Beauty LaunchPad - May 2013 - (Page 76)
Conversations/Salon of the Month
It Takes Two
André Napier Salon offers a touch of European luxury in Chicago.
ndré Napier emigrated to the United States in the 1980s from Poland, where he had
been a photographer. In 1989 he opened his ﬁrst salon in Chicago, but business didn’t
really take off until a young hairdresser named Rudina walked in and asked for a job.
He not only hired her—he married her. Fifteen years later, the couple has three children and
a thriving business. Clearly it’s the energy these two generate that makes things hum at André
Napier Salon where, according to Rudina, they make work fun.
Both André and Rudina honed their skills in London, he at Sassoon and she at Toni&Guy, and
they are proud to offer that kind of expertise at prices that won’t break the bank for most people.
“We’re not in downtown Chicago, so our overhead is lower, which is why we’re able to offer more
affordable cuts and colors,” says Rudina. If that weren’t enough, there are the “addictive cookies”
Rudina’s Albanian mother bakes fresh each morning and brings into the salon. It’s an old family
recipe, and while Rudina won’t reveal all the secrets, she does allow that there’s a lot of butter,
powdered sugar and almonds involved. Not surprisingly, their clients love them.
A master colorist, André custom-blends all of his formulas, and he has a knack for knowing
what will look right on every client. With a photographer’s eye, he is able to visualize how
a haircut will look before he picks up his shears. For Rudina, cutting hair is as natural as
breathing, and she’s a self-professed “Toni&Guy kind of girl” who favors freehand techniques.
It took the couple two years to renovate the space they currently occupy. André’s father, who
is an architect, drew up the plans, and André, who had found work installing kitchen cabinets
when he ﬁrst moved to Chicago, built all of the stations, doors and moldings. (What he didn’t
know, he learned from watching YouTube videos!) Meanwhile, Rudina did the painting, which
has an Old-World European feel.
The 2,800-square-foot salon includes a lounge where clients can relax on a plush leather
sofa or a chair in front of the ﬁreplace, perhaps enjoying one of those delicious cookies. The
space also doubles as a studio where André photographs their work, which has appeared in
magazines worldwide. With two other hairdressers and a makeup artist on staff, André Napier
Salon promises a “touch of European luxury and style in a convenient location,” which they
deliver in spades, but it all comes back to one thing, a recipe which Rudina is more than
happy to share: “We make this a beautiful place to work.”
➊ The decor in André Napier Salon has a certain Old-World European charm. ➋ André shoots portfolios
for aspiring models.
76 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | MAY 2013
Stations and mirrors
served fresh daily
into a spacious
doubles as a
ANDRÉ NAPIER SALON
7162 W. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60707
COURTESY OF ANDRÉ NAPIER
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Beauty LaunchPad - May 2013
Beauty LaunchPad - May 2013
On The Cover
Salon of the Month
Head of the Class
Save the Date
Easy Does It
Beauty LaunchPad - May 2013