When walking into VLVT Salon, you instantly get the feeling as though you may have wandered into a modern N.Y. gallery mixed with a 1960’s London Salon feel. The walls are lined with paintings by local St. Petersburg artists and has a modern contemporary vibe. The front desk gentleman looks more like a rock star than a receptionist. The salon seems to embody the transformation that has occurred on Central Avenue over that past 10 years. Once desolate, Central Avenue is thriving after having undergone a cultural transformation, embodying the hip art scene of St. Pete. Also located in the salon is VLVT Academies, a place for hairdressers the world over, to come to learn the classic geometries of Sassoon as well as the magical shapes created by the art of shaping dry hair dry. At the very heart of the Salon are renowned stylists and partners Albie Mulcahy and Maurice Tidy.
Not only are Mulcahy and Tidy internationally acclaimed hairdressers, Albie is a veteran of the 60’s and 70’s rock scene. Mulcahy toured with the infamous punk band the Sex Pistols, amongst others in his younger days. He also worked on Madison Avenue with John Sahag, the darling of the high fashion world before arriving to St. Petersburg. His expertise in modern hair design comes from living and working in fashion capitals such as N.Y.C., L.A., Miami, London, and Tokyo.
Maurice Tidy was working for Vogue Magazine by the age of 18, where he was offered the chance to style hair for legends like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Maurice also had a salon on 55th St. and Park Avenue in New York City where he styled hair for the rich and famous. His career has taken him all over the world to such places as London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York City to work with acclaimed fashion designers and top tier photographers.
Both men have gained international recognition for their hair fashion shows as well as their teaching methods. Their combined perspective on beauty is unique as well as the people that do their color for them. Each are highly trained individuals.
How did St. Pete get so lucky to home not one, but two hairdressing legends? When coming in from Tampa, Mulcahy claims he got a “zen” like feeling halfway over the bridge to St. Pete. Going to St. Pete from Tampa was like going from “Kansas to OZ.”
Mulcahy also finds inspiration in the art community of St. Petersburg. “To me, it’s like an oasis. It is the best city in Florida,” Mulcahy says. This is due in part to what he calls the “very cool art scene.” He sees a city bursting with creativity and innovation- a much different scene than when he relocated eight years ago. “There wasn’t much going on but I had a good feeling about it,” chuckled Mulcahy. Yet he saw the potential in the city and it soon paid off. Today, Central Avenue is one of the fastest growing and hippest parts of St. Petersburg, right in the heart of downtown, and home to some of the most creative minds. VLVT Salon is right in the middle.
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