The main focus of this is simply to say a massive Thank You.
A thank you to all the customers that supported us during the time of the shop closing, both online and store appointments, barbershop customers that offered to pay for a year’s worth of haircuts; to people who stopped us from a safe distance on the street to check our wellbeing and those who called and did the same. You know who you are.
Thank you also to suppliers around the world who without hesitation sent us our orders as fast as they could, without which we wouldn’t have anything to sell to you. Also, to those who may not have done any of those things but may thought of us or have come in since we opened back up last week and offered their thoughts, kind words and relief that we were still here. THANK YOU!
We are glad to say the liminal space between closing and now has allowed us to work on many things we talked about for months, improving (hopefully) the website which was almost solely our main source of income, keeping ourselves amused with learning new skills. I, for one learnt to darn socks which my seamstress grandmother would be proud and critical of.
We’ve also been thinking about you at home, your routines and... surprise surprise, what you are wearing; if anything! It is at this point I have to hand you over to friend, sometime employee and all-round excellent human Christopher Baron, not least because he is more qualified than me on the subject as I have been at the shop every day for the whole duration and he stranded at home, but also because he has put it so eloquently…
To dress during isolation is a contrary endeavour; an act of resistance. It involves crossing the mental divide between the pyjama drawer and the hanging rail; creating a sense of normality when so much of what is normal has been taken away; eschewing the idle embrace of the dressing gown; adding colour, texture and form where the world outside has become still. It is a contradiction that, as of late, I have not been able to resist.
Where previously unconscious routines peppered my day, they have taken on a ritualistic significance; becoming daily sacraments of meditative importance. At the onset of this social change I found myself in conversation with a troubled shop owner. They were concerned, understandably, that with nowhere to go and no-one to see, people would no longer be interested in clothes. At the time I was inclined to agree but, following a week of dog-eared t-shirts and frayed sweatpants I find myself, of a morning, poised over more formal items of attire. Undoubtedly, the current climate has got me thinking about what I require from the things I own and provided a great opportunity to rediscover some old favourites.
With cooler mornings creeping in, I am certainly favouring comfort over aesthetics, lots of soft cottons, wools and technical fabrics. Whilst it might still be a while before the polished black derbies get a look in, I am finding comfort in dressing in a considered and purposeful manner. It is a very small act of resistance but sometimes, that’s all it takes....