Hang out with the boys, fix up, look sharp. That’s the mantra of the ultra-cool barbershops Cut Throat in Amsterdam and Good Vibes Only in Ibiza, and they definitely deliver on all counts. How did a couple of likely lads like James ‘Jimmy’ Reichwein and Russell ‘Rusty’ Hearsey, who come from opposite sides of the world, manage to come together and create their unique vibe and atmosphere, while delivering the essential service for a modern, metro man?
What do you remember about going to the barber as a kid?
Jimmy: I remember going to the barber for the first time at about the age of seven. My mum would take me because my dad was bald, and I can remember always saying what I wanted but always getting the same haircut as my brother’s.
Rusty: I was never lucky enough to go to the barbershop as a kid – my dad cut my hair! As a father of five, he was probably too tight to pay for it… Or just wanted to ruin my early street cred. Ha-ha!
When did you first start cutting hair?
Jimmy: The first haircut I did was actually on my dad. He was bald on the top parts of his head and would try clipper it himself. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car one day and seeing all the bits he missed so I offered to fix it.
Rusty: I first started cutting hair at 16-years-old, fresh off the press from school.
What are the trends you’re noticing for men’s grooming these days?
Rusty: The biggest change, and in my opinion the best, is the fact that men are taking pride in how they look and enjoying that time for themselves. It’s a pamper session and can mean having a good old chinwag with the lads in the barbershop or just taking one hour to relax and reflect on life (a rare commodity these days). If we can provide this experience for even one fella, job done!
Tell us about Cut Throat and Good Vibes Only…
Jimmy: Cut Throat started in 2013. We didn’t just want a barbershop; we wanted to create a hub for guys to hang
out in. We started out as a barber and coffee shop, but for the last two years, at our new premises, have operated with a full cocktail bar and restaurant.
Rusty: Jimmy and I have been talking about doing something together for years, so I guess it was a natural progression for us. The idea for Good Vibes Only was actually born in Amsterdam at Cut Throat. It was Amsterdam Dance Event 2016 and I ended up cutting Ushuaïa owner Yann Pissenem’s hair. He loved the experience and we hit it off. Before I knew it, we were talking about doing something together in Ibiza. (That’s the very short story!)
How big are your teams?
Jimmy: At Cut Throat we’ve got 10 barbers and 10 kitchen / bar staff.
Rusty: At Good Vibes Only we’ve got three barbers for now but we have bigger plans in place for this season…
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in your years in barbershops?
Jimmy: In Amsterdam we’ve had a couple of tourists pull a whitey on us and ask us to call an ambulance. They thought they were dying, but they’d just been a little overzealous with the Amsterdam weed!
Rusty: Jeez, big question! There is always something that is happening in our barbershops, always a great story to be told. From our customers to our staff, every day is brilliant. You create your own vibe and like attracts like. I can honestly say that it feels like I have never done a day’s work in 24 years of this job. It’s like being at the pub just without the beer. Oh hang on, we have a bar…
Do you feel like you’re sometimes a shrink? Or do clients come in and fall asleep?
Rusty: Some guys zone out and chill, but I would say 90% definitely want to let rip and have a good yarn. The barbershop is a bit like a speakeasy; whatever gets said in here never leaves these four walls (if only the walls could talk!)
How about the actual shaves and trims at your shop?
Rusty: Hands down we are the best in Europe, if not the world, at shaving and beard trims. Our system is second to none and is by far the most relaxing experience you will have in a barber chair. We use traditional Italian products and a beautiful selection of tonics and aftershaves to bring you round after
we have used the best blades on the market to clean your face. You’ve got to be handy with your steel!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Rusty: By far the best part of the job is making people feel good in their appearance and seeing the transformation, but alongside this come friendships and business opportunities. Every day brings something new.
Can you give us a good secret location for a date in Amsterdam and Ibiza?
Jimmy: Well to be honest, Cut Throat can be a bit of a Tinder hub sometimes (ha-ha). Seriously though, Mad Fox is a cool new club in Amsterdam and Izakaya is an awesome restaurant in both Amsterdam and Ibiza.
Rusty: In Amsterdam, there’s a great cocktail bar called Hiding in Plain Sight. In Ibiza… I couldn’t say – it’s a secret place! But I do love Es Vedrà in the winter.
Club or long lunch?
Jimmy: I’m getting older and I love going for a long lunch these days. But a day session with the boys once in a while is always awesome.
Rusty: Long lunch for myself. I would say a nice beach somewhere, possibly my own picnic and a bottle of wine
and some nice female company. Easily pleased, me.