ModWear5 – E11 Sue – Barbers Point May 29 2015

ModWear 5 with Sue – Barbers Point - Episode 11

Why should I care, If I have to cut my hair?  Couldn’t think of a more fitting way to start this next ModWear5. 

After flicking through some pictures of Mod Hair we stumbled across some belting cuts and traced down their source. Meet Sue from Barbers Point:  

Sue pictured (Right) with team member Allie

1) What's your history, how long have you been a barber and when did you open Barbers Point?

I started my career as a Pathology Technician, (Yes I know, you'll have to look it up!) Fell in love with my first mod there. He was another technician with a Lambretta and Fishtail Parka. That was 1969. Came to London in 1972, (following another great love of my life. It was the seventies and the hippies promoting all that love thing!) I trained at the London College of Fashion as a barber and hairdresser, then a stint at Vidal Sassoon's. The love of my life left (well, dumped me for a man but it was fashionable to be bi- sexual) It was then I made the decision to stay in London becoming a full time Barber in 1975.  I started work in 1976 in the premises now known as Barbers Point but I wasn't to become its owner until 1986. I worked under 2 owners during that 10 year period.  As a point of interest, 7 Kingly Street, Carnaby has been a barbers since 1905. 110 years this year!!

2) How do you feel Soho has changed over the years?

Soho has changed a lot. It was a lot darker, seedier and a bit smellier back in the 70's. Sadly though that's what gave it its character. The Soho characters, the prostitutes, the Italian delicatessens. My salon had a brothel run from the flat above until the early 60's. The lady that ran it was there until she died aged 92!  Real people and places. Whilst more vibrant, more commercial, colourful and full of life now, it sadly has become 'cleansed' by some of the development.

Carnaby Street and its surrounding streets have been developed thoughtfully though and has re-invented itself as a great shopping and dining experience.

3) You personally specialise in Mod cuts, how have they evolved and who do your clients draw inspiration from?

I first cut Mod's hair in the early 80's. In the seventies there was a lot of long hair, feathering and texturing. (a point which has helped more recently with the Weller look) The Mod look then was shorter, tapered in the neck, some side partings and short swept across fringes. Although a mod myself in the sixties and having an understanding of the culture and styles, this was a training period for me. I learnt on the job... there was no-one to train me. The Mod's would just say, “a little shorter here or flatter, squarer there” and somehow we worked together. They got what they wanted and I learnt from that. The styles now are different and more varied. Obviously with the evolving styles of Mr Weller and the Noel and Liam styles, there is more for the Mods to draw from. I'm now asked for everything from the 70's Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, to Weller, the Gallagher's, Johnny Marr etc. I am sure I have seen every photograph ever taken of Paul Weller... More than he's seen himself. I am lucky that my clients feel confident enough in me, to know that I will always help them to achieve the look they are after, but I can recommend what will suit the best too.

4) Having looked through the gallery on your site, we would love to be able to travel from Manchester for a cut, what's the furthest somebody does travel? And have you cut the hair of anybody we may know? 

Mod clients travel from, Italy, Austria, Finland, Canada and last year, one man, twice from Australia! In this country, I have very regular clients, (every 4 weeks) travelling from Bristol, Isle of Wight, Stoke, Leeds, Newcastle and Manchester (So no excuse for you guys!!) I am humbled that people travel so far but embarrassed that there aren't more Barbers stepping up to the mark.

I am a fierce advocate of client confidentiality and have a personal dislike of hairdressers who promote themselves on the back of 'celebrities'. So, no guys, no info on my client list. But for the record, no, I do not cut Mr Weller's hair! But the next time I see him in Carnaby Street, which is fairly often, I shall thank him for all the work he's put my way!! 

5) Away from Barbers Point how do you like to spend your free time? 

I don't have any free time out of Barbers Point!! Such is the waiting list these days I could work 7 days a week! Days at Barbers Point are 12 hours as a norm. I still love my music - Soul, Blues and my 70's west coast California. My greatest love... Rolling Stones... Since the age of 14... And I'll be playing them at my funeral! I will never tire of Soho and just walking through London. Whatever you want to do, you can do it here! 

Sue invites you to come and see her and the team! even for a chat. 7 Kingly street, West Soho, London, W1B 5PG. They really are friendly, laid back and they can cut hair! Specialising in men's hair makes the team very knowledgeable. And you'll also be offered a free beer too!

Future Promotions
Check out the Carnaby London shopping evenings: Food, music, drinks, DJ's and 20% discount almost everywhere. Including “Barbers Point”. (Sue informs us there is already a new client wanting a Ronnie Wood style, taking advantage of a discounted offer on Thursday)

Follow Barbers Point on Twitter: 
Check out the brilliant Gallery on their website: you can book in for a cut with Sue on:  020 7734 2429 / 020 7437 5878