Hipshops Interview: Thom Robins – Barber and Hairstylist

We’ve only met Thom Robins online until now but we’ve learned immediately that when it comes to men’s hair fashion he’s the right choice. He’s been in the industry since he was 15 and has worked in London at top grooming locations such as The Refinery, Gentlemens Tonic and Sharps Barber and Shop. His work has also spread across the globe to the U.S., Europe and China providing grooming advice for event and film work. Being such a cool character, hipshops is naturally his favourite website when it comes to shopping and traveling.

Here’s Thom and a few questions that he answered for us.

thom robins

HS: What is your favourite hairstyle for this summer?

TR: 2012 has got to be the year for versatility in mens hair. So far this year the inclination has been to keep more length on top allowing for transitions between looks teamed with keeping the sides short and to the most part buzzed (perfect for summer weather really). I would say my favorite cuts for the summer would all incorporate short buzzed sides and plenty of length on top to allow for flexibility. So, think slicked back on top buzzed through the sides. The brave could opt for a disconnected side (actor Michael Pitt in Boardwalk Empire for example). It’s still OK to have a quiff but I would recommend going full power, bigger is better and either slick or with more of an edgier rock look.

HS: Is there a capital of best groomed people in the World? How would it look like?

TR: Personally I don’t feel there is a singular capital for most groomed people in the world. Each country and city all have elements they do well, Italy, America, England, etc. all have rich histories in quality grooming it just boils down to preference in my eye…(saying that I suppose I could be a little bias and say we do it pretty well here in London). For me a ‘grooming utopia’ would be one where every man no matter what, invested in a quality monthly haircut and dressed everyday like it was their last.

HS: I suppose that a mustache comes together with a mustache etiquette. Would you give us some hints?

TR: For me a mustache is some what of a statement, smack bang in the middle of your face! If you’re going to sport a lip warmer then don’t cut corners and keep it well shaped. Stay well away from anything comical or resembling that of a best forgotten dictator. In essence, whatever you’re choice of tache make sure you keep it simple and modest.


HS: I know you’ve split your working time between London and New York at some point. Which one is your favourite and what are your hangouts when you’re there?

TR: I love NYC, having spent lots of time there I could quite easily see myself living there – its energy is amazing and I love the availability of whatever your want 24/7. I love my food though so when I’m there I always make a visit to the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien Hotel, a secret burger joint inside the lobby of the hotel that makes in my view the best burgers (W56th Btw 6&7t), Locanda Verde for brunch on the weekend (377 Greenwich Street, Tribecca). For drinks Painkiller (49 Essex Street) has the best cocktails and is a little secret spot on a backstreet. For shopping the Liquor Store in Tribecca always offers some kool bits and for some truly amazing vintage purchases from nick nacks and furniture to clothes I always go to Junk in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (197 N 9th St, btw Bedford Ave & Driggs Ave).


HS: What are you working on right now?

TR: Currently I’m working on a new business venture with my partner Edison Levine. We will be launching a stand alone boutique (Called Thomas Edison) in China during the first quarter of 2013 most likely to be based in Shanghai. The space will incorporate Hair, beauty/wellbeing and apparel/lifestyle options under one roof that plays to Western and Eastern ideologies.

HS: If you would have to choose, what would your favourite hipshops store be?

TR: That’s a really tough one, there are so many I love…to make life easier for myself I’m going to say Liberty in London – it has everything and does it so well.

We’ll be following Thom and his adventures in China. Be sure you do so as well!