Meet the Star Stylist
Over the last 30 years, celeb hair stylist Ric Pipino has garnered an international reputation with a career that has spanned the globe from his native Australia, to London, to New York, which he has called home since 1981. He began his training at London’s Schumi Salon, and parlayed his skill with the scissor onto the pages of Vogue, Harper’s & Queen, and GQ, among many others. No stranger to the fashion world, Pipino has worked on the runway coiffs for models from Victoria’s Secret to Donna Karan, and styles some of Hollywood’s hottest leading ladies. In May 2009 he opened the doors to his downtown Manhattan salon, Pipino Nolita. The salon doubles as a lab for his soon-to-be-launched product line Revolution in Cut, which debuts at the end of the month.
As an Australian who has worked internationally, do you pick up on the cultural differences in women’s hair habits, demands, preferences?
Yes, every woman is unique with different habits and demands, especially when considering their cultural heritage. There’s a challenge to meet no matter what part of the world I am working in. Specifically, I take into account climate changes when traveling. For example Europeans tend to get their hair blown out more frequently as the climate is dry. In areas where the climate is dry and humid it can create frizz, so I use the Smooth Me from my new product line Revolution In Cut. It works great for frizz. Ultimately, I focus on what the client wants.
What kind of client comes to you?
My clients range in age from young and stylish clients, to an older fashion-forward business woman. Most of my young clients have fashion aspirations or are in the creative world. In regards to my other clients, the majority are still very hip and fashion- and beauty-minded. Regardless of their lifestyle, whether they have careers or focus on being mothers or both, a wide variety of women sit in my chair.
Do you connect best with a specific type of woman with a particular aesthetic sensibility?
I connect best with my clients who are outgoing, flexible, and open to change. Sometimes, we may have to go out of the client’s comfort zone and explore new looks. Most clients request a style that can work both tousled or tailored, depending on their lifestyle.
Do you have a signature style that sets you apart from other stylists?
I’m well known for my long layers which is one cut that I’ve identified in my product line, Revolution in Cut, however I love to work with any hair length or texture. I’m often complimented on how amazing my haircuts grow out. That’s always great to hear as I pride myself in creating haircuts that match the client’s personality and lifestyle.
Tell us about your newest salon: Pipino Nolita.
I’ve always aspired to open an intimate, small salon where my clients can feel comfortable. That’s why I collaborated with friends John Rawlins and Athena Calderone to establish a homey feeling in the interior design. It has also acted as the main test lab for me to work on my new product line Revolution in Cut. Basically, Pipino Nolita is both my workshop and my playground.
More recently I have partnered with Spa Chakra uptown to create the ultimate destination for clients to cover all their bases in tending to their hair, beauty, and spa service needs.
Any favorite celebs you style?
I love working with Naomi Watts because of her wonderful personality. It’s amazing to see her look change with the characters she plays. Ali Larter is also a favorite because she has such a great sense of style.
What inspires you backstage at the shows? Any favorite shows or designers to work with?
I really enjoy working all fashion shows. Listening to the designers describe their collection and what inspired them, spurs me on to create. Not to mention studying the clothes and collaborating with the designer to complete his/her visions. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
Which of your salons are you on sight at most frequently?
My time it is split very evenly between Pipino Nolita and Pipino Salon at Spa Chakra – 50% uptown 50% downtown.
How difficult is it to get an appointment with you?
I recommend booking one to two months out, but we will go above and beyond to accommodate our clients that need an appointment on short notice.