FRESH FADES

Es­cap­ing into the Ital­ian-in­spired bar­ber­shop

Esquire Middle East - - IN THIS ISSUE THE STYLE - BY MATTHEW BAX­TER-PRIEST

The all-new Ital­ian­in­spired bar­ber­shop, Bar­be­ria Ital­iana Gents Salon, is a new Esquire favourite

YOUR HAIR LOOKS NICE. Did you just have it done?” com­pli­ments my wife. I am taken a lit­tle aback. I sit in si­lence for a beat too long be­fore re­spond­ing with a some­what sus­pi­cious “Yes… thank you”. You see, it’s not that a new hair­cut is a bad thing or a highly guarded se­cret, but more that

I could not re­mem­ber the last time my wife of­fered praise for a hair­cut I’d had. I was flum­moxed. What did she want?

As it turns out, noth­ing. She was gen­uinely in favour of the new trim. As was I. And al­though I do like to revel in a com­ple­ment,

I can take lit­tle credit for it — it was the work of Mo, a rather tal­ented bar­ber at the re­cently opened Bar­be­ria Ital­iana Gent’s Salon in Dubai Ma­rina.

Bar­be­ria Ital­iana is yet an­other ad­di­tion to the boom­ing men’s bar­ber­shop scene in the UAE, where a new ul­tra-stylish and leather-sofa-clad salon seem­ingly pops up every month in an at­tempt to woo a grow­ing au­di­ence of trend-savvy, ath­leisurewear­ing men on the hunt for a new fade.

The se­cond of two prop­er­ties (the orig­i­nal be­ing in Dubai’s Mer­cato Mall, and a third be­ing planned for DIFC later this year), Bar­be­ria

Ital­iana is the brain­child of Vin­cenzo Spina, a young and am­bi­tious Tus­can who moved to Dubai hav­ing opened branches in Mi­lan, Berg­amo, Bres­cia and his home­town of Cre­mona. Notic­ing an up­turn in men happy to spend more on their up­keep, he wanted to cre­ate a com­fort­able space where men can en­joy a more up­mar­ket “Ital­ian-style” of ser­vice with their groom­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

To be hon­est we’re not en­tirely sure what makes it a par­tic­u­larly ‘Ital­ian’ ex­pe­ri­ence, but the am­biance is chilled, the bar­bers (most of whom are Arab) are fun (and stylish) and the espresso is on point. Oh, and ac­cord­ing to my wife (and her brand new shoes), the hair­cuts are pretty good, too.

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