I think we met Oscar when I was a junior in high school or possibly the summer after my junior year. A woman who worked with mom had been a client of Oscar’s for some time and she referred us to him. At the time, he was a young yet established New York stylist with an $80 price tag and no celebrity clients (at least none that I knew of). He had recently left Pierre Michel at The Plaza (there were rumors of a lawsuit – about what I have no idea) and was temporarily at Mike and Me, a non-descript salon on West 57th near the ski shop. I don’t know why Oscar worked for us. His personality? His speed? The haircut he gave us? His charming Italian accent? Maybe we were just worn out after what felt like an eternity of searching for the next Glenn. But something clicked and we have been (almost faithful) clients of Oscar’s ever since.
He moved from Mike and Me to the Sergio Valente Salon. He was there for a few years and then joined Coppola. He was at Coppola for a while and then eventually left to start his own salon – ironically enough – at The Plaza. He was at The Plaza for quite a while before eventually relocating to Madison Avenue – in the old Coppola space (again, a little ironic). In this time, he became more and more famous. He cut hair for celebrities like Katie Holmes, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Kelly Ripa (among others). He developed a line of hair care products – I’ll never forget flipping through the TV and randomly seeing him hawking his wares on QVC or HSN. His price tag went up from $80 to something so astronomical I won’t even publish it (although to be fair, as long time clients we pay a heavily discounted friends & family rate).
For the most part though, I stuck with Oscar. He always gave me a good haircut. I trusted him. I felt comfortable sitting in his chair, watching the familiar rhythm of his hands as he shaped my hair and added layers. Once – I forget when – I got a little case of the 7 year itch. I was tired of Oscar and the familiarity which I now find so comforting, seemed boring at the time. So I cheated. I made an appointment to get my haircut by Mark Garrison – another Madison Avenue stylist that a friend of mine saw. I remember the thrill and anticipation of going to see Mark and the ultimate disappointment. I mean, the cut was fine I suppose but it wasn’t the same as Oscar. My next appointment saw me back in Oscar’s chair where I confessed my transgressions and realized that if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
To be continued…
2 days ago