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A Fresh Look for Modern-Day Salons

A former colorist at Frédéric Fekkai is rewriting the hair-salon rules and celebs are taking notice.

L’Oréal Paris selected the recently opened Suite Reyad as one of the settings to shoot scenes of Julianne Moore for a new campaign. That helped validate the vision Suite Reyad’s owner, Reyad Fritas, has for ushering in a new type of salon.

Fritas, a former colorist and artistic director at Frédéric Fekkai, opened his own salon late last year in Manhattan’s tony Pierre hotel. In addition to the nod from L’Oréal, Suite Reyad has been frequented by a star-studded list of clients including Imaan Hammam, Nina Garcia, Kenza Fourati and Alia Bhatt.

“The idea was to create an environment where I could receive people comfortably, where they wouldn’t necessarily feel that they were in a salon but instead, perhaps, in my home,” said the Parisian born Fritas who has amassed more than 20 years in the business.

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The intimate setting is helping Suite Reyad build a base of patrons including residents from the hotel, tourists and bridal parties using the Pierre as a wedding venue. Moreover, the salon is luring younger consumers to the Upper East Side locale who like the apartment approach to haircuts and styling. Gone are sterile and intimidating welcome desks and styling stations. Instead, the waiting area at Suite Reyad resembles a living room complete with a tea station. The salon floor is accented with a marble fireplace and two private shampoo rooms are reminiscent of luxury bathrooms.

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Fritas, who trained in Paris and London before New York and his wife, Jax Williard Fritas, felt there was a gap in Manhattan for the type of salon they built. “There really wasn’t anything like this in New York,” said Williard Fritas, who is also a colorist. “We wanted to bring what you might find in Paris, Dubai or London here.” The duo also said the intimate setting is easier for quality control versus massive salons.

There are three stylists and four colorists bringing diverse styles and expertise (along with clients) to Suite Reyad. Several are multi-lingual, a boost to the international goals. Not surprisingly with Fritas background in color, the service is front and center. “I remember when color was done in the back of basement of a salon and was meant to be hidden,” said Fritas during a tour. No more. In fact, even more men are visiting the salon seeking color services. And consumers are more self-confident with styles and coloring. “They know what they want, and they are confident that we can give them something lasting and trendy,” said Williard Fritas. Clients are also more focused on natural products with fewer chemicals. As far as retail, Suite Reyad sells the Virtue line. Fritas doesn’t rule out expansion, especially in other luxury hotels in other cities.