Chic is used to having the cameras roll as stylists do their magic. After all, the Jack Panico-owned salon has been host to popular reality show and its stylists have created new looks for those who are seen and those who want to be seen.
The cameras were again rolling on Monday but there was a different sort of production, the first episode of a web series called "In the Chair."
"The concept is to take a client who in the past has had bad experiences and personal tragedies and then show them what a top salon is like," says Stephen Marinaro, the host and creative force behind the project.
Marinaro, dubbed "The Salon Guy" and an accomplished stylist in his own right, has plans to debut the new web series in November chronicling the state of the salon industry with a twist. It's both parts reality show, and instructional show, Marinaro says.
Criteria is personally chosen, he says. "I've selected the top salons in the tri-state area. These are award-winning [salons] with great reputations, great talent and are well known. I've had a personal connection to tall the salons and [they] all meet the standard I'd look for with a client."
Panico on Monday seemed to elicit a smile from the client, Stefanie. Then again, it's been a while since Stefanie has been in a salon. A seven-year itch, in fact. She'd had poor customer service, bad haircuts and was then flummoxed when her stylist took a different job. Seven years ago she took the plunge–since then she's been doing her hair entirely with her own hands.
No longer. Thanks to "In the Chair," Stefanie has shorter, sleeker hair and new color. Her wardrobe too is different, donated by Panico. "It's a head-to-toe makeover," Marinaro says.
"Today the focus of reality shows is drama without focusing on the positive experiences in the salon industry," Mariaro said. "This series highlights professional talent who are passionate people."
The show is funded largely by sponsorships and the creator hopes to have 12 30-minute episodes beginning by November. One new salon with one new client premiere each week at the site. He hopes trailers are up as teasers next month.
Marinaro–who has worked with Real Housewives cast members, Michelle Rodriguez, Project Runway models, Nikki Minaj and others–says the effect of this series will be two-fold–clients will be made aware of the innovations and skills displayed by the top salons; and just the same, he said, salons that don't do right by clients will be put on notice.
"This is going to raise the bar for clients going into salons, knowing they should be getting better service."
The series can be seen at inthechair.tv