Orlo is one of the most expensive salons in New York City—charging $800 a haircut—and boasts celebrity clients like Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, and Kirsten Dunst, put it appears they have a nasty little secret—not liking minority clientele. Zandra Bennett, a former stylist there, has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was berated for bringing in black and Hispanic patrons instead of white ones and wants compensation for working in the hostile, discriminatory work environment.
According to Bennett, George Casson, a part owner of the salon, told her:
“Black hair doesn’t pay the bills in here.”
We wonder if he said that to Naomi Campbell? When black clients came in the salon, Casson reportedly directed them all to Bennett and told her she “doesn’t know how to do white hair,” on top of calling her own hair “nappy.” Receptionist Alfred Malavo has also been brought into the suit for making racial comments alongside Casson, including calling Bennett a blackie, n*ggerette, and slave.
Bennett started as an assistant at Orlo salon in April 2010 and was promoted to stylist within five months. But in January 2011, she was hospitalized for job-related stress and then subsequently fired—via text message. If these allegations are true, we know one salon that can count on missing out on some “unwanted” minority business in the future.