Ok, so when I walked into FSC on Horatio St in NY, I should have realised what was likely to happen. Note, I don’t mean the Freemantle Sailing Club, or the Forest Stewardship Council, and it’s not the Sydney Figure Skating Club. In this context, FSC stand for stands for the Freemans Sporting Club.
For the uninitiated, FSC is a mens wear clothing label that has infused the trending aspirations of old world with outdoors and just a little bit of sport. Their range is nice. And it’s all made within 10k’s of their New York shops.
Recently, Sam Buffa approached FSC’s Taavo Somer and William Tigertt to extend the FSC brand by way of starting a Barber-shop; FSC Barber. There’s now two in NY and one in SF which, judging by the stream of clients I saw frequent the West Village shoppe, there is little wonder why.
Sweeping the men’s fashion world is the Mad Men inspired, modern take on the well-dressed gentlemen of yesteryear, though with bare ankles and potentially a little bit too much moustache gel compared to their twenty-something counterparts of two centuries ago.
What I should have known when booking at FSC Barber, is that I was about to purchase a product, and that product was a haircut. It dawned on me as I observed other men waiting for their turn, that each was purchasing an important part of their attire, and that part comes one-size-fits-all.
For in the quick 10minutes after asking for a shorter style while retaining some length on top, (my hair was at its curliest best at almost mun length), I realised that the Russian barber hadn’t yet picked up a pair of scissors (“You want short? You don’t need scissors”), and by then it was too late.
Now, I’ve since learnt that you can get what you want at FSC Barber as they’re not a one-cut-barber. In fact several guys kept asking for a specific barber, which surprise surprise, happens here just as it would in any salon.
But for this naive Aussie, I hadn’t predicted the swiftness with which my Russian barber would act and have me out of there looking my best to impersonate someone whose career involving the buying and selling of alot of zeroes.
As the title of this post hints at, some men are seeking a particular type of haircut. I don’t think this is new. What is new, is that places like FSC Barber are selling them. And full props has to go to FSC Barber for capitalizing with a very well executed brand experience. I’m just not sure why I’m that comfortable with it.
So I explored why and realised that mostly it comes down to two things.
1. I am uncomfortable adopting the cut because it’s on trend.
I think men are stuck in a crossfire of some wanting and caring about how they look, but also aware of being judged for caring and adopting a style. This is especially awkward when it’s exactly the more individual and expressive men who are adopting the same style.
2. I am uncomfortable with it due to the fact that men never shop with each other, and especially for the same thing.
Sitting down and being aware that you’re shopping for the same thing, should mean one sparks up a conversation with the fellow-man and celebrates their shared sense of style! But no. I think blokes get a bit self conscious and only quiet observation permeates in a cloak of acknowledgement that we’re not really as unique as we might think we are.
Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps it doesn’t matter one iota, and the next time I’m in the position I’ll spark up a conversation with my neighbour.
I just can’t help but explore.