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Barber Frank Rimer: Revered Hair Stylist Jody Taylor Claims, “Frank is probably the best traditional barber in London”

 

In February, I caught up again with Frank Rimer from the Shoreditch barbershop, Thy Barber, just before he and his team appeared on the cover of BarberEvo magazine.

 

BarberEvo’s cover illustration was a painting of the Thy Barber trio – Frank, Pauly Harmer, and Edmond Rowe – done by the artist Vince Kamp, whose barber-inspired collection ‘CUTS Portraits of Barbers’ was exhibited in March in London’s Hoxton.

 

In this video, Frank speaks to me about his own evolution over the last 18 months. As I predicted the last time Frank and I spoke, the shop has needed an expansion, and in the last year and a half, Thy Barber has gone from a one-chair operation to three chairs and Frank has been in the spotlight as the barber commissioned and entrusted to take the beard off Wolverhampton model and the man voted as having the “most influential hair in Britain,’ Ricki Hall.

 

Frank and I talk about that opportunity to help raise money to fund research and raise awareness of Mesothelioma, the cancer that Hall’s father died from. Franks says that it was a privilege to do the Captain Fawcetts’ sponsored event, and that it also opened up new horizons for Hall too, who now plays with the design of his facial hair and is no longer afraid to just go beardless!

 

Thy Barber is known as the place to go in London for classic cuts like the Rockabilly and Psycho Quiff. While the team behind the reputation is fairly new, Frank says that they not only fit together perfectly, but share the same ethos of professionalism and a certain way of doing things. He describes Pauly and Ed as humble barbers, who are open to learning and always willing to up their game. The team is lucky, he says, to work in the “hub of fashion central” with its great underground scene and status as a trendsetter. “Everything happens in London 2 years before it happens anywhere else,” he says.

 

Described by Jody Taylor as “the best traditional barber in London,” Frank who shares a mutual admiration for the London fashion week hairdresser and stylist extraordinaire, has built his brand on among other things, a network of relationships. His alliances bring a variety to his work and for instance, he and Pauly, have been working with the workwear specialist behind LaneFortyFive, to design a smock for barbers that will be available by mail order in the next few months. The unbranded handmade garment has a scissors pouch, internal buttons and can be tapered by the wearer. A lot of thought has gone into it, says Frank, and each smock will be handmade and custom-sized.

 

Thy Barber has also become the ambassador for the Camden Watch Company and more recently has become a retailer of a new brand of male grooming products called Copacetic, available for purchase in-store. One of Frank’s earlier relationships, of course, was with the duo behind the Bike Shed, Vicky and Dutch. Frank dismisses any speculation that he owns the shed and explains that the store’s location evolved out of being part of a pop-up show idea that originated with the pair behind the Bike Shed brand. At the annual event, hosted at the Tobacco Docks, Frank showcased his skills and worked with a range of talented guest barbers, known in the biking community. As for how he actually feels about bikes, he says that he loves to look at them, but wouldn’t risk riding them for fear of damaging his hands, the tools of his trade.

 

The inspiration for Vince Kamp’s signature piece from his collection of barber portraits, Frank, and his team, were also happy to introduce Kamp to the people Frank describes as “the cool looking guys” or the “more respected” barbers that featured in the artist’s work. In exchange, they each have a portrait of themselves done by Kamp, which frames each of their mirrors and is a “huge talking point” of the shop.

 

Apart from planning to run some courses this year, dates to be announced, Frank whose upcoming nuptials is soon and has been dividing his time between Canada and the UK, says that he won’t be doing many events this year. Fans of his work can catch him at the Bike Shed event from the 26-28th May at the London Tobacco Docks and at the Big North Tattoo Show in Newcastle on Sat 29th April.

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Frank Rimer / Glorfied Of Thy Barber Shop talks Barbering

 

A man needs his own space, which goes without saying. Frank Rimer aka Frank Glorified of Thy Barbershop in Tottenheim started his journey into barbering with that goal in mind. “I wasn’t happy before,” he tells me. “I wanted more freedom and now I have it.” Frank has risen in the barber community by not only holding traditional barbering dear, but also with his collaborations and events.

“I did a collaboration with friends, a concept venue with Vicki and Dutch, based on café racer life. That was three years ago and they invited me along to do pop-up barbershops. We wanted to do it as a full collaboration from there – it took two years to seal the lease and to come together. We consider it ourselves as having a gentleman’s bond instead of a partnership, really.”

Referring back to Frank’s style, we come to discussing the unique style of his shop. Frank refers to himself as a collector. “I call it my ‘junk collection’,” he laughed. “I spent years buying anything having to do with barbers or was antique – if it had dust on it, I’d take a look. When I finally got my own space, I decided that I wanted to display this stuff because it was basically me.” He also comments on trying to make Thy Barber Shop barber-friendly in different ways, such as using anti-fatigue mats which are more commonly used in the U.S.

That style plays a big part of the experience he has created for customers. He talks about how the modern man is typically uneducated when it comes to traditional barbering. “They know what to expect when they walk-in, basically. We won’t force a traditional style on customers, but they do know what they can expect.” The vintage vibe is palpable when the shop is entered and, as Frank puts it, it does feel like stepping back in time and it shows in every detail. For anyone looking to get in, Monday through Friday are appointment only. Saturday, however, have walk-in availability – just a Barberman tip.

Frank has gotten many opportunities to do events with some big names such as Schorem, Savilles Barbers and, in the near future, Barber Luka. “Those boys know how to work!” Frank comments on working with Schorem. “It’s funny, actually. I had talked to Rob a bunch before, we had hung out a few times, but when we were working next to each other at the festival, we really saw how similar we worked – it was a great time.” There are many more events planned this year with many more big names, so fans should keep an eye out for more fantastic events.

For those who are looking for educational opportunities for the traditional barbering connoisseurs, they will find a lot of value in Frank’s program The Art of Barbering. When it began, they were doing it the first every month. “We’re bringing it that back this year. With things as hectic as they are, it will probably be March or April then we’re planning for one about two or three months after. It is coming back, though, so keep your eyes peeled on Instagram.

Another thing to keep your eyes peeled for will be an exclusive product line from Frank and Thy Barbershop. “We’re planning to do some T-shirts, pins that sort of stuff in the near future. Later in the year, we’re going to be working on more – I can’t talk about it now, but definitely keep watch.”

So, aside from all those things, the future plans for Frank are big. The plan is to get more chairs in Thy Barber Shop as well as more space. Perhaps even a second flagship shop is in the works. No matter what, 2016 is proving to be an exciting year not only for many barbers but for the entirety of the barbering community.

 

If you enjoyed this interview then don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more, follow me on Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/larrythebarberman, and http://www.facebook.com/larrythebarberman pages for other free barbering content. I’d also like to invite you to check out more interviews, tutorials and content on my YouTube channel at: www.barbers.tv. You can also email me at info@larrythebarberman.com.

 

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