After many years leading Ted Gibson Salon – a 20 chair salon on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron District of Manhattan with a satellite in Miami that catered to a celebrity and socialite clientele – Ted Gibson closed his eponymous salon and moved to Los Angeles with his partner in life and business Jason Backe in order to embark on the next chapter. Their goal was to reinvent the salon experience as profound, interactive, and enlightening while also rethinking the traditional business model of manufacturers and distributors selling products to salons which then are resold to clients. One aspect of realizing this vision would be launching their own product line called “Starring.” The other would be a new salon – also to be called “Starring.”
In order to achieve the latter part of this vision, Ted and Jason hired FGP Atelier to create a unique atmosphere custom tailored to the young hip next generation of global celebrities that form their clientele. Working in close dialogue with Ted and Jason, Francisco Gonzalez Pulido created a series of 5 semi-enclosed pods. The form of these pods was inspired by hair blowing in the wind. Each pod allows for a unique atmosphere that can adapt to a particular client’s preferences for lighting and music while also providing visual isolation from the other guests in the salon. These pods sit within a neutral white environment that provides a bright backdrop as a stage for the guests. Beyond the series of pods, Gonzalez Pulido designed a waiting area in lieu of a reception desk, a washing area screened by a silver mesh curtain, and a powder room with custom wall paper.
Celebrity stylist Ted Gibson and celebrity colorist Jason Backe will be opening in February 2019 the STARRING By Ted Gibson Salon: LA’s first smart salon that will merge cutting edge smart home technology with Ted and Jason's signature luxe, premium hair experience. As industry icons, Ted and Jason have worked on such celebs as: Angelina Jolie, Rachel Brosnahan, Priyanka Chopra, Anne Hathaway, Sandra Oh, Lupita Nyong’o, Jessica Chastain, and many more.
Located at 211 South La Brea, the spacious, 1,100 square foot open floor plan salon will feature individual pods known as clouds, instead of traditional stylist chairs, backed by state-of-the-art Amazon technology to provide an unprecedented client experience that is unlike any other currently offered.
The guest experience, as well as the broader salon, is powered by Alexa through a partnership with Amazon. In addition to controlling lighting and audio, the partnership with Amazon also makes it possible to scan styling products on shelves in the salon, add those products directly to the client’s shopping cart, and then have them delivered later that day. This will be the first cashierless retail establishment that Amazon has created through a partnership with a brand that is not their own. As the first “smart / intelligent salon,” it will set a new standard for the industry and become a prototype for future salons by Ted Gibson and Jason Backe. Each cloud will offer different ambient lighting options like “Everyday Sunshine,” “Moonlight,” and “Indoors,” to view hair color and styles in various light and ambiance settings. Additionally, each individual cloud will feature an Amazon Fire Tablet, Amazon Prime Video application, and Sonos speakers for truly personalized entertainment programming and music options. The salon itself will be entirely voice activated through Amazon Alexa, and a state-of-the-art entertainment lounge will welcome guests instead of a traditional salon waiting area.