After months of final touches, Julien Farel’s new flagship in the freshly redesigned Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue is open for business. More than double the size of his original Madison Avenue location, the sparkling 10,000 square-foot beauty, wellness and fitness destination, now called Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa, is meant as a one-stop shop for New York’s time-deprived power players. “It’s luxury beauty paired with efficiency so clients can make the most of their time with us,” said Farel, whose signature $650 cut is a favorite of regulars like Jonathan Tisch, Rafael Nadal and Ivanka Trump.
This story first appeared in the April 18, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to Farel, who oversaw the venture with his wife and the businesses’ chief executive officer, Suelyn Farel, the move is meant to elevate brand awareness and upgrade the client experience.
“It’s one thing in New York…if you don’t go up, you go down, so let’s go up,” Farel told WWD. “I married someone who especially likes to go up, so she’s like the back hand. I’m the front page.”
Said Suelyn Farel, his wife of 10 years: “I’m the operational girl. I love the nuts and bolts. I love putting it together, building the brand.”
From classic cut and color to massage and dermatology services, gym access, private VIP rooms, a men’s-only floor where clients can get their beards trimmed and shoes shined (JF Men will open its doors in May), clients will be treated to a multidisciplinary approach to antiaging. The two-floor space, which industry sources estimate cost $7 million to complete, features 32 cutting stations, as well as VIP rooms where guests can chose from multiservices like a $350 Power Pick Me Up (facial, reflexology work and blowout combination) to a $1,170 Red Carpet Ready package, which includes a bamboo scrub, massage, eyebrow shaping, facial peel, mani/pedi, hair styling and makeup application. Dermatologist Doris Day has signed on as the spa’s medical director and will spearhead ongoing roundtable sessions to address all facets of one’s well-being and self-improvement.
Among the ample hair services on offer are signature treatments like Power Highlights, $205, a quick contouring partial color service, the power coif, a $65 updo, braid or pony tail and Power Hair, a $1,000 haircut by Farel meant to improve hair health without losing length. Power Hour, which ranges between $155 and $230, includes various iterations of blowouts, mini facials, manicures and pedicures, which can be customized depending on a consumer’s needs. Also offered are a selection of scalp treatments, priced between $40 and $150, inspired by Farel’s hero product, Anti-Aging Haircare Restore, for which the outpost is also named.
“We have very strong, simple core brand values that I think keep people staying and it is about the hard work, it is about caring for the client,” said Suelyn Farel. “There’s just something about what Julien does for people.”
Of his signature cutting style, Farel said, “the way I work is like an architect. Every single stage the hair is going to grow [customers] are always going to get a great look. I believe it’s not about giving a book to someone and saying ‘How do you want to look?’ It’s about creating something that is going to fit a person’s essence.”
Farel’s French roots blended with modernity inspired the look of Farel’s spacious new home, part of the hotel’s $100 million overhaul. Imagined by residential designer Meyer Davis, the space features floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace, and is decorated with Maletti Italian furniture and David LaChapelle photographs.
“I think what the people really find when they walk into our salon is a home away from home where they are cared for,” said Julien Farel. “Why do guests come from Jacksonville, Fla., to get their hair cut at 5 a.m. and go back at midnight? [Because] core is our services, and taking care of our clients.”
According to Farel, 2014 marks a year when the brand is expanding in other ways as well. For one, the Julien Farel product collection, made up of 22 stockkeeping units, is rolling out to Sephora Italy and will enter the U.K. via Selfridges in May and Switzerland within the next 12 months. Farel has also launched his first amenities line, a curated selection of his best sellers, into the 379 rooms in the Park Avenue Loews location. In addition, all 19 Loews hotels and resorts worldwide are now equipped with a Julien Farel-branded hair dryer.
“Julien is a leader in his field who will play an important role in the continued evolution of Loews Regency Hotel,” said Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts. “The Salon & Spa will add an unmatched level of sophistication to the property while enhancing the offerings we will provide our mutual clientele.”
Although brand executives would not break out financials, industry sources estimate the new flagship salon could generate about $9 million in its first year and will be visited by approximately 22,500 guests.