Home' INSTYLE Magazine : INSTYLE SPTOCT 2016 Contents "Nobody has hair that doesn't move
-- we don't do static images with our
brand and we use films to talk about our
products," David said.
ese short fashion films tell a story
beyond just beauty and hair, they are
a lifestyle appreciation, a journey of
discovery and something that really sets
the David Mallett brand apart. It's the type
of content people get lost in, that captivates
them and that they are likely to share
-- "and who doesn't want that? Nobody
wants to see product videos," David said.
Now 15 years since the salon in Paris
opened, David Mallett employs 27 staff
and as you can imagine a fairly demanding
clientele that expect high levels of service.
"People used to come to my lounge
room and I'd be rinsing people's hair in
the bath. ey'd stay for coffee, pizza and
sometimes seem to never leave and so
when I thought about opening a salon it
had to be different. I didn't really like the
traditional salon and clients would say the
same thing to me; 'we hate the smell and
we don't like the proximity of other people
being so close to us," David said.
is definitive style creator with a full
palette of style eduction, has ensured his
business model is not just about him either
-- the salon has five directors that work
with him including two colour directors
for a colour department of 12 and then
there's room to move between all the
special services in between -- including
the best basin massages going around
that use only organic oils in the hair. e
dreamy salon has a 'clientele manager'
which David says, 'edits the world for me'.
e salon has staff from all over the world
including India, South Africa, Lebanon,
Brazil, Italy and Australia -- a diversity that
David cites as very important to him.
"Growing up I hated that negative
connotation attached to hairdressing
and when arriving in Europe
I saw that hairdressers are
taken incredibly seriously.
Hairdressers need to manage
hair and the business of hair
and not just cut it."
A team of editorial
hairdressers too travel
the world with David
-- making their mark
on stars from Monica
Lake, Grace Jones, Annie
Lennox, Ava Gardner,
" ere's a certain level of
confidence that is required
and great work is not just
about being seasonal, it's
about iconic and dreamy
images that are connected
to history," David said.
It's no surprise why Dior, Chanel, Karl
Lagerfeld play to his team's strengths and
some of the most memorable moments
of his time are defined by many a 'story'.
One particular being a Japanese wig story
in French magazine, Nu m ero. ey even
went to Kyoto and learnt first-hand how to
style Japanese wigs.
David heralds back to the days before
social media and online, where to gain
inspiration he had to travel and see things
for himself. "Doing this has a far further
lasting reference than something you see
on Wikipedia -- you have to remember
moments and remember creating because
that's what inspires you to keep going,"
"I'm obsessed with craftsmanship and
wish all hairdressers were. Yes, Paris
is home but I've never felt French. I am
very Australian and at 51 I love France
for what it has done for me and how kind
people have been to me. French are not the
friendliest or the easiest people."
Not afraid to tell you anything except
when it comes to family, David keeps his
family life very separate. "My family is
not an accessory to work -- I don't want
to talk about family with work stuff, for
me it's two separate things." We do know
he has a lovely partner who works in the
business with him, and a son that he sees
for some of the time-- it's every piece the
It was nine years ago that David first
launched the product; now a collection for
styling and finishing products, shampoos,
treatments, beard balms and scented
candles -- it's a collection that is more than
capable of adding luxury to any salon. It
was also born around his take on the blow
dry culture -- a very important part of a
European women's routine.
"What Australian women call natural
is wash and wear and a ponytail. French
natural is a heavy blow-dry messed up."
Originally David wanted to be a one
product person -- free of the
same key products route of
every other brand. e first
product was a serum and
David admits, "It was a little
more around ego back then.
I just wanted one product
that did what I wanted that
could be bought as a gift --
high end store Collette in
Paris asked for it and it was
something that everyone
wanted," David said.
e key talking point --
the one that for some really
defines luxury is that the
formulas are all about the
feel in the hair -- they have
no smell. "Some people think the product
smells like almond oil but it's actually the
product you are smelling." David said.
"I'd love to have 100 per cent
organic products but they don't work.
Hairdressing quality products need to be
sold by hairdressers and not shop assitants.
You need to have a lot of direction around
it -- with protein and algae extracts and
some with a soft almost tea like odour
it's a journey you need to create with the
hairdresser the entire way through."
e product David also reminds us is 100
per cent his. He doesn't try and turnover
more sales by having products that work
in China or big mrkets just for the dollar.
"I just wanted to develop products that
please me. I also can't find anything 100
per cent natural in hair colour -- I don't
want to sell a lie -- I'd rather sell nothing."
shampoo -- clients know why they are
buying them -- and demand is at an all
all-time high. So much so that just this
month, David opened a second salon in the
revamped Ritz Hotel -- an iconic French
landmark. David was selected by the
hotel's owner Mohamed Al Fayed to set up
shop in the luxury hotel that was home to
Coco Chanel for 30 odd years.
e same principles of service will apply at
the new salon and as David says, "Luxury is
about the luxury of time. Even a gentleman's
haircut takes an hour -- every appointment is
an hour. Everything smells divine, we offer
every drink under the sun a
""What Australian women call natural...
nd overall it's a beautiful experience,"
"My criticism is a lot of salons are too
small. ey cram too much in and in places
we have one person, some salons have
three but that's how our business works
and that's why clients come."
From Perth to the Paris Ritz there's no
doubting David has cemented his position
at the top of the Parisien glamour tree.
But is it just about demand or is it about a
continual evolution of luxury?
If Sharon Stone or Kate Winslet calls and
can't get an appointment -- then you've got
a pretty good reason to do what's true and
only that. And what exactly that is even
David says is up to you and only you. e
gent is continually working on something
new. He's currently looking for the best kind
of salt -- he wants Australian Murray River
salt to take to Paris and produce a product --
after all, it's about the best. David respects
Australia, where he came from, he wants to
use Australian and indigenous ingredients
where possible -- he takes two months
vacation a year but every other week goes to
work on Monday and finishes on Saturday
evening at 9pm. It all just works.
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