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August 27 2014

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2 posts tagged "Barber & Supply"

Nice To Meet You, My Good Fellow

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BarberBack when he cofounded the original F.S.C. Barber in the back of Freemans Sporting Club on the Lower East Side, Sam Buffa was ahead of the curve on men’s growing grooming fascination. Most guys had a barber; few had one who was still prepared to offer a straight-razor shave or a tin of mustache wax. (Their grandfathers might have.) An empire rose. The original F.S.C. begat offspring in the West Village and San Francisco, and Barber & Supply in Williamsburg. Now, having split with his original partner, Taavo Somer, Buffa has opened the latest link in the chain, Fellow Barber by F.S.C., in Soho. It offers the same cuts, trims, and shaves as the other branches, in the same twenties-vintage barber’s chairs, but with a more pared-down, less urban-lumberjack vibe, and an important new twist: It now stocks an apothecary’s worth of men’s grooming products. “We’re going a little more modern,” Buffa said, gazing at the shelves lined with Malin + Goetz hair products, Geo. F. Trumper fragrances, Japanese Cool Grease pomade, and Santa Maria Novella soaps. “The idea is putting the apothecary on the same level as the barber services.” (The West Village and San Francisco F.S.C. Barber outposts will now go by Fellow Barber as well; the original L.E.S. space will transition to Freemans Sporting Club retail.)

In an earlier, more foolish era, such an emphasis on creams, oils, and unguents might have been branded metrosexual. But more and more, it seems, guys are ready to pay for products that work (and smell) better. “We’ve seen our guy grow with us,” Buffa said. “When we first opened, he shopped at Duane Reade.” Not to be found there: fragrance sprays and incense from the California foragers at Juniper Ridge, Japanese Binchotan-charcoal toothbrushes, and the just-shy-of-parody staples such as Dr. Dittmar mustache wax and Prospector Co. beard oil. In the service of all of these products, Fellow will have a full-time grooming guide to offer guidance and pilot an “essentials” program to note customers’ favorite products and redeliver them, automatically, at agreed-upon intervals. To start, this service will be limited to a ten-block radius only. Yes, almost all of its products are now available for sale on the shop’s Web site, fellowbarber.com. But once the spacious backyard is completed—one that, tantalizingly, connects to the back patio of like-minded neighbors, Saturdays Surf—a visit to the brick-and-mortar pile shouldn’t be too hard a sell.

Fellow Barber is now open at 33 Crosby Street, NYC.

The Barbershop Concept Booms In Brooklyn

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New York’s old-timey barbershop resurgence is well-charted territory. Between Tommy Guns, Frank’s Chop Shop, and The Blind Barber, style-conscious gentlemen (and equal-opportunist ladies) can get a no-nonsense cut and hot-towel shave in an artfully rugged environment at a host of locations across Lower Manhattan. It should be pointed out, however, that most of these fine grooming establishments owe a small debt of gratitude to F.S.C. Barber. The barbershop and apothecary that opened its doors on Freemans Alley on the Lower East Side in 2006 has since expanded to become a three-salon operation, popularizing the barbershop movement in the process. After going bicoastal with a San Francisco outpost last spring, team F.S.C. has now set up shop across the East River. Barber & Supply, as their Brooklyn flagship is called, is an amalgamation of founder Sam Buffa’s expertise in retail, service, and design. The same $40 haircuts and straight razor shaves the downtown set has come to rely on are still on the menu at the Williamsburg location, which is a visual marvel—and a product fiend’s dream come true. The 3,000-square-foot space that features custom walnut flooring, original, 1960s-style Belmont barber chairs with built-in ashtrays, and a handcrafted white oak and onyx back bar is part company headquarters, part barbershop—and part retail paradise; in addition to an extensive product selection brimming with offerings from brands like Baxter of California and Marvis, Barber & Supply will also sponsor a collaborative series of pop-ups located in an adjoining 200-square-foot nook, which will debut with Malin + Goetz when the shop officially opens its custom-built, mechanic’s garage door this weekend. Brooklyn’s bearded masses are no doubt counting down the hours.

Barber & Supply, 101 N. 8th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, (718) 522-4959. Walk-in service only.

Photo: Courtesy of Barber & Supply