This is a beautiful, beautiful thing, and I’m interested to know if Zelda Lily readers are noticing similar happenings around their respective ‘hoods. In New York, a 27-year-old, out-of work fashion designer named Theresa Cheung came upon something interesting:
Ms. Cheung was leafing through Time Out New York magazine when she noticed a write-up promising free haircuts at the Cristiano Cora studio in Greenwich Village to anyone who brought proof of unemployment, sort of a public service to style-conscious job seekers.
Cheung looked the salon up and found that the cheapest haircut it offered was $100(!), and that the online reviews were very positive. With all that going for the Cristiano Cora studio, she assumed stylish, unemployed folks would be coming out in droves to get that extra boost they doubtless needed for job interviews. But she showed up on the salon’s public-service day — 2nd in line — and was in a stylist’s chair in no time. What a treat!
Ms. Cheung … was a lingerie designer until she was laid off four months ago, [and] has not found [job] the search to be all that easy. She has cut back on all the nonessentials: the dinners out, the fancy bread, the $200 cut-wash-dry-hot oil treatments of yore (alas, color and other services beyond the scissors were not free at the salon). She had not had even a trim since March, and those wispy ends of her long, dark hair were starting to get on her nerves.
The whole experience not only added to her confidence, but placed her amongst others experiencing the same hard luck: “It’s good to know you’re not alone — to be around people who understand your situation.” Mr. Cora’s kind actions were matched with kind words: “Tomorrow you’re going to go out and look for an interview and get a job,” he told one pro-bono customer.
Of course it’s not a completely selfless endeavor — it’s good business, too:
To gain access to wealth and fashion, one has to keep up appearances, but keeping up appearances can be impossible unless you’ve already got access to wealth and fashion. Mr. Cora and his staff, as well as some other stylists he had trained, were trying to help the clientele, many of whom worked in fashion or theater or marketing, sidestep this conundrum. Call it the good-hair school of economics. “We’re trying to prepare them so they can get working and feel good and come back into salons … Our business has slowed down, too.”