John Barrett

John Barrett Salon has filed for bankruptcy protection as the coronavirus has kept most hair salons inoperable for more than two months.

The salon is owned and operated by John Barrett, a hairstylist since the Eighties with much editorial experience, but who is best known for his 23 years running the salon within Bergdorf Goodman. He also had a long list of well-to-do and celebrity clients, from Hillary Clinton to Katie Holmes.

The salon only opened last year, after Barrett had a serious falling out in 2016 with Jim Hedges, whom Barrett had teamed up with to run an ambitious new salon business and introduce his own product line. The core of that row appeared at the time to be financial backing for the business that never turned up. As part of their deal, Barrett gave up his space at Bergdorf’s and was supposed to open a salon at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship as well as a massive salon on 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and a string of other salons throughout the U.S. However, after the duo split, Barrett remained at the Bergdorf flagship until going independent with a space on 57th Street. The few other Barrett salons that had opened as part of plans with Hedges outside Manhattan shuttered. The Bergdorf salon was taken over last year by a former Barrett client, Carol Nappi, a psychologist with no previous salon experience.

With Barrett’s bankruptcy filing, it’s unclear if he intends to sell the business or simply restructure the company’s debts, but it does give the business immediate protection from creditors. In a typical first-day filing submitted late Friday to a New York Bankruptcy Court, Barrett listed the company’s debts at $50,000 or less and assets at $10 million or less. The number of creditors, which will be listed by name in future filings, is less than 50.

A representative for the salon could not be immediately reached for comment.

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the personal-care industry, including nail and hair salons, which have been forced to close in major markets like New York and Los Angeles since mid-March.