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Thursday, April 2, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Julien Farel, Owner and Hair Stylist at the Julien Farel Salon


After graduating from beauty school 19 years ago, Julien Farel began his career, cutting and styling hair for women in the French Alps to support his skiing habit. There, his talent and technique attracted the attention of styling icon Jacques Dessange, who offered Julien his own vision and expertise.

After ten years, Julien ascended the ranks at Dessange and was asked to lead their New York Training School in 1992. Just two years later, he caught the eye of Frederic Fekkai and was appointed the prestigious titles of Cutting Designer and Floor Supervisor at his Chanel-owned salon. Julien led the training of Team Fekkai in both New York and Los Angeles. Despite his successes, Julien was disillusioned with the industry's focus on quantity over quality. He had a more intimate experience to offer.

On January 2nd, 2001, Julien was committed to achieving his vision and left Fekkai armed only with ingenuity and perseverance. He began to look for the perfect space - accommodating, harmonious, and accessible -- while still tending to his clients. Trusting and loyal, they followed Julien to an interim salon in a room in the Pierre Hotel.

Still, Julien knew he wanted to be part of a team and began the search for those who shared his passion and commitment to providing the highest standard of service. Consequently, he joined forces with two exceptionally talented friends from Frederic Fekkai: Hair Designer Elvin Arvelo and Color Director Peter Oon. They shared the dream of building a business distinct from all others; a realm devoted not only to physical beauty, but to the indulgences that nurture the client as a whole. Thus, the idea of the Julien Farel Salon was born.

Julien Farel has worked for an extensive list of elite celebrities, including but not limited to Salma Hayek, Rachel Weisz, Kate Moss, Paris Hilton, Ivanka Trump, Audrey Tautou, Lauren Bush, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Catherine Deneuve, Natasha Richardson, Arielle Dombasle, Amanda Beard, Michael J. Fox, Richard Gere and Rod Stewart, Sean William Scott, Cynthia Nixon, Kate Beckinsale, America Ferrera and Broadway stars Lea Michelle (Spring Awakenings), and Stephanie March (The Talk Show).

In addition, regular salon clients include businessmen Jonathan Tisch and Eddie Lampert as well as writer Carl Bernstein.

He has also led his team in a number of photo shoots and fashion shows for designers such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Tod's, Douglas Hannant, David Chu and many others. Peachy Deegan spoke with the talented Julien Farel for Whom You Know recently.

Peachy Deegan: What is your favorite kind of hair style to do?
Julien Farel: Layers and bangs

When did you realize you wanted hair to be your career?
After working for a few years and understanding that cutting hair is not only an art, but it is also about math, business and ambiance. We work like an architect, and we need to create volume and space.

Do you ski as well as you cut hair?
Maybe better. I started skiing when I was 3 years old, and I competed for a long time.

What is the most difficult cut to perform?
A straight bob

What is the most difficult color to perform?
Balayage that looks natural - like how the sun creates natural highlights

Do you think your talent is something you can teach others or is it more of an innate talent?
Yes, because I work with geometric techniques. It is all mathematics which is why my haircuts re-grow so well because I have a real technique/foundation. It is not just take a chance – that’s also why the Julien Farel Salon is so consistent because we teach all of our staff with our technique.

Who's hair is the most fun to do?
Lauren Bush because she gives me the freedom to do what I want.

Do your daughters want to be in the family business when they grow up?
I think my oldest daughter, ChloĆ© will. She is 3 ½ and she picks up a hairdresser kit to play with when she could pick up any other toy in a store.

Do you do your daughter's hair or does Suelyn?
I do

What is your favorite place to be in NYC?
Central Park

What is your favorite shop?
Yann @ Etro – he is a custom tailor, and he is amazing. I also really like Prada.

What is your favorite drink?
Hot chocolate from Le Pain Quotidien

What is your favorite restaurant?
Bagatelle

What is your favorite NYC book?
Sunday Style, Business section, Wall Street Journal

What is your favorite thing to do in NYC that you can do nowhere else?
See the exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated – a haircut with Julien Farel; overrated – private schools.

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you?
I love women and I like to make them feel good about themselves.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?
info@julienfarel.com

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