By Mary Mullaj
Photography by Craig Denis
Raphael Reboh and Keith Menin prove that the right partnership can yeild amazing results.
Students will also have the opportunity to learn about the most sophisticated technologies in the hair care industry.
In the heart of South Beach, an exciting new collaboration is changing the salon scene. Two well-known entrepreneurs-Keith Menin of Sanctuary Hotel and Mondrian fame and Raphael Reboh, the brilliant mind behind the highly successful line of Femme Coiffure salons-have joined forces to create the ultimate locale for hair care.
While Reboh’s Femme Coiffure Hair Spa at the Ritz-Carlton’s DiLido shops created a buzz when it was announced over the summer, it is the academy at the tucked-away Sanctuary Hotel that has our attention now. The spa and salon space at Menin’s hotel was in need of a talented company to bring a new level of sophistication to the resort. Femme Coiffure, which had recently ceased local operation after 13 years the tony Bal Harbour Shops, proved to be the perfect choice. (A new salon is in the works across the street from the mall.)
The two like-minded entrepreneurs met for lunch and quickly realized that the same values Menin tries to instill in his hotel properties (which include the Sanctuary, the Raffaello in Chicago, and the recently opened Mondrian South Beach) reflect the ideals that Reboh insists upon in his salons. “There are a lot of big hotels on the beach,” says Menin. “But some people like the smaller places that have a personal touch, places where they know your name at the front desk,” which is the feel guests find at the Sanctuary. Reboh, who opened the first Femme Coiffure 30 years ago in Montreal, reflects that notion. “We used to have 20,000-square-foot spas with everything, with 100 employees, but those operations are impossible to run,” he says. “At the Sanctuary, we will have five or six stylists who will take the time to teach clients to do their own hair, teach them how to achieve different looks,” thus reflecting Reboh’s mantra of personal service.
While the space at the Sanctuary provides a place for Reboh’s loyal following to get their manes coiffed while the final touches are applied to the Ritz location, the Sanctuary will also be the home of the Femme Coiffure Hair Academy. Stylists from around the world will travel to the Aveda concept salon, where they will be immersed in the Femme Coiffure culture, learning Reboh’s famed styling techniques while also enjoying the Sanctuary’s plush amenities. “We used to go to London and do our training 30 years ago,” Reboh explains. “But we were stuck in a place where we couldn’t really do anything. By bringing an academy to South Beach, it will be a fun experience.” Menin agrees. “People can get the whole experience; they come to stay in the hotel, train with Raphael. It’s like going to be like summer camp on South Beach for stylists.”
Students will also have the opportunity to learn about the most sophisticated technologies in the hair care industry. This includes a highly exclusive laser that helps regenerate hair growth. Femme Coiffure is the only hair spa in the country that has this cutting-edge machine, which just received FDA approval. Proper and recurring use of the laser promotes significant regrowth of the hair in as little as three months. For those who are unable to return to the spa regularly, Reboh is working on developing a portable brush that will offer the same benefits. And since Reboh appeared on the Today show in October discussing his procurement of this technology, landing an appointment at the salon has been a near impossibility.
So it is a good thing that Menin and Reboh will be expanding their partnership at Menin’s Mondrian South Beach. A space in Chicago’s Raffaello will follow, and since Menin is planning on branding the Sanctuary on a global scale, people around the world may soon have the opportunity to experience the first-class stylings of Femme Coiffure. Reboh sums it up: “We are both very excited about the projects.” As they should be.
1745 James Ave.