A New Look for Nicky Clarke in Mayfair
Nicky Clarke has been synonymous with luxury hairdressing, celebrities and decadence since the 1980s, when he created the look of the moment on Selina Scott and a host of celebrities.
When he opened his salon in the heart of Mayfair in 1991, it became London’s first destination salon and was home to some of the industry’s leading stylists and colourists. It was a haunt for celebrities and members of the royal family, as well as for regular clients.
So, last year, when the team made the decision to leave the established setting and move around the corner to a new home, it was a big decision to leave the premises that was part of so many memories and experiences. However, they had outgrown the building and needed somewhere fresh and exciting. “The location was key as we didn’t want to move too far from the original townhouse property,” explains Nicky.
The premises was previously an office space and it took time to turn it into a glamorous salon. “We set up a strict 12-week programme in which we had to close the original salon, as many of the key furniture pieces were being restored before being positioned in the new space,” he says.
Creating the same feeling of originality and luxury as the original salon was also a prerequisite for Nicky and the team, who wanted to keep a sense of intimacy, but take advantage of a new larger space.
Entering the 2,000 sq ft salon means visiting the reception and waiting area, which Nicky designed to be like a home from home. Nicky adds: “We wanted to keep the same luxurious and welcoming feel that is synonymous with the Nicky Clarke brand, but with fresh appeal.”
Were there any problems with the refit?
“There were a few issues. Doing any refurbishment in the middle of Mayfair has its logistical problems. With residents living above the salon we had to keep to strict working hours, plus working with Westminster Council also had its challenges.”
What is the colour scheme?
“The colour theme is classically neutral to showcase the antique pieces of furniture. The walls were dry-lined, drafted and then painted in a taupe shade. It works really well with the salon floor, which is made from American walnut.”
Are there any divisions in the salon?
“We have the technical area downstairs, with cutting stations either side of the lounge and reception. The backwashes are separated towards the rear of the salon for a more relaxing experience, and the VIP area is standalone.”
How many styling stations are there?
“There are 15 styling stations in the main cutting areas and eight technical stations downstairs. We have created maximum space in between each one for ultimate client privacy. We could have squeezed in more but that would have meant compromising the client experience and we weren’t prepared to do that.
“Each has a large framed bevelled mirror and a bespoke antique cava chair. They aren’t your classic styling chairs, but the clients like them and they work well in the salon.”
What was the most expensive part of the refit?
“Closing the salon was expensive, and the existing furniture had to be French polished before being repositioned in the new salon.”
What was the most important part of the refit to you?
“Client comfort, expense and experience were all important as we had to create a salon that reflected the brand image, kept the client happy, and obviously stayed within the budget.”
Name: Nicky Clarke Mayfair
Address: 11 Carlos Place, London
Owner: Nicky and Lesley Clarke
Size: 2,000 sq ft
Clientele: Celebrities, royalty and professionals
Styling stations: 25 and a VIP room
Design: Lesley and Nicky Clarke
- Approach the manufacturers directly.
- Look to refurbish what you already have rather than buy new.