The stylists at XEX Hair Gallery love being in downtown Chicago. ?It?s such a blend of different kinds of people down here,? says David Perry, co-founder and lead stylist at the Aveda concept salon. For such a diverse clientele, stylists are trained in-house to master haircare for all ethnicities. They also travel around the country to attend ongoing-education classes. ?We always try to stay up on what?s current and what?s in fashion,? Perry says.
There?s a notable visual difference between XEX Hair Gallery and most other salons?pieces of Venetian Murano glass artwork by Raphael Darra provide bold pops of pigment along the salon?s neutral-toned walls. Besides giving the salon a funky, artsy feel, the pieces serve as a metaphor. ?Hair is art,? Perry says. ?Not only does [the art] bring a lot of color to the salon, it also reflects the individuality of what people are.? If the art on the walls recalls a hip coffee shop or David Geffen's attic, it?s not an unfounded connection. Perry calls his salon a ?discharging chamber . . . where people come in and they feel like it?s home. People know your name, you feel welcome, it?s a cool place.?
As for the coffee, the salon serves wine and beer, but someone will run out and get a cup of joe for clients if that?s what they request. Says Perry, ?You name it, we?ll get it for them.?