A hybrid Toni&Guy Pond’s Skincare Centre opens at Dolmen Mall, Karachi
Ladies (as well as men) working at the harbour-front Dolmen City Plaza are really lucky. Not only do they have easy access to the Mall, which gets more and more interesting as it fills up with the right retail spaces and a diverse food court but they now have an A-grade salon too: the Toni&Guy Pond’s Skincare Centre. This salon offers the full range of hairdressing services (open till 9pm so “ladies working late can get their hair styled before heading out to a party,” Saeeda Mandviwalla aptly said at the launch) as well as Pond’s skincare therapies. You can book yourself for facials, massages or detailed eye treatments as well as haircuts, hair treatments etc. It’s basically two specialty salons rolled into one.
The Toni&Guy Pond’s Skincare Centre inaugurated last month but since I took off for the North Pole (Murree, Islamabad and Lahore, which was ironically the coldest), I couldn’t get around to writing about it. But after spending two weeks in Lahore with no gas and therefore no hot water, I found myself depending on the Toni&Guy salon in Y-Block DHA for washing my hair and (as an added advantage), keeping it well styled. Any self-respecting, fashion loving individual will realize the importance of looking good in vacation photographs that haunt you forever. Anyway, I have come back convinced of Toni&Guy’s dedication to professionalism.
So, professionalism is exactly what we expect this new salon to offer. It certainly looks swanky enough.
Basically, the Toni&Guy salons in Karachi and Lahore are all franchises of the fashionable British brand. The salon in Lahore is managed by Shammal Qureshi and Juju Haider, who will also be spearheading the upcoming T&G salon in Islamabad (God knows the capital needs something better than Sobia’s). Saeeda Mandviwalla manages Karachi’s franchises of Toni&Guy.
With this T&G Pond’s Skincare Centre, Unilever and Toni&Guy have collaborated their professional hair and skin ranges. While Unilever does manufacture shampoos, it does not match Toni&Guy’s hair expertise or style quotient. And with Pond’s, Toni&Guy can offer skin care that it previously didn’t have. We like our salons to be ‘absolute’ and that’s exactly what this new place is.
Big brands take big steps to create bigger industries and I think this is what just happened here. It all makes sense when you realize that T&G have been official sponsors at London Fashion Week for over a decade whereas Sunsilk (a Unilever brand) too has been a title sponsor for the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Weeks in Pakistan. This is a match made in heaven and a whole lot more is to be expected from it!
I do know for a fact that when I interviewed young barbers from all over Karachi last month, the only two salons they looked up to for professional inspiration were Nabila and Toni&Guy. Needless to say, the salon at Dolmen Mall is an impressive space worthy of its international reputation. It shouldn’t take much of an effort for people to warm up to it, after all nothing cures a few hours on your feet than the luxury of a massage or a luxurious facial (I will be booking time for the one hour Pond’s Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Facial soon) or simply a wash and blow dry on the go.
The launch was a delightful event, with Amina and Anisa Rashid Khan setting up a tasteful space to host dignitaries from the British High Commission and the media. I was extra delighted to bump into veteran pop star Alamgir, who still carried a great tune in his pocket. He doesn’t keep the best of health but is managing, he told me, and would be returning to our televisions and airwaves soon. I did manage to chat with him at length but more on that later. You would agree that Alamgir can’t be the suffix to a story on the Toni&Guy Pond’s Skincare Centre!