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BEVERLY HILLS — There is a new power hair duo in town.
Hairstylist Jonathan Antin and colorist Amanda George have teamed up on a salon here called Jonathan and George that opened this week in the 2,300-square-foot space at 9320 Civic Center Drive that housed George’s former salon, Neil George, for eight years. The Jonathan and George salon will be a launch pad for what Antin and George believe will become a formidable hair-care player with a product line and more salon locations down the road.
The 18-chair salon marks Antin’s reentrance into the salon world after a roughly two-year hiatus, and George’s reinvention after parting with Neil Weisberg, who has opened the salon Mèche with colorist Tracey Cunningham. “We still want to do so much in our careers and coming together allows us to do that,” said George.
Before linking with George, Antin felt the tug of the salon business and had scouted 45 spaces around Los Angeles to do one of his own, but he hadn’t found an equal to George’s Civic Center Drive location. “I used to come to this salon when I was a kid when it was Max Dupree, probably 35 years ago. My mom would get her hair done, and I would hang out. I always had a soft spot for this space,” he said. “I hadn’t seen the salon for years and years. I walked in, looked at the space and truly felt I was home.”
In a saturated salon market, Antin and George contend that Jonathan and George will stand out for its ability to perfect every element of customers’ hair. “We are two long-term experts in styling, cutting and coloring. That sets the tone for our staff, and it paints a complete picture. That’s what is different about us,” said Antin, who gained national fame starring in Bravo’s reality show “Blow Out” and previously owned salons in West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
Antin, a design enthusiast, has already brought his personal touch to the Jonathan and George space. With approval from George, he said he changed the lighting to “more of a day lighting that’s conducive to cutting and coloring.” Yet to come is a revamped exterior painted in charcoal and glossy black, and with Cartier-esque awnings, and a seating area that will have a Chesterfield sofa and reclaimed driftwood tables. The only sticking point is art. Antin prefers black-and-white pictures and George, naturally, gravitates to color, but they are confident a compromise will be reached.
There are plenty of other things occupying their time. Antin and George are diving into product development for a hair-care line branded Jonathan and George. On the salon front, there could be satellite salons as early as this year, possibly blowout locations in hotels, although future flagships are likely to open next year, with New York and a second location in the Los Angeles area strong geographic candidates. Antin and George are also keen on starting amenity programs, which George is already familiar with from putting the Neil George line she founded with Weisberg into Viceroy properties.
“It’s not about money for us this year. It is about fine-tuning the process and setting the stage,” said Antin, adding that, leveraging the relationships that George and he have established over their professional tenures in the hair care industry, “$30 million in sales would be easy to achieve within the next two years.”