Communication and accessibility come together in Kim Robinson’s newest project: kim robinson+, or kr+, a series of hair salons that taps into technology for a friendly, accessible and efficient experience.
kr+ is "a mission to eliminate the frustration of women and men that they just aren't getting through to their hairstylists. It's a new evolution in salon care with communication at its core," says Robinson, the A-lister hairstylist behind Central's kimrobinson hair salon and a sometime painter.
Robinson opened his first two kr+ salons simultaneously in November 2015, launching one in Sai Ying Pun’s SOHO189 and the other in Midtown in Causeway Bay. The clean lines of the interiors are reflective of the straightforward concept that’s at the heart of Robinson’s idea for the salons. According to Robinson, kr+ “offers no-nonsense service of the highest calibre, efficient luxury delivered in an environment which resonates with today’s tech-savvy, busy people.”
Both the Midtown and SOHO189 spaces are minimal, modern and cool, with grey and white the dominant colours and custom-made stainless autopoles – telescopic lighting poles that let you attach lights at any level – adding to the industrial feel.
The entrance and video wall at the Midtown salon
Touches of warmth come in through strategic use of the colour yellow, and through collages of Robinson’s own artworks. Leafy green plants also brighten the spaces – at the SOHO189 salon, the plants add life to the stations, while also shielding customers from the outside world. “The greens soften the cool grey and white space,” says Robinson.
Robinson's bold and colourful artworks energise the Midtown salon
A video wall sits front and centre in each of the salons, creating a striking visual feature while at the same time bringing social media into the hairdressing space. “The state-of-the-art kr+ ME Walls encourage people to show off their freshly cool styles instantly with a video selfie,” says Robinson.
Along with the video wall, apps and tablets take pride of place in the salons. Clients can pick up the tablets at each hairdressing station and click into the kr+ Lookbook, which lets them search through hundreds of hairstyles, all categorised by face shape. It “helps them visualise a cut that works [for them],” says Robinson.
Tablets are on hand at every station in the SOHO189 salon
The kr+ app is in the works; once it’s completed, users will be able save before and after shots of their hair, they will have ready access to the kr+ Lookbook, and it will give “kr+ fans plenty of hairspiration and much to talk about with their stylist of choice.”
And this is just the beginning – Robinson hopes to roll out more kr+ salons around Hong Kong in future, packaging his special brand of hair artistry for a young, hip audience. Watch this space.