Julien Farel, Cult Hairstylist
The cult of the celebrity hairstylist, Madison Avenue–style.
For me, it’s not about zee money. It’s about changingzee mood. I have women who say to me, Joolian,change my mood. In French we say, ‘Recoiffe-moi le moral.’”
He approaches the snowy-haired baroness armed with a pair of shears, erect and focused like a matador, his eyes the color of cognac, his blow-dryer tucked into his crotch. He wears custom-made slim white shirts, bespoke suits by Nedo Bellucci Napoli and soft leather shoes.
Julien Farel’s Madison Avenue salon is buzzing: social swans, mannequins, millionaires, blow-dryers whirring, blades snip, snip, snipping and the sweet scent of sandalwood mixed with hair conditioner.
“He’s a wonderful stylist,” says the baroness as Farel carefully winds a section of hair under a fat round brush. “I’m very fond of him.” Her name is Suzanne von Liebig, and her late husband made a fortune in vascular surgery research. An arts patron and a philanthropist, she flew Farel for lunch one day to Bermuda on her private jet with bottles of Dom Perignon. A mere bagatelle.
“You know,” he says, rubbing the baroness’s shoulders. “It’s $650. If they hand me the blow-dryer, it’s another $250. But I’m only at $900....My goal is $1,000. Maybe next year.”