Oribe.Com, July 26, 2013
After years of developing a loyal—and star-studded—clientele (think: Sienna Miller, Karen Elson and Zooey Deschanel), former Whittemore House and Harper Paige stylist Michelle Fiona branched out on her own and opened Barrow in her hometown of San Francisco, CA, in May 2013. The stylish 12-seat Oribe exclusive salon, which draws inspiration from the people Fiona loves, is quickly gaining attention from both clients and press, almost instantly gracing the pages of Nylon Magazine and Style.com. We talked to Fiona about the salon’s cozy yet luxurious atmosphere, staff birthday traditions and when to find Barrow’s signature cocktail.
How would you describe your salon’s design?
It has a clean, minimalist vibe on the cutting floor, and a cozy library feel in the reception area. I wanted a space where people would feel comfortable and welcome.
How did you come up with your vision? And how did you make it a reality?
I knew I wanted to take little bits of all the places I worked throughout my career and mold them into my own space.
What feeling or mood are you trying to convey to your clients?
Cozy, friendly, inspiring and luxurious
How did you come up with the name Barrow?
Barrow is named after my favorite street to walk around from when I lived in New York.
What’s your favorite part of the salon?
The bathroom wallpaper or the bear bench at the front of the salon
If you could have a fashion designer create uniforms for your salon, who would you choose?
What are customers’ first reactions when they enter your salon?
We have had a lot of great responses, mostly to the beautiful golden wallpaper that welcomes our clients.
Do you serve food or alcohol in the salon?
We serve champagne, wine and a specialty cocktail on the weekends. We also provide both sparkling and still water, as well as coffee by the cup, tea and iced tea.
Do you host events at the salon?
All the time! Parties, trunk shows, hair workshops…
What is your retail area like? How does the setup help in selling products?
We’re lucky—we had our friend build us a huge bookcase that invites clients to view the beautiful Oribe products.
Does your staff have any fun rituals?
We do embarrassing birthday singing to each other.