to improve the client’s experience and journey,” said Peter Lichtenthal, president of Bumble and bumble. “We also want to celebrate the stylists.”
Designed and executed by Helen Steed, vice president of creative at Bumble and bumble, and Régis Péan, principal and founder of retail-experience design company Omni//form, the redesign included multiple changes throughout the salon. For one, the outpost’s retail lounge-entryway was fitted with black wooden shelving, on which Bumble’s full product line is available for purchase. The front of house also features iPads loaded with informative videos, vintage tools, a “New, Notable, and Now” section featuring recent launches and campaigns, and a relocated cash wrap.
Directly behind the checkout area, retail products are on display for last-minute purchases. Connecting the retail zone to the back cutting floor is a new “runway,” which offers more privacy for guests getting their hair cut, as well as those walking through.
After being escorted along the runway — new clients will now be given their own host and page — customers are brought to private changing rooms, where they will change into their updated robes. The salon’s shampoo station was also reworked, and now houses a library, with literature and imagery chosen by Bumble stylists. The space also features free Wi-Fi and a swirling ceiling mural painted by artist Jay Lohmann.
A newly introduced “consultation bar” provides new clients with oversize mirrors and iPads that showcase styling inspirations. “Our clients told us one of the areas that they judge a salon is how much attention are we paying — details matter,” said Lichtenthal, who added that the cutting floor is now made of recycled rubber, rather than concrete, to keep stylists comfortable throughout the day.
The first part of Bumble and bumble’s dual-phase remodeling initiative — which was unveiled on Sept. 12 — is said to address issues that caused a sense of disorder. Lichtenthal emphasized, however, it was critical for the brand to maintain its spirit. “This is an energetic, vibrant, backstage-feeling, creative-community environment,” he said. “This is not a cushy salon. This is not a plush, pampering salon. It is quintessential New York.” Plans for phase two are set to begin later this year and will focus on the third-floor coloring room.
Established in 1986, Bumble’s uptown location is considered by the brand as its “heritage salon,” and where the company’s identity started. “Bumble is a very full and complex personality: There is sophistication, there is edge, there is glamour, there is serious hairdressing, there is wit, there is fashion, there is a cool vibe, [and] there is also an elegance,” said Lichtenthal.