They have names and faces that remain etched in the memory – there’s Demon Dann, with a long red beard and brilliantine hair; Bones, whose moustache is more pointed than Dali’s; The Bearded Bastard & Bloody B., both covered in tattoos; Don Daco, with a thin face and an anchor tattooed under his left eye like a tear. And then there are Janus, Gideon and Bertus, the founders. They are all part of the crew of one of the most famous barber shops in the world – Schorem Barbier. It is located in Rotterdam and in Dutch “schorem” means “jerk” or “scum”. The name is also a manifesto. In 2011 Bertus opened this shop with the intention of providing a service “to all those men who feel uncomfortable sitting next to a girl with curlers in a hair salon.” Hence the first rule of Schorem – no girls allowed. It is only for men and, at worst, dogs. This is a place which is dedicated to masculine-style old-school barbering.
Here you don’t need to use flowery language to explain the niceties of the cut you want. You choose from a menu of 12 principal “styles”, which can be changed by applying different options. They range from the back-combed “Vanguard”, which takes its cue from the cuts in vogue in the 1920s up to the complicated “Scumpadour”, which could be defined as a baroque reworking of the famous Rockabilly “Pompadour” cut.
In 6 years, since 2011, Schorem has become so famous that many people travel from all over Europe for the chance to sit on one of its chairs. Rockabillies, psychobillies, gentlemen, vagabonds, punks, ruffians, freaks, artists, brothers of the smock, rockers, bikers… – the entire old-school repertoire is covered. Here they cut with clippers and old-fashioned shavette razors, pomade beards with oils and drink Jack Daniel’s between cuts.
The art of the barber has experienced decades of decline but has developed a new lease of life, transforming itself into fashion, a trend. This is probably just the beginning. Even in Italy. But with Schorem we are talking about one of the best barber shops in the world. So much so that one has to ask – is this the best barber shop in the world? Just take a trip to Rotterdam to find out.
Pic attributed to Hell Yeah Beer