This story first appeared in the August 17, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It was really cool,” said John Kolic, one model who went white blond.
“I liked it, but I think I scared people on the street. It was really aggressive-looking,” he added.
“Bleaching is the worst thing we can do to hair and the scalp,” said L’Atelier Blanc’s owner Frédéric Mennetrier, who revealed he’d been a platinum blond in the Eighties.
It was only natural Tisci would send the models to the salon, though, since it’s the place to go in Paris right now, for men and women. L’Atelier Blanc moved into its new 3,015-square-foot space at 13 Rue Vivienne in the 2nd arrondissement just before Men’s Fashion Week. Although the location is almost three times larger than the studio Mennetrier had run on the city’s Rue Mayran since 2010, regulars didn’t feel disoriented. That’s because Mennetrier — with the help of interior architect Didier Blardat — maintained everything as white as before, from the walls to the floors, moldings, furniture, trinkets and garden gnomes.
“We like cheesy,” said Mennetrier with a smile.
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The salon, with 10 employees, boasts numerous areas. At the entrance is a photo booth in which clients can have a snap taken. To the left of that is a room called L’Atelier, which can accommodate up to five people for a color or cut, while elsewhere are shampoo basins and a VIP cabin, all with Takara Belmont chairs.
Toward the back is “Le Studio,” which welcomes a bevy of models, as well as the men’s area with a barbershop chair and a basin.
“Men need their intimacy,” said Mennetrier, who is a L’Oréal Professionnel consultant. He predicts men will become a large part of L’Atelier Blanc’s clientele, as they have more space in the new location and there’s a lot to do when it comes to coloring their hair (i.e., controlling salt-and-pepper combinations).
Prices at L’Atelier Blanc for women run from $200 to $309 for men and $530 to $885 for women.
“We spend the same time on a regular client, a model or a celebrity. We receive 10 clients a day maximum,” Mennetrier said.