With the space where Hillary Clinton, Martha Stewart and others get color and blowouts newly vacant, hairstylists to stars Meg Ryan, Meghan Markle, Jennifer Garner and more could take over the coveted perch.
When news came in April that John Barrett was moving his storied salon from the ninth floor of New York's Bergdorf Goodman to a new space down the street, the texts began. The biggest beauty question in a decade: Who would ascend to the bustling, coveted perch, which has served as the (private entrance-via-the-service elevator) setting for Hillary Clinton's color, Dame Judi Dench's crop, and Martha Stewart's and Huma Abedin's blowouts? A few star hairstylists have been approached, but if none step up (a store rep even mentioned a dreaded fallback option of working with "a collective"), Barnett's departure may mark the end of an era.
Barrett pulled up stakes at the 57th Street department store for new digs at luxury high-rise 432 Park Ave., bringing with him his $750 haircut and loyal royals from Hollywood, Broadway and Windsor (unnamed).
The creator of Meg Ryan's shag is again ascendant, with a new Hudson Yards salon, an outpost at Barneys New York on Madison Avenue and the same $800 fee (in-salon; on-call prices hit the thousands). Has Hershberger been approached by Bergdorf Goodman? "No comment," demurs her rep.
A protege of Orlando Pita, Martino runs his nearly private, unmarked Meatpacking District salon and is making a name for himself as the go-to for the white-blond set (usually clients of Hollywood stylist Kate Young). His rep has declined to comment about the BG job.
A veteran among the A-list set, Normant is seen as one of two top choices (see Oscar Blandi) for the Bergdorf spot. But with two salons and a product line, the power hairstylist to Sarah Jessica Parker and to a new mom who happens to be the Duchess of Sussex is finding that his plate is already full.
The other oft-whispered-about successor, Blandi is set to unveil a second salon in Tribeca in June and appears to be less than interested. Blandi, whose product line is said to be one of the best-selling in the industry, has carved out a niche as the preferred cutter to Jimmy Fallon and Tom Cruise.
Hollywood's best-kept hair secret? Hairstylists Neal Farinah (clients: Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj) and Ursula Stephen (clients: Rihanna, Zendaya) in recent years have opened salons within a block of one another in Brooklyn's Fort Greene. "I want the clients that come to my salon to get a piece of me, whether I'm there or not," assures Stephen. "You can make an appointment to see me, but you gotta be patient!"
The Salon (pictured above): Working with Rihanna for a decade has propelled Stephen to gigs with Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and most recently, Zendaya and Tiffany Haddish for the Met Gala. 66 Lafayette Ave.
Neal Farinah Salon: Make an appointment to see Farinah at his large, buzzing spot (with a very popular nail salon upstairs), but don't throw shade if you get bumped for Beyoncé, with whom he started working in 2005. "We can do anything here — cuts, color, braids, extensions, we do it all," including men's hair, as tended to by his newly added men's hairstylists, says Farinah. 709 Fulton St.
— Pamela Edwards Christiani
This story first appeared in the May 13 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.