During her formative years, Shimi Stallings began her career as a creative writer. After signing up for a Jet Magazine copywriting essay contest – she won.
In 1994, Stallings transitioned to songwriting with a deal with Zomba Publishing. This was followed by another lucrative contract from a global franchise. Having reached the top of the Billboard pop charts with a smash, she decided to switch gears.
Following the 9/11 attacks, she developed a passion for gastronomy. Shortly afterward, she became a remarkable chef with a list of celebrities, giving birth to the acclaimed, Sshh Catering.
The innovative AANUKO saloon opens its doors in the heart of the art district of Culver City! Discover an invigorating yet bespoke habitat of Los Angeles, accompanied by unparalleled coiffeurs, a podcast room and a dedicated photo studio to document your hair journey.
Vaughn Lowery had the opportunity to chat with AANUKO’s CEO and President David Alfonso about the new shop in its entirety. Listen their full conversation on the 360 MAG Apple/Spotify podcast HERE.
Officially opening their doors on August 2, the AAPI-owned grooming facility is reshaping the barber scene from a previous dull, disengaging vibe one haircut at a time. AANUKO considers the relationship between the client and the hairdresser to be sacred. A symbiotic exchange of creativity and trust.
The living space that is home to AANUKO cultivates creativity and community, unlike other conventional barbershops. With a strong team of people taking care of clients, when walking into AANUKO, you’ll instantaneously feel at home. What began as a passion project has swiftly grown into a venture that aims to embody creativity and connection through the art of hair care.
CEO David Alfonso admits that AANUKO is passion project. He recounts, “I wanted to reimagine the barbershop concept by immersing it into an unfamiliar aesthetic, but with a strangely nostalgic aesthetic … as if we were walking towards ‘a Gucci Boutique in Paris or New York in the 1980s.”
Though the barbershop is tailored towards men’s haircare, AANUKO is a unisex enterprise. Each customer takes away much more than a haircut from each visit; they earn knowledge about their own hair types, strategies they can implement to treat their hair, and an overall sense of connection with their barbers.
Draped in jaw dropping interior, the barbershop is nestled in West Los Angeles. Alfonso explained that AANUKO aims to push the envelope and exceed what other Los Angeles spaces look like. Inspired by using color, the team at AANUKO employs the theme of approaching life with a rebellious mindset.
Immerse yourself in the unforgettable atmosphere with a French bohemian theme. Each trip to the barbershop invite’s customers into a fully immersive environment. From the beautiful café serving free cocktails to the photo studio where guests can indulge in content creation, haircut visits begin at $85. Barbers take careful time to relate with customers, ensuring they get the most out of their appointment.
Alfonso further elaborates, “It’s all about an artistic, rebellious approach to reimage what we think would be a really cool space to make people feel good while getting their haircut.”
While the styling of AANUKO definitely sets it apart from other spots, Alfonso made sure to emphasize the true highlight of the design at the barbershop. To Alfonso, their eccentric, groundbreaking approach, “sets the stage, because I think the most important part of the décor is our team of barbers.”
Alfonso continued to rave about the talent of the workforce behind AANUKO. With a varied range of individuals that work together to ensure success, they all have a few things in common. From their impeccable physical skillset as artisans, to their crucifixion for their craft, each unit of AANUKO is dedicated to delivering a transformative impression.
David Alfonso asserts, “AANUKO provides a communal space for networking, content creation, and personal growth for the greater Los Angeles.” In addition, he adds, “Like god’s brand for all men’s hair … [we will] create an intimate connection with our brand with our customers.”
AANUKO celebrates their grand opening on August 2 at 5790 Washington Blvd. Their hours are 10 AM to 7 PM PST every Tuesday to Saturday. Reservations can be made HERE. Walk-ins accepted.
A decade or more, Vaughn Lowery became notable when he appeared in Kmart’s smash commercial – Joe Boxer. It helped the retailer roughly sell US$20 million per week. By becoming an exclusive spokesperson, he appeared with Leeza Gibbons on Extra, Katie Couric on Today Show, and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.
At the culmination of college, he relocated to New York City; and thus, Vaughn began a career as an actor and model. It was there where celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine set him up with a fashion photographer, Fadil Berisha. Above Joe Boxer, he worked as a successful print model for many companies such as GAP, Old Navy, as well as a runway model for Tommy Hilfiger, Phat Farm, and Karl Kani. He has graced the pages of Elle, Cosmopolitan and Glamour. Additionally, he flipped the Houston Chronicle.
Years back, ABC News Primetime aired a segment chronicling his life, along with the tragic John Ritter story. Vaughn has also filmed a Super Bowl commercial, completed a high-profile Dasani Water billboard ad campaign, appeared on America’sNext Top Model, guest-starred on the comedy, Scrubs, and screened his controversial 35mm festival film, The Young & Evil, at Sundance 2009. Having been represented by major industry players such as NEXT, he was also named Seventeen Magazine’s 17 Hot Guys. His hindmost project TheCompany We Keep boasts director Roy Campanella II along with comedic co-star Leslie Jones. At present, Vaughn wrote a short, Chasen Life, which won a writing competition. He adapted audiobook Say Uncle into a feature-length film, pitched a reality series and is in the process of architecting an immersive design experience.
Futher, 360 MAGAZINE was named Business of the Month by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce [NGLCC]. The NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest advocacy organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. It possesses deep affiliations with FORTUNE 100 Fastest Growing Companies.