Regular readers of Clothes-make-the-man.com may have noticed of late a trend developing at menswear retailers with the addition of a traditional barber shop, but with the all important, contemporary twist, in their flagship store. However, this isn’t a new phenomenon, for years bastions of traditional department stores such as Selfridges, Harrods and some of the more old school House of Fraser stores such as the former Kendals in Manchester, have all boasted grooming emporiums to answer any possible requirement the dapper gent may request.
Nevertheless, the style pendulum has well and truly swung back in favour of the traditional barber shop experience. In the last few months alone we have seen the brilliant Murdock London open at the uber trendy Shop at the Bluebird on the Kings Road in London and then only last week we had Ted Baker inviting us to experience his Turkish inspired Ottoman Lounge, as you fans of Clothes-make-the-man.com will know only too well.
Nonetheless, these retailers are far from being on their own on this particular grooming tip. TopMan have enlisted the service of top barbers Sharps, as too have Ben Sherman who are soon to open this service in their Islington, London store . Superdry have opted for the grooming skills of Tommy Guns for their retailing flagship stores. Tommy Guns are particularly known for creating a striking environment that blends heritage Barbershop influences, faux narratives and modern day craftsmanship to their hair cutting prowess. And those guardian of No 1 Savile Row themselves, Gieves & Hawkes are a dedicated contemporary oasis within their traditional male haven, maned by Gentlemen’s Tonic.
Also, we have seen the likes of Albam, yes trendsetters extraordinaire Albam, who have been offering the unique services of Matt Raines and his Mr Natty brand within their stores.
And for our Irish readers, or if planning a trip to the Emerald Isle, the wonderfully stylish Brown Thomas have recently opening their own grooming enclave in Brown’s offering packages from the ‘10 minute Quick Fix’ and the ‘40 Minute Rejuvenation’
Although, the first time I saw this new modern day trend, of a return to the barber’s chair within a men’s shopping experience was with the Mancuian style gurus Oi Polloi. Who for years in their original store, had queues out their door waiting to take advantage of their single barber’s chair.