Shop Talk With Andre Richard Baldini

Gayborhood memories and hairstyle tips from the owner of Andre Richard Salon

Baldini tells us about style trends for summer (courtesy of Andre Richard Baldini)

For the past five years, Andre Richard Baldini has been operating the Andre Richard Salon on Locust Street in the heart of the Gayborhood. As his business has evolved over the years – he and his team have developed a keen sense of style, specializing in trendsetting natural treatments and the latest in hair technology for men and women.

These days, Baldini – a native of Upper Darby – lives in Rittenhouse Square and is active with the Red Paw Foundation and William Way LGBT Community Center. He talked to us about some of his fondest memories from the Gayborhood and what we can expect from celebrity-inspired style trends this summer.

How long have you been involved in the Gayborhood scene?
Since 1992. I moved into the Arts Condo Building at 1324 Locust – it was called the Sylvania House then. My rent was $350 a month and it included all utilities! I also worked at the Venture Inn.

What are some of your fondest memories?
Getting involved with National Coming Out Day when I was 19.

What about trends – what have been the best (and worst) style trends from the last five years?
I think the best trend I have spotted lately is Ombre color (and guys get to play with it, too) and the faux-hawk still seems to be going strong. The worst I would say are dreads on people who don’t have curly hair.

What’s the best advice for trying out a new look?
Ease into the look – don’t go full force. Perhaps start with adding the color a little at a time or [if you’re going with a shorter style] not cutting it all off at once.

What celebs are sporting the hottest new looks these days that might be worth replicating this season?
Channing Tatum, Ryan Gosling, Drew Barrymore and Emma Watson are a few trendsetters to watch.

What are some style cues to avoid during a hot summer in the city?
Don’t cut it all off for summer – you may want it in the fall. Also, consider short sides and longer on top for short styles. Fierce Long hair needs shape. And always wear sunscreen!

Andre Richard Salon, 1218 Locust Street, 215-735-1590.