After a few years of gentle persuasion, Alex Rugg has joined us and we are super excited, Alex used to work with Chris Ward at Murdock and I caught up with him for a quick chat to get some background on him....
Hi Alex, you’ve just started working as a barber at Huckle. We’re really excited to have you as the latest edition to our team. How long have you been working as a barber and how did you get into it?
I started out as a carpenter, actually. I’ve always been artistic and I enjoy being creative and using my imagination, but ultimately I found the solitude of carpentry too much for me. After a few missed opportunities with hairdressing I was lucky to eventually make the leap. I’ve always been into style and fashion so I discovered a fulfilling outlet for my creativity with it.
Yes, they are both creative and require artistic aptitude. But it’s still quite a leap professionally from carpentry to barbering.
Yes, I know. Like anyone in this business I worked hard and set ambitious goals for myself. Until now most of my career has been spent around London’s West End and Mayfair. In my time, I’ve worked for Murdock, Pankhurst and Dolce & Gabbana. And for five years I was the Master Barber at Alfred Dunhill which was a brilliant experience. Being a good barber is so much more than been able to cut hair well. You need to be able to understand what your client wants and you need to make the experience both special and relaxed.
The atmosphere and ethos at Huckle is quite different from the salons in Mayfair. What made you want to join the team here?
I felt I’d gone as far as I could with what I have done to date. It felt time for a complete change of scene. Huckle manages to bring a flavour of traditional barbering into a modern day salon. That really appeals to me. It’s laid back without ever being sloppy and the clientele comes from a more diverse background so you get to meet really interesting people that you might otherwise not. I’m really excited to be part of it - they are real musos there so they’ve always got a brilliant new playlist on the stereo too.
A real barber-style haircut for men has made a huge comeback in the last decade. That’s great for both the customer and for you guys too, I guess. But you must have a favourite style.
Yeah, men have got so much choice today and they’re really not afraid to show off they care about looking well-groomed today. You only have to look at the football players on the pitch to see that. Yeah, I really like certain styles that have short hair. It’s easy to think that a short haircut is easy but actually it can be much harder as it is really about subtle differences of length - sometimes only millimetre differences. Ones that stand out for me are short layered cuts like George Clooney in the Ocean’s Eleven movie or very short sides with layered length through the top. Think Peaky Blinders, Lawless with Tom Hardy or Brad Pitt in Fury.
Yeah, I guess a good stylist really needs to be able to spot the minutest differences, those hardly perceptible changes that make all the difference. No doubt you’ve got a few style icons of your own too.
For sure. Jude Law has always been a style icon of mine. He’s got great style and a fashion sense which moves with the times. Steve McQueen is a perennial favourite. Whatever he wore, it always looks effortless. Even in those Savile Row suits in The Thomas Crown Affair. Right now, I really like Jake Gyllenhaal’s look with a thick mop of hair and heavy set beard. He pulls that off really well.
You’ve mentioned quite a few films in your answer. I suppose they are a good source for ideas and inspirations.
Actually, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to cinema and film trivia. Dare I say it, I know quite a bit and I can tell you a lot from anything from James Bond to Marvel films.
And music, I guess. You mentioned the Huckle playlists earlier.
Yeah, I really love music and I care about what I consider to be good music. But I’m not narrow in my taste. In fact, probably the opposite is true. My collection covers everything from country, rock ’n’ roll to classic indie, right the way through to drum ’n’ bass and techno.
Is there anything else that you are really passionate about?
Cars, for sure. My first car was an old Mini Cooper which I absolutely loved. That’s maybe where I first discovered my love of classic cars. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get another to have in my garage.
Huckle the Barber provides high-quality grooming services, including haircuts and wet shaves, for discerning London gents. Visit us in Shoreditch or Holborn. Book your Huckle appointment online.