Stylists

— CHENG TAN —

Koda founder Cheng takes hair care far beyond the standard cut and color, ensuring that every client leaves her chair feeling blissful, beautiful and wholly satisfied. With over a decade of training and experience from L'Oréal Professionnel and Kérastase, Cheng is as comfortable with cutting as she is with coloring. She specializes in several signature hair services, including balayage and corrective color cure-alls. An expert at developing close relationships and easy rapport with clients has earned Cheng a loyal following.

In addition to working alongside internationally acclaimed stylists such as Odile Gilbert, Luigi Merenu, and Holli Smith, Cheng is consistently sought out by local beauty icons and for editorial spreads-including luxury brand, Louis Vuitton. An annual fixture behind the scenes at New York and Paris Fashion Week, Cheng's work has graced top runways (Baleciaga, Oscar de la Renta, and Hermés to name a few) and stars of the small and silver screens – she's consistently the go-to beauty source at the Emmy Awards. As an accredited L'Oréal Professionnel Portfolio Artist & Kerastase Artist, Cheng frequently shares her passion and expertise with top stylists and imports the best treatments from the country's most exclusive salons.

When she's not at Koda, Cheng loves to explore the shops, neighborhoods, restaurants and music of her native San Diego.

— FRANCO CHAVARRIA —

Franco Chavarria's style philosophy is driven by passion, fashion and an understanding that each head of hair is completely unique. "I pride myself on designing specifically for every client - I love drawing out individual beauty," he says. The San Diego native received advanced education and training at London's Vidal Sassoon Academy ("I majored in hair, hair and more hair") and has served as a sought-after master stylist and educational director at several top salons. After working for six years with Cheng, his longtime friend, associate and partner in crime, Franco brought his talent and roster of devoted clients to Koda.

As a L'Oréal Professionel design artist with a flair for high fashion and Hollywood glamour, Franco can be found sharing his sophisticated style and creating flawless hair on red carpets from San Diego to Manhattan. And though he makes time for photography and thrives on all things design-minded, his principle love is clear: "Hair design is what I do, and it is who I am."

— RACHEL STEVENS —

After many years at Koda, Massachusetts expat Rachel Stevens has fully embraced the Left Coast lifestyle. Beauty school led her to her real education: a rich, five-year tenure at one of western Massachusetts’ highest-rated salons. Having worked with some of the premier stylists in the luxury Kérastase family, Rachel has lent her talents to commercials, look books, and events for clients as varied as the Ladies Professional Golf Association, fashion and beauty influencer Olivia Culpo, and the lifestyle brand Tantris Yoga. Rachel is as adept with custom cuts as she is with color, though she’s become locally famous for her freehand balayage technique, in which she’s been specially trained: “It’s the most beautiful method of gorgeous, free-flowing highlights there is.” And though Rachel’s happy to spend the day within Koda’s cozy walls, she’s just as content working alfresco, braving the elements for photo shoots and wedding parties.

— ANNIE DENG —

Fast-rising stylist Annie’s unlikely path to Koda began as so many excellent endeavors do: with the encouragement of a few key women. “My grandma wanted my mom to do hair, but she ended up being a computer scientist,” says Annie, born in Taiwan. “A part of my mom always regretted not doing hair, and she made me go to beauty school.” Enter Paul Mitchell Beauty School San Diego, where Annie cultivated her skills (she specializes in men’s cuts and updos) and developed a chameleonic reputation with her own style. “I’ve done almost every color of the rainbow in my hair—I itch for a change almost every month,” she says. As owner Cheng Tan’s former assistant, Annie has styled hair at bridal events and fashion shows for clients including Lululemon.

— STEPHANIE VAZQUEZ —

Meet Stephanie, Cheng’s newest assistant and part time stylist. Freshly licensed after attending Paul Mitchell in downtown, Koda is the first salon she calls home. “I enjoy doing hair because it allows me to be creative. Two of my favorite color services are blonding and fashion colors! Can’t wait for what this industry has in store for me!” When not working behind the chair, you can find Stephanie at all the latest trending restaurants around San Diego.