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Barber Shop

Tonsor Club Barber Shop

The tale of a tradition, a trade that was almost on the brink of extinction

The inimitable Cary Grant once said, “my formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.” What theory could better be summed up into a single phrase and meant for any respectable Gentleman? The perfect cologne to suit your personality, the right haircut and a clean shave definitely inspire trust, bringing back memories of the past, giving a strong and impressing image. This in no way resembles the ultra-vain insurgences of the Metrosexual, a narcissist and untamed being who does nothing more than feed his own art of appearance.

Today everything has to be made to order, personalization is a plus that today every male wants to concede himself, to which he dedicates precious time, whether it be in the choice of a cologne made especially for him, or a suit cut exactly so by his trusted tailor, or a shoe that has been chosen and made with the skin of his desire. The bygone rituals, attentive care for the beard, the haircuts of the fifties and finally the vainly curled mustaches so typical of the years ranging from the thirties to the sixties are reliving their moment of glory. Williamsburg, Rotterdam and London aren’t all that far away, and Milan has its own hidden retrò corners that release tons of energy and passion.

At number 15 in Via Palermo, in the pulsing heart of Brera, all of the above is put into practice, I enter the Tonsor Club and I try to imagine myself as the Cary Grant I would have wanted to be, a man who with his face expressed natural and refined elegance. I am welcomed into an environment carefully studied in every detail, with a vintage look, a space from another era. My appointment for a shave is fixed, and I’m a little early, but during the wait they offer me a light drink which at the end of the afternoon really hits the spot. Everything is extremely relaxing: jazz music in the background and the guys at work, young artists that aptly take care of their clients.

The owners are Stefano Colì and Mauro Bellini, already well-known to the Milanese crowd as Les Garçons de la rue, one of the most famous hair salons in Milan. Loads of experience, to which they have added a new and very popular tailor service for hair, beard and mustache. It’s my turn now, and I am given a seat on a classic chair, in the hand of my young barber, much younger than me. There are different available treatments that you can choose from and book directly from their website. Mine, forty minutes, is called “Rasatona“: a superior shave carried out in unison with scissors and clippers, includes the use of a hot cloth followed by a deep, relaxing massage for ten minutes on face, neck and shoulders. But there is something for everyone, you’ve got to try it for yourself to believe it!

At the end, the chair returns to its position, I don’t see the stone ceiling anymore but my own face in the mirror. Ok, I didn’t become Cary Grant, but I am truly satisfied, my face is perfectly shaven, I can’t stop rubbing it, the skin is so soft. It was what I wanted. Take advantage gentlemen of Milan, this is the tale of a tradition, a trade that was on the brink of extinction, and that fortunately, thanks to young men who love to travel but most of all who love our roots, is coming back again.


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