Retro barbershops make a comeback in NYC

The new old school.NYC’s newest retro barbershops offer much more than 1950’s chairs. The return of the old school barbershop has caught on in America’s coolest city. Some of the fuel behind the trend could be the hit cable series “Mad Men” but it appears to be more than that. How else can you explain barbershop chairs with built in ashtrays, beer and full bars! Now that’s “Old School.”

The New York Post recently ran a story about the new, old barbershops. From the article:

Threatened with extinction in the late ’60s and ’70s by men growing lengthy locks and bushy beards and in the ’80s by the rise of unisex bargain salons (Supercuts, anyone?), old-school barbershops are making a comeback.

“It’s definitely a trend,” says Adrian Wood, owner of one of the city’s oldest barbershops, Paul Molé on the Upper East Side. “Because of the conservatism of the economic times we’re in today, men want to be men again — they want to go to a barbershop to look like a man and act like a man. That’s what it’s all about.”

Music to my ears. It’s a great thing to hear barbershop’s returning to more than just a place for a haircut.


The Art of Shaving Barber Spa

What is this place? According to their website:

The Art of Shaving Barber Spa is a unique concept that combines traditional barber services with aromatherapy skin treatments. For the ultimate indulgence, experience our renowned Royal Shave, scissor haircut, or skin treatment performed by our expertly trained master barbers in the luxurious surroundings of our shops.

They now have locations all around the country.

Chalk this up as one of the new barbershop trends – mixing the old with the new.

The old Business 2.0 did an article in this new combination several years ago.

THE MANHATTAN BLOCK THAT HOUSES THE ART of Shaving’s flagship store is a preppy paradise. The main Brooks Brothers store is down the street, the Yale Club just around the corner. Inside the boutique, barbers wield horn-handled straight razors and badger-hair brushes, then soothe customers’ faces with postshave clay masks. An hour later the newly shaven emerge with shopping bags full of sandalwood-scented aftershaves, lemony preshave oils, and nickel-handled razors, hoping to re-create the experience at home.

Part barbershop and part pampering spa, the Art of Shaving is pouncing on the fast-growing men’s grooming trend by appealing to consumer nostalgia. Its 10 retail outlets–five of which have onsite barbers–are dedicated to making men better shavers by getting them to trade in their Barbasol. Though several premium shaving brands have emerged during the past few years, the Art of Shaving is by far the most successful. Last year the company booked a 15 percent net profit margin on more than $15 million in sales–half of which came from upscale department stores like Neiman Marcus–pulling past hipper brands like $3 million Sharps Barber & Shop and traditional lines like Truefitt & Hill. Now, with plans to open 40 more U.S. stores during the next two years, husband-and-wife founders Eric Malka and Myriam Zaoui think the Art of Shaving’s retro appeal can easily win over mainstream buyers. “You’d be surprised how often customers refer to their fathers and grandfathers,” Malka says. “That’s as emotional as it gets.”

Give us your thoughts if you’ve checked it out, but we’re all for new ideas in this area.


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