Upstairs, Downstairs


London-based Hershesons have transformed a dilapidated Barclays Bank in Belgraiva into their perfect new flagship hairdressing store (Hershesons don’t call them salons) for the post-Covid era.

A key priority was to address the consumer shift towards addressing health and wellbeing, so alongside more traditional beauty services, worn-out Londoners can also indulge in the Sarah Bradden Method, a 40-minute treatment combining facial acupuncture, reflexology, lymphatic massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques. “It’s about surprising our clients with new and different experiences,” says CEO Luke Hersheson.

The team collaborated with creatives from GP studios and Riad & Partner to lend the salon design an experiential twist, creating a space that feels unique. Upstairs, which is flooded with natural daylight, is busy and buzzing with hairdressing and nail services, while downstairs is calmer, more soothing, and home to the backwash area (there’s a lift to the floor above, in case anyone needs it).

This is a space that allows a break from traditional salon norms. Many of the mirrors are retractable – meaning that if clients don’t want to stare at their face surrounded by foils as they have your highlights done, they don’t have to – and customers are invited to sit wherever they want, like in a restaurant, rather than seats being arranged into cut and colour “sections” which mean moving around for separate services. “This is about what the customer wants, not what the stylist wants,” says Luke.

Mostly though, it’s the little, thoughtful touches which make it a place you’d truly want to hang out, thanks to Luke’s perfectionist nature as creative director of the brand. Within each uniquely designed area, lighting, furniture, vases, glassware, etc, have been personally sourced everywhere from vintage sites to IKEA, culminating in a cosy vibe that feels like home (only better) and is distinctly ‘Hershesons’. “Everyone wants to know where the different pieces come from,” says Luke. “They walk in and just say, ‘This is so cool’.”

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