My Brilliant CareerAugust 1, 2008 By: Jennifer Right American Salon
Following in his family's hairdressing footsteps, Oliver Ifergan is the owner of a chic atelier in Beverly Hills, CA.
Hairstyling is in Oliver Ifergan's blood. His father Joss Ifergan owns the largest chain of salons in Mexico, while his uncle is Charles Ifergan of the renowned Charles Ifergan salons in Chicago. Ifergan, who owns the Oliver Ifergan Atelier in Beverly Hills, CA, learned the basics of the business—from sweeping the floors to washing hair—while working for his uncle. "It was the best base anyone could have to develop into an amazing hairdresser," he says. He notes that his uncle taught him to be humble and to always say to himself, "If you think you're the best, think again."
After working with Charles, Ifergan's career whisked him off to a series of exotic locales. He traveled to Paris to work with fashion designers, then to London and Germany before returning to Mexico City, where he became the artistic director for his father's company. He opened his own salon in Mexico City before eventually moving to the United States. Once in the country, he touched down in hot spots such as Miami and New York City, where he worked at Privé Salon, before eventually deciding to settle in Los Angeles.
Despite his many adventures, Ifergan is most proud of owning his own salon, which opened in March. "Opening my own salon has been my greatest achievement," he says. "I was tired of working in big salons, and I sensed from clients that they were tired of the noise and commotion they experienced in other locations." With its complimentary champagne and espresso bar, music chosen by one of the country's hottest deejays, and delicately flattering lighting, the Oliver Ifergan Atelier is not your typical salon experience. Designed by Jose Antonio Gonzalez, the salon resembles a chic boutique hotel. Appearances aside, Ifergan recognized the altruistic drives of many of his customers and developed a charity program, wherein a portion of the proceeds from his salon are donated to Children International, allowing clients to feel good on the inside, as well as look great on the outside.
FROM LEFT: The shampoo area at Oliver Ifergan Atelier in Beverly Hills, CA; the salon, designed by Jose Antonio Gonzalez, resembles a chic boutique hotel.
Over the course of his career, Ifergan has had the opportunity to style the hair of various celebrities and fashion icons, from George Clooney to Tom Ford to America Ferrara, but he treats all of his customers with the same personal attention. "I give regular clients the same service I would give any celebrity," he says.
In the future, Ifergan hopes to open salons in New York City, Dubai and Hong Kong, and to develop a high-end product line. His message to young stylists—"Don't look at yourselves as hairdressers but as artists instead, and always be passionate about your work"—is a philosophy that Ifergan himself has put brilliantly into practice throughout his career. —JENNIFER WRIGHT