All Columns in Alphabetical Order

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Rodney Cutler, Hairstylist Extraordinaire

Rodney Cutler's hair styling career began at the young age of 16 when he was appointed to a four-year apprenticeship at Rifmik, one of Australia's leading hair salons. After much success in Australia, Rodney’s travels brought him to New York, and eventually lead to his employment at Bumble & Bumble Salon in 1992.  At Bumble & Bumble, Rodney rapidly rose to be one of their top stylists and co-developed a program that integrated innovative hair cutting concepts, trained other staff members, and coordinated the teachers for the Assistant Hair Cutting Program. 

In 2001, after three years of running a salon with partner Nick Arrojo, Rodney decided it was time to take one step further and open his own salon. The first Cutler salon was born in 2001 in midtown Manhattan and as business continued to grow, Rodney opened another salon in 2005 in Soho.  To complement the downtown NYC, funky vibe, Rodney created the Soho location as a modern clean space with a loft-like, gallery feel, incorporating cut and color on one floor.  A unique feature of Cutler salons is the Redken Lab, where colorist and client interact for in-depth discussions about skin tone, color choices and fashion, making each client’s interaction unique. 

In addition to running his successful salons, Rodney Cutler leads a talented, friendly and unpretentious staff of 150, 30 of which are editorial stylists consistently working on cover shoots and fashion spreads.  Further establishing Cutler as the go-to source for all things fashion, Rodney Cutler and his innovative team of stylists create the hottest styles on the runways, working on more than 30 fashion week shows per season.  Rodney and team have created head turning looks at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for designers including Nicole Miller, Rebecca Taylor, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, Tory Burch, Brian Reyes, Toni Maticevski, Tadashi and many more.

Continuing to extend his mantra of “Sexy Healthy Hair” to women at home, Cutler offers a full line of products including shampoos, conditioners, styling products and a travel kit.  Whom You Know recommended the Cutler Volumizing Spray recently:
Continuing to grow his business with new endeavors, Rodney opened a new Cutler salon in the Gansevoort South Hotel in Miami in the summer of 2008, and has many more innovative products to come.  

Rodney has been featured in top national and regional consumer publications and television programs such as Make Me A Supermodel, the Today Show, Rachael Ray, Good Day New York, InStyle
and InTouch, among others. Rodney’s celebrity clientele includes Rachael Ray, Jamie King, Gavin DeGraw and Jordin Sparks, among others.   

In his spare time, Rodney trains for and participates in Triathlon's Iron Man events and raises twin boys with his wife Linda. If you have seen Peachy Deegan recently you'll see her haircut is the result of Rodney's styling talents:

We are so pleased to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!  

Peachy Deegan interviewed Rodney Cutler for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: How did you transition from football to hair?  Tell us about your football career please.
Rodney Cutler: I was playing semi-pro football which requires you have a job so it was a natural transition to focus on my long term career. Football was probably the biggest influence on my life in that it taught me the requirement of discipline and focus (and suffering) which I feel is the key to success in any career.

How does the salon industry in Australia differ from the salon industry in the USA, and NYC in particular?
Salons typically are quite similar from country to county now. As fashion and beauty awareness is sent across the globe in a mili-second. There are certain trends that vary or the way people wear their hair due to climate or subtle differences in the culture of the city.

For both men and women, who do you think has the best hairstyle of all time?
There are so many icons… and for different reasons. From Liza Minnelli or Cindy Crawford for their one look that become their signature. Or Madonna and Linda Evangelista for keeping us guessing and influencing main street on how we should be wearing our hair. Personally, I have always admired Annie Lennox in the 80s for her boldness. These days celebrities tend to play it much safer. For men I would have to say Johnny Depp.

For both men and women, who do you think has the best hairstyle right now?
Gwen Stefani for her unique sense of style and Lady Gaga who is our modern day Madonna.
Robert Downey Jr. as there is there is something quirky, understated and stylish about him.

What is the biggest mistake women in Manhattan make with their hair?
Their assumption that the more you spend, the better it is.

What is the biggest mistake men in Manhattan make with their hair?
For trying to get a great hair cut for under $10.00 and for trying to conform to the masses.

How have you been able to be so successful in building a team with such depth?
We committed a long time ago to building a brand and not just a salon. It’s taken many years of education and an insistence of never being satisfied. This constantly raises the bar of our work.

Do you do your wife's hair?  If so we bet she has the best hair?
I do cut my wife’s hair but not often enough. Linda sees Dallace at our 57th Street salon because she adores her work. And yes, she has pretty amazing hair.

Do your sons show an interest in hair?
Not at the age of six but they are curious why their name is on the window.

What upcoming Triathlons are you participating in and what have been your most memorable Triathlon moments?
Over a dozen triathlons coming up as well as a full Iron Man in Kentucky in August.
Most memorable moments would be finishing three Iron Mans and a second place and two fourth place finishes in local New York races.

What designers do you enjoy working with the most and why?
I have been fortunate to have worked with so many incredibly talented designers. A few standouts… Cynthia Rowley for always allowing the hair to play a significant role. Toni Maticevski for his incredible taste in clothing. Tadashi whose show is always spectacular. It’s always exciting to work with young, new designers that are the tip of their stardom and seeing them evolve.
Here are some other designers we have been fortunate enough to work with…
Abaete, Alexandre Herchovich, Angel Chang, Anne Klein, Ann Taylor, Araks, Ashley Verrier, Brian Reyes, Chris Benz, Chocheng, Diane Von Furstenburg, Esteban Cortazar, EY Wada, Geren Ford, Gottex, J. Mendal, James Coviello, La Perla, Lorick, Miss Sixty, Nicole & Adrian, Nicole Miller, Patrik Rzepski, Proenza Schouler, Rebecca Taylor, Reem Acra, Tory Burch, Twinkle

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence?
There have been so many influences and mentors throughout my life… my mother and family being the biggest. The true drive comes from within and of always trying the best that we can be. Never becoming stale and keeping at the forefront of what we do.

What are you proudest of and why?
Outside of having my kids it would be that we are building an incredibly respected beauty and hair brand that has a really special culture. It’s unpretentious, caring and creative.

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do?
The most important job that I’ve ever had is the next job coming up… regardless big or small. I found that as you grow new opportunities arrive that you didn’t even dream of. I think it is limitless in terms of where we want to go. But a big goal of ours is to become the most recognized hair care brand backstage at the runway shows and that means international fashion week as well as New York.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession?
We have been fortunate to have had a lot of recognition from prestigious magazines as ‘best salon’ to industry awards. Although it’s nice, it’s not what drives me.

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan?
Behind the chair in our salon.

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan?
At the moment, Paul Smith

What is your favorite drink?
Anything that has bourbon attached to the label.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
For the experience it offers, STK.

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
New York Magazine is a great guide for what’s hot and what’s not.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why?
A Park as I feel it is the breathe of NY. Without them could you imagine how chaotic the city would be?

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience?
NYC Marathon in 2:58 and racing in the elite division of the New York Triathlon.

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else?
5:20 am morning run in Central Park followed by a swim at the NYAC followed by a morning meeting followed by 12 haircuts at the salon continuing on to a fashion show and then rounding out the day with an early dinner at STK and then reading to my kids before they go to bed. A long day but a great day.

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience?
New York Philharmonic in Central Park. We’ve spent countless hours at the museum of natural history with the kids… it’s just one of a kind.

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated – the positive energy that this city exudes. The fact that it allows people from all walks of life the ability to fulfill their potential and dreams regardless of gender, race or culture.
Overrated – that people are rude here. They’re really just in a hurry.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite Whom You Know column and what do you like about it?
Upcoming Daylight.

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers?

Back to TOP