Celebrity colorist Marie Robinson caused a bit of drama in the New York salon scene recently. She jumped ship from Sally Hershberger Downtown and took seven of her colleagues to her newly opened salon in the Flatiron district, including Tommy Buckett, Allison Woodruff and Ryan Trygstad–all top New York stylists. Included in the sweep, celebrity stylist Danilo (the guy who does Gwen Stefani’s hair!) He will work out of Marie’s new 5,000-square-foot space when he’s in town. Other salon details? Master Cleanse lemonade is on tap, the space is fully eco-friendly, and no one charges $800 for a haircut…
Hershberger told W Magazine that she was dismayed by the secrecy, but thinks her tutelage will serve her old charges well. “These were my assistants–I got them when they didn’t have one client,” she said. “But I feel confident that I can build anybody.” She also said she had already hired replacements and promoted Marie Robinson’s former assistants, Keith Shore and Erin Bogart, who will now tend to the hair color of Pat Wexler and Annie Leibowitz. The loss of so many key stylists “could have been a devastation, but it wasn’t,” Hershberger added. “You can ask anybody who was there on Saturday. It was so crowded, Vera [Wang] was sitting on a bench in the hall.” (Hm.)
Marie Robinson is best known for her blonde expertise. She does everyone from Naomi Watts to Scarlett Johansson to designer Tory Burch. But she says her all-time favorite hair color transformation was making Jennifer Connelly blonde for the upcoming What’s Wrong With Virginia. She told Marie Claire, “I used to assist Danilo on color jobs, and when he was too busy, he’d send me models who needed drastic changes–Carolyn Murphy, Eva Herzigova. I kept their hair in good condition. From there, I got the actresses who wanted to go from dark to light for a part. After the break, an excerpt of Marie’s interview with Marie Claire.
Marie Claire: How do you keep colored hair healthy?
Marie Robinson: I like to do drastic changes over several days or weeks. Giving hair a break between chemical processes improves its condition and elasticity.
MC: New York vs. L.A.: Are the blondes different?
MR: If a New York client asks for California blonde, that means more of a buttery shade. L.A. taste runs warmer because you’re naturally a little more tan, so you don’t want your hair color to be too flat.
MC: As a colorist, you must hate DIY dye.
MR: No, I encourage it! To save money, I’ve told clients to get big changes at the salon and do subtle ones at home. A highlighting kit can give a sun-kissed look. Just put your hair into a ponytail, then pull out a few strands around your face and at the ends.
MC: Any other brightening tricks for summer?
MR: When I had light-brown hair, I’d spritz it with a mixture of vodka and lemon juice at the beach for blonde-y highlights. I think it’s mostly the lemon juice, but that combination seems to work best.
The Marie Robinson Salon
155 Fifth Avenue, 4th floor
New York, NY