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Rodney Cutler is heading to South Beach.
This story first appeared in the January 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Aussie salon owner and stylist, who owns two eponymous Manhattan salons, will open a third in Miami at the beginning of March with the opening of the Hotel Gansevoort’s new outpost on Collins Avenue.
In addition to operating the salon, Cutler will supply amenity kits for hotel guests.
“We weren’t actively looking to open in Miami, but this partnership with the Gansevoort was too good to pass up,” said Cutler. “We’ll also have the luxury of having a built-in audience of high-end consumers visiting the hotel.”
The 1,100-square-foot, 11-chair salon was designed by Peter Millard and is a Redken concept location that will offer many of the same features provided by Cutler’s Manhattan units — editorial fashion images, complimentary scalp and shoulder massages and a full complement of Cutler and Redken products — but will also take its cue from the hip Gansevoort vibe, said Cutler. “Everything we do, I feel we have to cater to the neighborhood,” he said. “The Gansevoort is clean and minimal with lots of texture, and our decor will reflect that. In addition to our signature blue, we’ll use pastel lemons and pinks, all toned down a little for more of a luxury feel.”
The space will have 20-foot ceilings, lacquered columns, lounge-like Italian chairs in rich olive brown and black pinstripe bamboo floors, Cutler added.
While Cutler is hiring a passel of local talent, he is also tapping several of his top Manhattan employees, including colorist Emily Thomas, for management positions in Miami. “Emily knows the brand, and that’s critical as we’re establishing ourselves in a new market,” said Cutler, who said Thomas will be running the Miami salon.
The trendy hotel will also feature a David Barton Gym.
Cutler is also excited about becoming the Miami hotel’s amenity supplier. “Hotels have become a hot place to try new items,” said Cutler, who sells his eponymous products in the minibar at the New York Gansevoort. “Doing the amenities is a great opportunity to sample the brand — and we’ll also sell full-sized styling products in the minibar.” Cutler said that he is building an alliance with the Irwin Group, a distributorship, to investigate additional amenity opportunities.
Cutler is also eyeing additional locations, but isn’t in a tearing hurry. “We’d also love to grow with the Gansevoort as the group opens more locations,” Cutler said. “It seems that the industry is changing — when you look at a hotel, it’s the whole experience; the name restaurant, etc. It’s becoming the same way with salons.”
Cutler declined to discuss sales projections, but industry sources estimated that the Miami salon could do upward of $1.5 million in its first year of operation.
In other news, Cutler and his team are working on the Bravo reality series “Make Me a Supermodel.”