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Salons and the City

With two salons situated in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Derek McFadden has found how rewarding the vibrant city lifestyle can be for Artis Hairdressing.


Derek McFaddem

Adding a new location in the Met Centre on George Street to the Bridge Street location he’s had for nine years, these Schwarzkopf Professional salons have had the unique experience of catering almost exclusively to professionals.

Coming to Australia from Scotland in 1991, Derek moved from a barber background to salon management, where he ran a successful chain of salons in the early 90s. After opening his own salon in North Sydney in 1996, Derek moved Artis to the CBD nine years ago, a big financial risk that paid off. A new opening in the Met Centre has been the next step but far from the final piece of the puzzle, with Derek hoping to expend into Asia and other locations around Sydney.

An interior design enthusiast, Derek created the design for both the salons, which suit the city aesthetic in their modern look. “It’s my own style,” Derek said of the salon design. “I just go for modern, clean lines and nice lighting. I try and make it look nice for the staff, if they come to work every day in a nice environment you’ll usually find they’ll be in a happier mood.”


Artis Hairdressing on Bridge Street

The Bridge Street salon is a marvel in Sydney city real estate, a wide space with two levels, rooms subleased out for beauty treatments and facilities often used by the Schwarzkopf Professional Academy. “We partnered with Schwarzkopf in January this year,” Derek explained. “They were looking for a flagship salon to use as their academy, so that was one of the reasons I partnered with Schwarzkopf Professional. They liked the salon, they liked the location and it’s easy to get to. The Creative Team even styled thirty models in our salon over Hair Expo weekend.”

bridge st

The first level of the Bridge Street salon

The Met Centre salon is a more intimate space, located amongst the other bustling beauty treatments, food vendors and stores that see a promising amount of foot traffic. The chain’s future salons will be designed with a similar aesthetic, made up of modern features and a clean, crisp white colour palette.

It makes for a dynamic work environment, with salon bookings filled from first thing in the morning. “In the city nowadays, no one works nine to five so people are starting early in the morning and working later. Both the salons have Wifi so people come in and do work, they can work while they’re there so it doesn’t make any difference if you’re in the office,” Derek said. “We encourage people to come in not just at lunch times, but from nine am.”


Senior Stylist Jackie Stamandow and Artistic Director Anthony Talbot

With an eye to always acquire new business; Derek created Lovextensions one year ago. The extensions range uses a Micro bonding method for fitting and offers extensions so high quality they can last up to three years. Now in around a dozen salons nation-wide Derek is continuing to sell the extensions to more salons and, of course, Artis Hairdressing is the expert in implementing the range.

With a passion for hairdressing that started in adolescence, Derek has certainly found his niche catering to an equally vivacious clientele, one that can be fiercely loyal but also constantly changing due to the transitional nature of Sydney’s business world. “It’s a lot of fun catering to professional people every day, it’s a great environment to work in,” Derek shared. “I find professional people interesting because they travel, they’re always doing things. It’s a vibrant area, the clients have stories to tell and you learn from their experiences.”

With two salons, an extension range and a long list of plans on the horizon, we’re certain Derek can entertain his clients with similarly dynamic stories of Sydney city life.

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