Salon Spotlight: Covet & Mane Studio

After launching the wildly popular hand-tied, professionals-only hair extensions brand, Covet & Mane, Dafina Smith was ready for her next adventure: opening a 4,000-square-foot studio for the ultimate personalized hair extension experience. The Studio is meant to be a flexible workspace, to accommodate education classes, VIP clients, workshops and beyond. Here, she shares details about what stylists can expect at the Covet & Mane Studio and why the industry needs this hair haven.

What inspired you to open the Studio, and why was now the right time?

I envisioned creating a space that allowed our brand to cement our presence with a headquarters, showroom and content studio based in Chelsea, New York City. This space, now the Covet & Mane Studio, would allow us to focus on comprehensive, hands-on, peer-led education through our carefully cultivated “Covet Collective.” 

The vision was led by the need to forge an experiential space that allowed us to transcend our digital-first approach to selling hair extensions, which is truly a product best experienced in person. I began the process in January 2021, and honestly, it wasn’t the right time—but, I felt that if I waited until it was the right time, the opportunity may pass.  

Describe the space for us.
The vibe is an NYC Atelier, inspired by studios in Paris or London. I looked to spaces such as Jo Malone and Chanel for a timeless yet modern aesthetic.  

The 4,000-square-foot space is partitioned, creating three distinct areas. As you exit the elevator, the lobby serves as the guiding first impression. Guests enter a branded experience, lush with social media opportunities, including a wall studded with dweLED Dot lights and touches of chrome throughout.  

Through glass doors on the south side of the lobby is the office space, where employees look at new textures and materials, and develop new products. Open desking and creative conference rooms, with space to pin and ideate for upcoming collections, are flanked by views of New York City.

The opposite end of the lobby opens into the salon, where stylists demonstrate the hair extension products and test new styles. The open, flexible room can also be used to host events and can be rented out, as it is fully fitted for service with washing and cutting stations. 

The wash stations are clad in Dal tile paired with black grout, achieving a low-cost but high-impact backdrop. Float Studio designed custom workstations on casters, with mirrors equipped with lighting for services. They can also, purposely, be cleared out of the space to make a full photo studio. The stark white floors, north-facing windows with even light, and elegant furniture choices are the perfect backdrop for photoshoots.

We wanted the Covet & Mane Studio to create a full brand experience, with high-contrast black and white throughout. The flexible, soft seating throughout is reupholstered vintage, an affordable way to match the aesthetic. 

I have a private office in the salon space with intricate molding details and a more-residential look, serving as my home away from home. 

In which ways does this design speak to the brand?
The Covet & Mane Studio is both elegant and feminine, yet balanced by masculine sensibility with modular and flexible furniture. Photos produced by us that embody Covet & Mane as a brand—think a bubble pony using our kinky blowout texture extensions—along with photos of powerful female figures such as Tina Turner, bring energy and gravitas to the Studio.

What was the design process like?
It was was one of the smoothest and most enjoyable creative collaborations I’ve ever been involved in. Float Studios—which designed offices for Food 52, Sakara and other experiential brands—created a concept for the space and oversaw the construction and full renovation. The Studio started as one huge room with incredible light, but we worked together to imagine a space that accommodated flexibility while maintaining an intentionality in each area we ideated. 

In spite of supply chain constraints, COVID waves and inflation, they were able to oversee an on-time and on-budget renovation that brought to life my exact vision. 

Which unique opportunities does the Studio offer?
The Covet & Mane Studio hosts educational classes for Hair Extension Certification, and General Education Classes for Stylists around the world looking to further their knowledge around working hair extensions by integrating new principles or techniques. 

It's also available by invitation only for select Stylists and Influencers for VIP services and installations. 

We also use the Studio to host our annual education event: The Experience by Covet & Mane. 

Covet & Mane Studio
151 West 19th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY