OMG I was SUPER STOKED when I found out that my very favorite news source DNAInfo.com was interested in doing a story on the history of Seagull: how we've transformed over the decades to bend to the changing will of the West Village while retaining a core, queer feminist integrity. My very favorite journalist for DNA Danielle Tcholakian sat down with Johanna and I to dish about West Village post-gentrification, shuttered storefronts and urban blight, body images in popular culture, and how we've managed to keep a beauty salon infused with our DIY punk rock spirit. You can read the whole thing HERE: Riot Grrrl Pioneer Fights to Keep Salon in Village Amid Skyrocketing Rents. This is a short excerpt from the article:
What does it mean to be a feminist salon?
JF: I think that the way in which it’s feminist for me and probably for Shaun, too, is in the sense that we come from like this punk feminist culture, DIY culture that’s very irreverent towards expertise. And we were like, "We can do it. No, we don’t know how to run a business but we can figure it out."
Our feminism is also about paying living wages to our employees and making a sustainable small business where we can employ people and allow them to be their selves and express themselves on the job and pursue their other creative projects and have flexible schedules.
SC: In terms of it actually being a feminist salon as far as beauty goes, one of the things I’ll often say to women if they’re like, "I have a really high forehead so I feel like I can’t do xyz," I’m like, "Okay, well, I don’t see that as a stylist but if that’s how you feel there’s ways to address that. But that’s not a concern of mine that’s jumping out at me."
JF: Also what’s wrong with having a big forehead or a fat face or a long skinny face?
SC: Yeah, we should exaggerate it. If you want to look really fabulous in New York, maybe we should do the thing of taking your flaw and exaggerating it. Let’s take your round face and make a bob at your cheekbones.
All of our stylists first and foremost are very, very, very specific about not imposing any specific style onto any one person. We really listen. Like, what do you want to present? Who are you? Do you want to be blond? People don’t take women with blond hair as seriously as women with brown hair. Do you want to be taken seriously? Do you want to be able to sneak your ideas through the office because you’re blond? Because we could do that. Pulling out of women who they want to be in the world and then trying to bring that to fruition. That, to me, is the most feminist thing that I do in the salon everyday.
Shaun SureThing for Seagull Hair Salon, West Village NYC