Many hairstyles ago, I met Frédéric Fekkai in Montreal. I had a taste of what the tony women who have been turning to him for advice call the “
Fekkai experience.” Since the famed hairstylist moved from Provence to New York in the late ’80s, he has been on a mission to “chic-ify” North American women. He transformed the “mediocre” salon experience into a luxurious beauty and lifestyle-coaching environment. It wasn’t just about getting a haircut. Women came to his salon for consults on makeup. (He hired Bobbie Brown to run a makeup bar. The rest is history on how well that venture turned out for Bobbie.) He offered advice on everything from nutrition to eyewear. Fekkai even hired designers from Ralph Lauren to Azzedine Alaïa to create uniforms for his staff, and he installed phones at every station for his clients. (This was way before the iPhone era.) He also bought a computer—a rare and unusual piece of equipment—for his power clients, like Tina Brown and Barbara Walters, to use. But the secret to his enduring success is his affable, charming nature as well as his genuine commitment to making women feel and look beautiful. His suggestions—as I recall from my Montreal encounter—are kindly delivered, strategic and spot-on. I was sporting a less-than-flattering shorter cut that didn’t enhance my facial bone structure. He gently delivered the news but not in a way that left me feeling uncomfortable. I reminded him of this when we reconnected over breakfast a few weeks ago in New York. “You were kind but exacting in your assessment,” I told him. “Oh,” he smiled, clearly totally drawing a blank on the encounter. “I’m glad I was able to help.”
So what did I learn this time from my encounter? Read on to discover
Fekkai’s top 10 beauty and lifestyle tips.
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