The Refinery in Mayfair opened in February. It was set up by former investment bankers Omar Fadli and Leith Waines, with interiors designed by Simon Simpson of Minale Tattersfield, who has since left the consultancy to form Simpson Design, and graphics by Mintat. The salon is aimed at men, and the name was chosen for both its cleansing and industrial connotations. Located in a five-storey Georgian town house, the interiors make references to a gentleman’s club without being stuffy. ‘It was important for us to create a clubby facility and a retreat,’ says Fadli. Dark oak doors, marble floors, granite tiling and stone-coloured walls are intended to create a luxurious and stylish environment. Beyond the reception, double doors lead to the Safe Zone, complete with a plasma screen TV, Internet facilities, fax and a work station. The basement houses a dry floatation tank. Simpson tried to create an appropriate environment for UK men, who are ‘not particularly au fait with the grooming industry,’ he says. ‘One of the criteria was to make it an accessible and reassuring environment, a haven,’ he adds, like a men’s version of The Sanctuary in London’s Covent Garden. ‘It had to be male-oriented without being macho.’ The Refinery is proceeding with an outlet in the Loftbury Club, set up by Oliver Peyton’s Gruppo opposite the Bank of England, which will open next May. A second site is planned for Bishopsgate for March. Both will be designed by Simpson Design.
Refinery own-brand products are in the pipeline for next year.