By  on January 16, 2009

Call it a barbershop — with a feminine twist.

British salon Tommy Guns, whose first location was opened in London’s Soho neighborhood in 1994, has opened a space at 138 Ludlow Street on Manhattan’s rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side, marking the firm’s first entry into the U.S.

And despite the salon’s edgy, old-fashioned barbershop feel, about 70 percent of the business’ clients are women, noted founder Russell Manley.

“Despite what the place looks like, Tommy Guns is predominantly for women,” the 41-year-old Kent, England, native noted in his British accent.

The 510-square-foot Ludlow Street spot, which is modeled after the original Soho, London digs, includes carrera-marble tile floors, cracked-glaze tile walls, silver and black fixtures and Thirties-era black leather barber chairs made by Theo A. Kochs of Chicago.

Nickel and mirrored-glass retail displays line each styling station in the space, and the salon carries brands from the U.K., such as Penhaligon’s, Geo. F. Trumper and Mason & Pearson, as well as L’Oréal-owned Kiehl’s and Tommy Gun’s own proprietary line of styling aids. Manley added he is looking at the Phyto brand as well and that products on the back bar are from Modern Organic Products.

A basic women’s haircut at Ludlow goes for $95 and single process coloring begins at $90. Men’s cuts go for $75.

Even though the space has only been up and running for two months — and has garnered upward of $50,000 in sales, according to industry sources — plans are already in the works to double the size of the six-chair location this summer. At Ludlow, there is a slightly larger downstairs space, where Manley plans to put six more chairs and two more shampoo stations, which feature pedestal sinks, by August.

Further discussing expansion, he said, “Manhattan is big enough to warrant opening in another part of the city without competing with yourself” — with the caveat that Ludlow would be a slow build and another Tommy Guns may not pop up in New York City (Williamsburg) for several years, he added.

Ludlow Street is Tommy Guns’ fourth location; the other three salons are in London — with two in Soho, as well as a space in Shoreditch. Each generates about $1.3 million in sales but industry sources say it may take two years for the Ludlow Street location to reach those numbers.

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