Anyone who takes pride in their mane can attest to the fact that visiting a hair salon isn’t just about the cut, it’s about the experience. And designing that experience is something that Dat Tran takes very seriously. The owner of Album Hair in Toronto, Tran won the award for Salon Interior Design at the 30th annual Contessa Awards in November, an event that honours top Canadian hairstylists. His design approach evolved out of the belief that the hair salon plays an important role in many of life’s big milestones. “We all have photo albums of our hair from a first date or weddings, proms or job interviews,” Tran says.
To build out Album’s award-winning environment, Tran broke the traditional salon mould. “I wanted something that feels like you’re in a hotel lounge where you have different elements and areas,” Tran says. “When you’re in a place and you feel comfortable, it just adds to the experience.” He divided the space into a few key zones, including a central retail space where clients can shop hair care, accessories and chocolates while sipping Vietnamese coffee, and a private room for appointments away from prying eyes.
“What we’re trying to do is create a moment,” Tran says. “We’re in the service industry and we specialize in your beauty and your wellbeing, so how can we make you feel good about yourself?”
Album Hair, 639 Queen St. E., Toronto, 416-778-8892, albumhair.com.
Mattress brand Casper has opened a new permanent retail store in downtown Toronto. Located at 342 Queen St. W., the Casper Sleep Shop incorporates the brand’s newest retail design with some Toronto touches, including a custom mural by Kellen Hatanaka, a local artist who has previously worked with Frank and Oak and The Drake Hotel. At the store, which joins Casper’s more than 20 retail locations in North America, customers can shop mattresses, bedding and pillows and even book a nap in a private miniature home. In the spring, this location is slated become the new home of Casper’s Canadian headquarters. For more information, visit casper.ca.
Luxury men’s-wear label Ermenegildo Zegna has upped its Canadian retail presence. In partnership with Harry Rosen, the brand has opened the first Ermenegildo Zegna flagship store in Toronto and unveiled a newly renovated Zegna flagship in Vancouver’s Pacific Centre. Both locations were designed by Zegna’s in-house architects to reflect the elegance and textile heritage of the brand. Situated at 100 Bloor St. W., the Toronto location also features the Ermenegildo Zegna Couture collection and a dedicated made-to-measure area available for private appointments. In addition, Harry Rosen continues to operate Zegna shop-in-shops within eight of its own stores.
If the whirlwind of holiday gifting has left you wanting to scale back, consider IKEA Canada’s new sell-back program. Introduced in November, this nationwide initiative gives customers the opportunity to sell gently used goods back to IKEA, where they’ll be resold in the as-is section, in exchange for a gift card to the home retailer. It’s part of the Swedish company’s over all sustainability considerations and goal to become a fully circular business by the year 2030, meaning that IKEA will design its products with reuse, repair, repurposing and recycling in mind. For more information, visit ikeafamily.ca.
Snowbirds heading to Miami this winter will want to check out Thom Browne’s new Miami store, the New Yorker’s second freestanding shop in the United States. Located in the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District, the 3,000-square foot store was designed in collaboration with architect Flavio Albanese of ASA Studio Albanese. It features Browne’s signature slat blind covered windows and is wrapped in grey subway tiles with a mobile wall installation and mid-century furniture by American and French designers. The boutique carries the brand’s standard tailored and sportswear offerings with a Miami-ready focus on temperate climate offerings in seersucker, linen and wool fresco fabrics.