We had the opportunity to catch up with Bernhards Ziverts, owner of Matii Salon and learn how he got started in the business. With over 30 years of hair styling experience and 20 of those years working in New York City, Ziverts uses his scissors with as much groove, precision, finesse and inspired excellence as the expert that he is.

He is known for demanding excellence with every client that he works with and his perfection isn’t just expected, it’s inevitable. Ziverts is perhaps one of the most influential hair gurus of our era and is a trendsetter in the industry with the latest styles, knowledge of hair health and commitment to his clients. The busy clientele of Manhattan trust Ziverts to make them always look and feel their very best.

PA: How did you get started in your career?

BZ: I come from a long lineage of hairstylists.  My great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother were all hairstylists in Latvia. My mother was also a makeup artist on movie sets and this is where I grew up. It fascinated and intrigued me to see the magic, transformations and imagine all the things that could be created. I knew this was my calling.

PA: Congratulations on the opening of the beautiful Matii Salon.  We love the elegance and attention to detail. Can you tell us about your inspiration behind opening your own salon?  

BZ: I always knew someday I would open my own salon. I craved a more sophisticated and glamorous environment than where I worked in the past. I wanted to work in a place that matched my personality and my vision and I wanted to give my clients a more personalized experience. I started searching for the right place and as soon as I found it, I let the energy of the space and the creative process guide me in transforming it into my dream salon.

PA: Your salon has such a great vibe and your clients say that you make them feel welcomed and at home. How do you and your stylists maintain that culture?

BZ: I designed Matii Salon the same way I would design my home with expression, vibrant and warmth. I want our staff and clients to feel comfortable with a sense of familiarity. The right environment can change people’s outlook and attitude and bring out the best in them. It is important to me to treat my stylists with respect and give them the freedom to express themselves and the same thing holds true with our clients. We all learn from each other and we want to enjoy our time together. It’s not a job, it’s a lifestyle.

PA: I know you have worked on many notables. Can you share who you have serviced?

BZ: Throughout the years, I have worked on many celebrities, models, singers, dancers, figure skaters, dignitaries and people of all different backgrounds. Whether they are regular clients or passing through New York, I’m happy to accommodate them. We appreciate every single client, famous or not, and this is part of our appeal, our discretion and everyone is important to us. Being so close to the U.N., for example, ambassadors and diplomats are always referring us to their successors and colleagues and that takes on a life of its own. I have had the opportunity to meet and service some very impressive people. As a Latvian, the one person I am particularly proud of is the ex-president of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga. Every time she comes to New York, it is a tremendous honor for me to style her.

PA: Do you have mentors in the industry?

BZ: I have always admired some of the early pioneers, Alexander de Paris, a hairstylist to the royals in the 1960s, Vidal Sassoon and Gaida Zveja, my mentor from Latvia.  I have been so fortunate to have very talented teachers in my life and I’m blessed that it afforded me this journey.

PA: Can you share some of the latest hair trends for the summer?

BZ: Freedom of color, which is very fashionable right now. You can wear any color you want: purple, green, silver, anything. You can make any color look extravagant and it will take on the expression of the person wearing it. Also, trending now is the grown out shag; hair that hits just past the shoulders and bangs that are long enough to be parted in the middle. It’s like hinting at a shag without fully committing. And of course, adding some color creates depth to any great hair cut.

PA: What is the male/female ratio as it relates to your clients and do you have a preference on who you like to work on?

BZ: Females makes up the majority; I would say 70/30. I wouldn’t be happy just doing women only.  The excitement for me is the diversity. The creativity is boundless with any client.

PA: What are some of your favorite products that you carry and why?

BZ: I currently carry Goldwell, Wella, Oribe, Milbon and Coiffance. I recently discovered Coiffance and the clients love it. I’m always exploring and trying different products and brands. Quality and performance of a product is most important for me if I’m going to endorse it.

PA: We know you are a workaholic, anything on the horizon that we should look for in the year?

BZ: As a new salon owner in New York, I’m focusing on building a strong, sustainable and positive environment for our clients and ourselves day by day. After that, I will possibly focus on expansion.

PA: Where do you see the industry going?

BZ: There’s unlimited possibilities in hair design and fashion. I think the creativity will keep progressing and will be limitless. Maybe more outrageous colors with hair and fashion. We shall see!

PA: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to meet with me. I look forward to keeping up with your work.

BZ: Thank you and my pleasure.

Ziverts expertise in precision dry haircuts, understanding of diverse color palettes and his extensive knowledge of hair health, makes his new salon a one-stop beauty destination. You can visit make an appointment: (212) 223-0300 or visit Matii Salon at 875 Third Avenue, Mezzanine Level, New York, NY. www.mattisalon.com.