In case you haven’t heard, barber shops are the new well, barber shops. Remember when your pops used to go to get a little off the top and see all his pals and talk gals and games?
That whole era faded out with the roll out of Super Cuts and mall hair salons where men got lost in the froth of the wonderful world of women’s hair. It was almost embarrassing to go get your hair cut until recently. In the past eight years since F.S.C Barber opened in New York, barbers have been popping back up all around the country. These spots are reminiscent of the old skool days of mammoth barber chairs, records playing in the corner and beer offered while you wait. But what really makes a barber shop is of course the barber, and Shorty Maniace is the man who every other barber looks to as ‘The One.’ His slicked back hair, tats and dapper daily dress has inspired men around America.
Born in Alaska and growing up Spokane, Shorty (who got his nick name from this song) moved to Seattle at a young age and began working at the hair salon of Jasper Paul, who would become his mentor. J.P. would let Shorty cut his friends’ hair and give them street style cuts. He was also developing sculpting and carving techniques with his friends’ hair and really perfecting his craft. But J.P. told Shorty that barbering was a dying craft and that he should go to beauty school. That was perfect because, as Shorty told us, “I was chasing a skirt and she was in beauty school.” Once he began cutting hair professionally he noticed how uncomfortable men were in the lady-like atmosphere of most hair salons. “Gay, straight, even lesbians were uncomfortable!” he laughed.
Shorty then went on the hunt for a quality barber shop to work in and bounced around helping shops with their protocol. “Basically I was kind of like a Tabitha’s Salon Takeover but not so bitchy,” he explained. He was of course the star at F.S.C Barber for many years but now that he is back on the West Coast he decided to stop working for da man. He opened his own spot, J.P. Kempt, which opened just yesterday (and was named in honor of his mentor).
We rang up Mr. Maniace to hear more about his personal style.
Ever since I was a child I have been obsessed with hats. So I have always worn them. I like Brixton’s and Stetson’s. Kind of weird for a barber right? But they look best when you are dressed up so I like to say I stay in the old school range of things.
Levis are my staple for jeans. I like classic brands; I am kind of a purist about it. I really love the Made and Crafted line by Levis. Its the ‘Spare me a dime, brother’ kind of look.
I always like a basic white or chambray shirt from Levis or J.Crew and RRL.
I go to Florsheim for my shoes.
Outerwear is from Levis or Filson Oil Tin Cloth. If I dress up it’s a vintage overcoat probably from London Fog.
My watch is a Croton.
The only ring I wear is my wedding band.
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