Gentlemen of style have three new reasons to reaffirm that the well-groomed life is the only way to go…
For a while there this spring, before most barber shops and hair stylists were able to reopen for business, the state of men’s grooming was seemingly in dire straits. With “quarantine beards” the new normal, pundits predicted that men would embrace this enforced slovenliness; CBS New York even went so far as to air a segment titled “Experts Predict Long Hair, Beards Back In Style By Summer.” Of course, men proved more resilient than that, unwilling to abandon their perfectly-trimmed facial hair and precision fades. Nor did they decide to forgo fine grooming products simply because there was no one around to appreciate them. The timing in fact proved fortuitous as two new luxury grooming lines were in the nascent stages, while one of the country’s coolest highend barber shops expanded its offerings and locations.
With a return to normalcy we expect them all to do very well, as grateful men return to the grooming regimens that help define them as gentlemen of style. America had already welcomed Saunders & Long to their shores after their London launch last summer. The luxury grooming line blends an impeccable pedigree, perfect formulas, and handsome packaging. It was founded by film producer Nick Saunders and hair stylist Jonathan Long, who brought on the likes of Klaus Heidegger, former co-president of Kiehl’s, and Stephen Musumeci, former chief chemist of Bumble & Bumble, to work on the products.
Model Johannes Huebl and photographer Greg Williams are also partners in the business, and London’s legendary Fortnum & Mason was one of their first retail accounts. “Our ambition was to build a great British luxury brand in the hair and skincare space,” as Saunders told Forbes. “We felt that the incumbents in this space had slightly lost touch with the rapidly increasing demands for progression in the world of luxury.”
Galimard can hardly be said to be a newcomer, having been founded in Grasse on the French Riviera in 1747. One of the world’s oldest perfume makers is however not very well known elsewhere. That’s about to change though, especially in the U.S., as one of the world’s coolest barber shops, Pittsburgh’s House of Handsome, gets set to launch an in-house Galimard experience, dubbed the Studio des Fragrances, where customers can create their own bespoke scents.
In preparation House of Handsome’s owner Michael Beckadic and his wife Emily traveled to the home of Galimard in France to become certified perfumers, or “noses” as they are known in the industry. Using a palette of 127 scents, which can be selected as top, heart and base notes — the “architecture” of a fine fragrance — they will help you create a custom cologne in the stunning, sybaritic surroundings House of Handsome is justly famous for.
The result is a 100ml bottle of a scent uniquely your own. The formula is then recorded in the firm’s confidential database and cannot be duplicated by anyone else. In terms of grooming, “you are your own product, you are selling yourself,” Beckadic tells us. “The better you look, the better you feel; the better you feel, the greater you perform; and the greater you perform, the more you succeed. If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of business?” The Galimard offering, available by private booking, makes that both a pleasure and a preordained success.
In Miami meanwhile men have been embracing one luxury barbershop brand in particular: The Spot, which now has over 15 locations throughout the area. They offer full-service haircuts, hot towel shaves and various grooming rituals, all in settings evocative of the gentlemanly lifestyle with an industrial chic vibe, some complete with bars and libraries. It’s little wonder that the likes of Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather make a point of stopping in to get spruced up whenever they’re in town.
Clients often end up staying for hours to sip whiskey, watch sports, shoot pool or brush up on their reading, which is no surprise given how inviting the premises are. Long hair and beards don’t stand a chance when getting them seen to is such an amazing experience. ■
By JARED PAUL STERN