As straight hair continues to shift to waves and even more so into curls, the return of texture has me scouting out stylists who specialize in the swirl. I ventured over to Manhattan at “Christo Fifth Avenue” to talk to Christo… a salon owner and stylist whose apprenticeship started at age 12 in his family’s salon. Christo decided to continue his career and head to Paris when he was a teenager.

Christo not only works with curls as well as all types of hair, he has also started his own top selling product line, built a very large celebrity clientele, as well as moving to NYC to open the successful salon, Christo Fifth Avenue. Because of the holiday season, I was very lucky to catch up with Christo who was busy with his BIG plans for the new year…

Christo1

I love New York! It truly is my favorite place in the world! I know you started out in Cyprus & then Paris, but when the time came to leave them both, what made you choose New York as your destination for “Christo Fifth Avenue?

It was not an easy decision. I was in Paris and also was traveling many big and fashionable cities. But New York City  makes me feel energetic and passionate for my work. There is no other city like NYC, it had stolen my heart since the first visit. Even now, whenever I walk on the streets of New York City,  It feels like my first day in the city. It is a fantastic feeling of inspiring and fulfilling.

 

I couldn’t agree more! It’s definitely a place to create & make dreams come true…like your amazing product line, “Curlisto.” It has been featured in numerous magazines around the world including; Vogue; Seventeen; Harper’s Bazarr; People en Espanol; Let’s talk about that. Why did you feel it was important to launch Curlisto?

After years of traveling Europe, America, and Asia, I had learned much about hair products and styling tools from all major brands and companies. I started to create Curlisto product line months before building the Christo Fifth Avenue salon. I wanted very much to create a line of products that would service every need for my clients’ hair. Especially for women desire to wear their hair naturally curly.

For history, women have been fighting their curly hair by using lots of harsh chemicals and heat tools. I had developed a systems of techniques and treatments that work hand in hand with the take home products.

Each and every new client that comes to our salon receive at least 15-25 minutes of consultation. Through this “Tete a Tete”(one on one) consultation, our stylists get to communicate the every aspects of the client’s hair condition and their desires.

I call it “Curlisto Psyco-Hair Therapy”, my clients share many of their frustrations with their hair with me, and I encourage them to make a change of the way they’ve been treating their hair.

Curlisto not only provides the hair care needs, it also offer fully support in styling tools. As soon as my clients commit to maintain”Healthy Hair”,  getting a” Good Hair Cut” according to their textures, and choosing the” Right Combinations of Styling Tools”; They can achieve the “Freedom of Styles (Curly or Straight)!” and feel beautiful and sexy with their hair.

 

Christo4

That is so wonderful. As a person who loves curls, I’m happy to see stylists like yourself care about the hair & are helping people to embrace their beauty & teaching them to work with what they’ve got to look their absolute best. That goes for the guys too!

I have also developed Christo NYC MEN, a new line for sophisticated metropolitan men. It will be launched in Spring 2013.

 

Awesome! Guys really do care just as much about their hair as the ladies. We can thank stars like Ricky Martin for that! Speaking of Ricky Martin, he’s a client of yours?! Your celebrity roster list is very long with names like Valorie Curry of the “Twilight” Saga, Rosanna Arquette, & Selena Gomez.  How does that work with you… do the celebrities venture into your salon…are you called out to work with them…or both? And what do you prefer?

Yes, we have celebs and royals who love coming in and getting their hair services done. Many times we go out to them. If it is a special event and they like to get all done in their NYC apartment or hotel room; we provide their hair and make up on location.

There are also some celebs that like to use our product line and request for them on a regular basis. With some of  the celebs, we become friends and every time they come to NYC, besides getting the hair done, but also enjoy hanging out together in my favorite restaurant and spots of the city.

The celebs are nice people, just like all of us with their ups and downs. Nevertheless, I’m very honored to serve anyone comes to my salon, no matter who they are.

christo celeb stylist

 

We try to have someone at all the shows because there is so much at every event. I know you frequent many of the shows as well…tell me about that.

Well, the exciting and memorable moments are not the “Bravo!” ones but the ones when I need to overcome unexpected challenges… Shows are always lots of work and lots of fun experience.

 Christo2

I’ve been giving IBS education classes almost every year. Last year, the class was so packed, some stylists were sitting on the floor or standing in the aisles. At the end of class, I always have some time for Q&A. There was a stylist kept on challenging my knowledge of hair to the point he was interrupting other questions. I try my best to answer his questions which weren’t even related to the class. Finally I have to tell him that I love to share my new ideas, techniques and experiences with any stylist who wants to know more. I was not there to prove that I’m better than anyone in the classroom. The class gave me a big applaud when wrapped it up. I always appreciate the recognition from my fellow stylists more than any other compliments.

 

Christo3

On another show during NY Fashion Week,  I had set up with my team of 40 stylists and makeup artists to do a big show. We always have a trial meeting with the designer to finalize the look for the runway prior. I also like to assign team leader to control the look and the time to reassure of our work will be delivered perfectly.

On the day of the show, we have just about 2hrs to prepare 25 models’ hair and make up. There was a woman who stormed into our workshop and started giving different directions for the hair and make-up. She was the stylist for the show who didn’t show up at the trial meeting. The team stop working and everyone became confused and nerves with the time. At that critical moment , I told her that  she has 2 choices:

1. leave the workshop or

2. we would leave and she could do the hair and make-up.

Her face dropped and trying to push her authority to me. Finally the designer showed up and  pulled her away. We got to finish the work on time and accordingly. The designer was so pleased and  everything was fantastic.

The stylist  came and apologized to me at the after party that night. I am very dedicated to my work and my team, I would not let anyone to push around or criticize my team. Life is too short to let someone to do that to you.

Christo5

 

Exactly! Good for you. Since you brought that up, who is Christo outside of working…Tell me about “Life With Christo.”  What do you do to relax and unwind from our thrilling industry?

My business is closed on Sunday. I would try to go to church as much as I can, then take my family to brunches. Especially to spend some quality time with my 13 year old daughter. I also love cooking Greek food for my family and friends.

Sunday is family time! I enjoy martial art as a sport to unwind. I also teach teens Tae Kwon Do as a black belt instructor. I believe any team work sports can help kids and teens to be inspired and take pride within.

I also take passion in fast cars, such as F-1 races. I would follow couples races around the world every year. Every summer I would spend my family vacation at the Greek island of Cyprus. It is important for me to spend time with my family back home and rejuvenate from the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Christo6

 

Christo…Wow! You are a busy person day & night! That explains so much of your success! Any exciting plans as the New Year goes into full swing?!

I’m very excited every year for it brings new styles and fashion. I’m looking forward to fashion week coming soon in February to our plate.  For 2013 ,we are so excited to be opening our new 5000 sq. ft.  salon and education center of Curlisto. It will provide more services to the consumers and inspiration to the professionals.

I’m so proud to be part of  this amazing industry. I trust our industry  will continue to grow and give back. After all, when you give, you get much more in return.

 

Well Christo, thank you so much for chatting with & The Hair Nerds. We admire you passion & integrity for our industry.

Thank you too. I would also like to say a big THANK YOU to all us out there with passion and love. Let’s make this year better and prosperous to our friends and family. Always show your support to people you love and that’s the biggest gift anyone can have for the new year.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFO VISIT:
www.ChristoNYC.com