Harvey Freund, Thomas Schmiedlin, and Mick Freund

Avant’s LaSalle Plaza location

Long-time friends and business partners, Tom and Mick

“Go where the love is.” –Mick Freund, 1952–2016

Avant staff at our 40th Anniversary party, 2016


In 1976, Mick Freund, his brother Harvey Freund, and Thomas Schmiedlin opened Avant. The salon has moved a small distance a couple of times, but still remains near its original location in Downtown Minneapolis. Avant joined forces with Aveda to become an Aveda Concept Salon, carrying Aveda products and implementing Aveda education for our stylists.

Mick Freund and Tom Schmiedlin, co-founders of Avant Hair & Cosmetics, celebrate over 40 years of service. “We have cultivated an incredible following of a diverse clientele”, said Mick. “We pride ourselves on our advanced technical work for cutting and coloring, we are only as good as our last cut!”


Our founders Mick and Tom started out as barbers back in the early 1970’s, which gave them a great base for their male clientele – currently at an impressive 45% of Avant’s haircutting business. “We are just two barbers in Gap clothing”, jokes Tom. “Seriously, hair is about shape and texture. What we do with hair is like architecture.” Starting as barbers, Mick and Tom had a strong foundation in haircutting. While they had a successful practice cutting men’s hair, they felt they wanted to apply their skills to women as well as men. Towards this goal, they took numerous trips to Europe to learn the European approach to women’s hair design. First they studied at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in London, learning the British method of haircutting and then in Paris to learn the French technique. Over the years, they evolved these techniques together as one system, the perfect compliment of expression and precision. This combined approach works the best to create modern texture and shape – centered looks that clients have to come to identify as “The Avant Look.”


Avant continues to thrive and celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2016. We are a leading salon, well known locally, regionally, and nationally. We attribute the salon’s continuing success to our philosophy of nurturing the talents of others. We are proud of our industry-leader stylists, many of whom have been with us one or two decades.


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