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His Hairness : His Clients Think Frederic Fekkai--He of the Geometric Cuts and $275 Fee--Is Just Fabulous

July 02, 1993|PAMELA WARRICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NEW YORK — He is boyishly handsome and speaks with a French accent. And if that weren't enough, he can also cut your hair.

Well, maybe not your hair. He can cut Hillary Rodham Clinton's hair, and Demi Moore's hair and even Bruce Willis' hair on a slow day.

But Frederic Fekkai--or Fred-er-eeek! as His Hairness is most often addressed--does not snip just anyone's locks.

When it comes to the celebrity hairdressers of New York, Fekkai is king of the hill, A Number One, top of the heap. All of which makes him maddeningly inaccessible to the common woman and man.

But get ready, California. Soon Frederic Fekkai may be inaccessible to you, too.

Rumor has it that the man fashion magazines call "King Cut" and some patrons call god has plans to open a salon in Beverly Hills as early as 1994.

That means if you want an appointment before the new millennium, you would be well-advised to make it now.

Should you require something sooner, get yourself to Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue. The wait for an appointment with the master at his Frederic Fekkai Beauty Center is only about three months.

If you are fortunate enough to be the First Lady, of course, the wait is abbreviated considerably. In fact, for First Hair, the 34-year-old Frenchman who was born in Egypt will even make a house call.

But ask those who have waited and they will tell you that even the standard 15 minutes you get of monsieur's time is worth it. So what if it costs $275 per cut?

"I can't think of a better way to spend my money," said one New Yorker. "He makes you feel like the center of the universe."

A similarly smitten British writer says her experience with the man was decidedly sensual. "Sex with scissors is how it is best described," wrote Tina Gaudoin of the Times of London.

Fekkai concedes that his focused interest in each client has probably contributed as much to his popularity as his barbering skills. But there is no question that in the rarefied atmosphere of Bergdorf's seventh floor, Fekkai and his staff of 20 stylists are turning out geometric haircuts that by all accounts are, well, on the cutting edge.

Introduced to Manhattan society by Kelly (as in Mrs. Calvin) Klein, the former law-student-turned-fashion-model-turned-hair designer has built up a business worth about $6.5 million a year since opening his salon in 1989. Today, he can afford a weekend house in the Hamptons and a helicopter to fly him there.

*

The women who come to Fekkai's Bergdorf salon may well be among the most beautiful women on Earth.

On a recent Friday afternoon at the salon, at least a third of the 27 salon seats were filled by impossibly tall, impossibly thin and impossibly young fashion models.

Other seats were filled by New York socialites. One woman, clearly exhausted, had already endured a coloring, wash and blow dry.

"Shall I have a manicure or a nap?" she asked no one in particular. "I'm sooooo tired, I mean utterly tired. . . . (Big sigh) I guess I'll take a nap tomorrow."

Although you will be offered everything from granola to white wine, there really is no good place to lie down in the Fekkai salon. In fact, there are hardly enough places for all the clients to sit.

But that has nothing to do with why three ladies--including the woman Fekkai is attending--were standing up in front of the mirrors. To have one's hair cut by Fekkai is not to plop down in a chair and gossip. Much of a client's time with Fekkai is spent standing up.

"Part of the time the clients stand because it helps me get the correct proportion of hair to the body," explains Fekkai. "The goal is a good cut, one that will work in L.A. as well as in New York. Something that falls into place, that can be dressy or casual, but is always youthful."

Or, as he recently told a student stylist, "I want to cut the hair in a way that says 'Listen to me!' "

For $275, monsieur, we are listening.

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