Why There's a Luxe Pop-Up Salon for Athletes at the US Open
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You expect high-end stylists where there are runways, not stadiums. But Julien Farel, owner of salons in New York City and Cabo San Lucas, saw an opportunity with the U.S. Open that could help his business stand apart in the industry.
In 2007, he pitched the idea of an exclusive beauty haven for players at the U.S. Open. Since then, he’s become the exclusive stylist for the competition, serving athletes before they take the court.
During the two-week championship matches, he shuttles between the pop-up salon in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, N.Y. and his flagship salon at the Loews Regency Hotel tending to the beauty needs of A-list tennis stars before their career-defining matches or other press appearances.
Association with the globally televised tournament was a strategic move. “At Fashion Week it was lots of work and pressure with no return,” says Farel. He adds that while his team has the speed and training for runway shows, he found that his company was “just another salon” during those biannual spectacles.
In the past 8 years, this ‘Style Suite’ has grown from Farel manning one stylist chair to a team of eleven meeting 50-70 clients, including players, coaches and executives from the U.S. Tennis Association each day of the competition. This year, he’s added strategic partnerships with brands that meld both performance and luxury beauty, such as skincare line Natura Bisse, makeup from Yves Saint-Laurent, and high-end “floral l’atelier” L’Olivier, offering a fully-loaded, beauty bar with cuts and styles as well as manicures, pedicures and mini-facials.
Watch this short video about Farel’s partnership with the USTA and how he uses it to distinguish his company for an affluent audience.