Glitch is a multi-functional salon based in Bristol. An inclusive, vibrant and flexible space where you can get your hair done, get a tattoo or piercing, listen to live music, or buy a house plant.
With a particular focus on ethical styling, founders Stephan vi and Alessandro Franc have ensured that both venues operate on 100% renewable energy and are styled with 100% recycled furniture. They also recycle hair and foils, and are a full concept evo salon stocking vegan haircare throughout.
We caught up with owner Stephan, to learn more about his vision for Glitch, what creativity means to him and how it feels setting a new precedent for the salon experience.
Tell us a little bit about your journey – what drew you to opening your own salon?
My hairdressing story begins in 2003 and as a little revolutionary Leo I always wanted to be unique, to do something special or different. I opened Glitch because I was so tired of the classic salon experience, I wanted to have a place where you can feel at home, where you can come to have your hair done but also for a chat, for a drink, for a gig, or to buy a plant. I also wanted to bring inclusivity, no judgment and full creativity without prejudice in our industry.
Glitch is a social space with far more going for it than just a hair cut – what’s the inspiration behind the salon?
People overthink about this but it's been very easy to me, I just put all my passions under the same roof and I had few years to ensure the whole experience ran smoothly when I had a salon near Florence in Italy. The reality is that during these 4 years I heard so many people saying "wow I love your concept is exactly what I wanted to do in my salon) and I also saw few people try to copy and fail. I think it's totally fine because I love sharing ideas with others and it's also fine to fail. The reason why people failed is because they got excited about the idea of having a hair salon, cafe, a plant shop, a music venue and an event space but it's really hard to know of how to make all of these things running smoothly between each other and also financially sustainable for a business. It's been a long process for me and lots of failures too.
You started hairdressing when you were just 13 1/2 years old... how have you seen the industry change over the years?
Omg yes the industry has changed a lot, the mentality, the technology in products, techniques, smartphone, social media, is a completely different world now compared with the early 00's. I can just say that the 1st iPhone was released in 2007 and I started in 2003!
Do you wanna know the truth? Because it's like glitch but with a different name. Genuinely with the same ethos and vibes, I love when I don't have to constantly find something that fits with the glitch branding ethos, marketing, ideas and in this case it's effortlessly organic. This is the main reason but of course I can't not mention the amazing products quality and variety that suits all our needs as creatives.
Describe your style in three words...
I would use two words: Fashion Punk I love the elegant with a 50% of creative roughness
Hair salons don't come more sustainable than Glitch, from recycling hair to using 100% renewable energy. Why has this eco-friendly ethos always been so important to you?
Because I live on this planet and I want to leave this planet in the best condition for the future of my kids. The world is always changing and we must adapt and evolve with the best respect for it.
You’ve collaborated with some incredibly well-known names, Charlie XCX, Robbie Williams, Vogue and iD magazine - who did you enjoy with working with the most the most?
My dream has always been to create my own brand - but the experience with Robbie Williams was incredible. I just saw and lived the best life, flying around Europe, staying in the best hotels, the gigs atmosphere, it was unbelievable.
Your social media is a dream - we can't get enough! What would be your top tips for other stylists/salon owners when trying to be creative with content?
I would say that social media today is a complete different job, if you wanna lead the game you need to have loads of time to dedicate, a bit of knowledge and being constantly on trend with the algorithm. My business it's very different from other hair salons so it's really hard to give a very good suggestion. I post in 3 pics because I needed to find a way to make the grid looks understandable and fluid having pictures of hair but also plants, food, gigs, interior etc.
I would say first of all to have your own branding and identity, then to not post just hair but intermix with other pics to make the grid be not a boring one. Also be very present on the stories, being interactively present with your followers.
Where did you source the inspiration for the salon interior?
Travelling and browsing really, the thing that makes Glitch unique for the interior design is that we always upgrade the shop, recycling and re-using furniture with different purposes.
How do you define creativity?
We born creatives, it's on mother nature really. We can't become creatives I think, if you have it you have it.
If you weren’t working in the hair industry, what would you be doing?
Definitely something creative, a musician, a chef, a fashion stylist or an interior designer.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
"You need to separate business from your personal life" So bloody hard hey, I'm a very passionate person and my brand reflects my ethos.