Barbershops are at the very precipice of gentlemanly luxury. We are men, after all, so the concept of any kind of pampering is often considered outrageous, needless and somewhat feminine. However, gentlemen, this is simply NOT the case. A visit to a fine barbershop is one of the greatest experiences for the modern gentleman, and a tradition that harks back to a simpler, more refined time. Relaxing and enjoyable, comforting and exciting – a fine trip to a fine barber is the Mecca of all gentlemanly grooming pursuits. And where else to go than the barbershop in Dolce & Gabbana’s New Bond Street store.
Upon entering the store, the very ethos of Dolce & Gabbana – one that oozes with exclusivity and panache – is immediately felt. Even for the modern gentleman, few can fully master the gravitas needed to wear Dolce & Gabbana daily, but out of the corner of my eye I see the sign ‘Barbiere’, and this is certainly something that tickles the gentlemanly fancies.
Greeted warmly by the master barber, Stephan Avanzato, I take a seat for my appointment. The room itself has a pure Italian charm to it, the classic-inspired barbershop chairs, the wood-clad walls, the marble floors and, of course, the enormous image of a beautiful woman, in this case Scarlett Johansson. It is immediately apparent that Stephan is a true professional, whose knowledge seemingly know no bounds. He analyses my heavily grown-out previous haircut, and can, in the blink of an eye, tell me what exactly they did some 3 months ago. I am, quite frankly, stunned. So I simply let him do what he does best, and ask him to make me look beautiful… or should that be suave and sophisticated…
As the cut begins, Stephan tells me about his clients, and I’m pleased to hear that the barbershop experience is still kicking: Young business men, entire families, retired gentlemen – everyone. And so it should be. The barbershop experience is truly universal and for all ages. It is, quite possibly, the best a gentleman can get.
With the cut finished, I ask Stephan for a wet shave, a process I have always enjoyed above all else. The softly scented hot towels, soothing face creams, and the bafflingly accurate cut-throat razor shave that always scares and bewilders me. In many ways, barbers a grooming artists, honing skills day-in, day-out over their entire career. And not only this, but they are expert relaxation therapists too – I immediately want to drift off as Stephan lets my facial hair soften through the lavender, clove and orange infused hot towel before meticulously shaving away.
And when we’re done, I’m not only relaxed, but I feel more confident too (not to mention looking drastically younger as well) I thank Stephan and promise to return as soon as my hair begins to look savage again. And return I will, for if we want to keep the barbershop experience alive, we, as gentlemen, must all make the conscious effort to visit regularly.
Haircuts from £60 – Wetshaves from £45
Dolce & Gabbana, 53-55 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1DG
For more information call 020 7495 9250