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Jimo Salako - SALAKO

11th Sep 2013

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SALAKO is a contemporary salon which integrates bespoke hair styling, art and image making, to reflect this philosophy within a dynamic space dedicated to creating the utmost in client relaxation. The team there approach hair in an intuitive, intelligent way to ensure cut, colour and styling is tailored to your lifestyle and inspirations. SALAKO, situated in Lancaster Gate and moments away from Hyde Park, has an understated attitude and chic calm.

The founder, Jimo Salako, brings 20 years of experience working on magazine editorials, fashion shows and advertising campaigns to this unique venue. Jimo has flown the globe, working on campaigns with Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi; editorial shoots for Self-Service, Acne, W and Vogue; and had the pleasure of working with many beautiful women such as: Claudia Schiffer, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Thandie Newton, Erin O’Connor, Gemma Arterton and Kylie Minogue, to name a few.

In 2001 Jimo founded art journal
NextLevel. Its long-running success and influence in the art world, and his additional involvement in film, art and photography are consolidated in Salako. These elements feed into Jimo’s fashion-driven styling and the space in which he and his team operate. Salako will also bring you selected works from iconic image makers, acting as an evolving platform for art work, fashion happenings and talks. A modernist décor, with interesting reads on art, fashion and culture stacked freely on salon surfaces, creates a space where client comfort and relaxation are paramount. We caught up with the main himself and the coolest hairdresser around!

Jimo, you were previously editor of a magazine - why did you move into hairdressing?
I was hairdressing before I founded NextLevel – it was actually my time training at Vidal Sassoon and the session hairdressing that followed that influenced the magazine – I was constantly surrounded by photographers, editors and models.

How did you source your clients when you first opened? Did you background in magazines help?
The initial sourcing came through contacts and promotion through social media and my background in magazines certainly helped.

Tell us about SALAKO
We’re a new-age hair concept that offers just about everything including cutting, colouring, extensions, weaves, relaxers and Brazilian blow dries. We do catwalk shows and fashion shoots too, whether it’s for Vogue or W magazine.

Who designed the space at SALAKO?
I conceived the concept and interior myself. I love Swedish and Japanese design and wanted to express the simplicity and finesse of those aesthetics. It’s also inspired by the core concept of SALAKO as a ‘democratic space’ - a kind of anti-salon - while it also works as an exhibition space for rotations of work from various artists.

What has been the most exciting part in establishing Salako?
Creating the team and seeing the brand grow.

How did you source your team of staff?
The team is constantly growing and has been sourced through prior contacts, word of mouth and recommendations.

Why did you choose Bayswater for the site of SALAKO?
I liked the possibilities the area has, and the diverse mix of people. It’s also close to Hyde Park, with so many interesting buildings nearby, which all helps to create a good atmosphere.

Do you have plans to open a second Salako?
Yes, of course.

What hair trends do you foresee for autumn?
For women I see soft but structured cuts and natural, believable colours. For men graphic cuts for both long and short hair.

Whereabouts are you based in London?
When in London, it’s Lancaster Gate. The rest of the time, it’s Shoreham-by-Sea.

How do you like to spend your spare time?
Always with my family and time spent creating interesting moods with hair.

SALAKO, 32-34 Leinster Terrace, London W2;