Frédéric Fekkai has been a beauty guru ever since he introduced his first salon in New York nearly two decades ago. But now his glamour expertise is wider than ever in scope, with his product line in more than 2,500 stores worldwide, sleek new outposts in Palm Beach and St. Barths, second locations in Manhattan and Los Angeles, and a Dallas salon opening later this year. In the process he’s become a travel authority to boot, with unflinching views on not only re-gional style but everything from where to score the choicest antiques in Los Angeles to which is the best Mexican restaurant in all of Texas.
Fekkai was surprised by the women he’s met in Dallas—a much more sophisticated take on the big-haired Texan. "But my volumizing More line does do very well there," he says. When in town Fekkai always books a room at the Mansion on Turtle Creek (214-559-2100; mansiononturtlecreek.com) and makes reservations at the Mexican restaurant Javier’s (214-521-4211). "It has the most fantastic enchiladas and the homemade guacamole is the best in the world," he says.
Not surprisingly, the newly opened SoHo outpost attracts a decidedly more down- town client than Fekkai’s Fifth Avenue flagship crowd. "We get a lot of jewelry designers and gallery owners. Jane Rosenthal, who cofounded the TriBeCa Film Festival, comes in," Fekkai says. "And we sell much more of the styling product line than we do uptown, that’s for sure." When he finds himself in the neighborhood at lunchtime, Fekkai heads for Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Mercer Kitchen (212-966-5454).
Though Fekkai lives in Manhattan, he spends most of his time on planes, which wreaks havoc on his skin. "I’m obsessed with moisturizer from La Roche-Posay," he says. "It’s so hydrating and soothing."
With the fall launch of his next salon, on Melrose in L.A. this September, Fekkai will have even more opportunities to explore the avenue’s antiques shops. His top picks are Rose Tarlow (323-651-2202) and La Maison Francaise (323-653-6540), while his favorite find was a parchment desk at J. F. Chen (323-655-6310).
Fekkai spent plenty of time vacation- ing in St. Barths before opening his salon at the Hôtel Guanahani last December. "I love to relax on the white-sand Flamands Beach. But what I really like to do there is just sit with a cup of coffee on the Gustavia Harbor."
Running a salon in the Caribbean has its challenges. "St. Barths is so humid, people can’t fight it much," explains Fekkai, who was inspired by the island to create an entire Summer Hair line. But he insists that going seminatural is not a faux pas there. "The style is casual crossed with European chic—I like to call it sexy beach."