Pleased to grease you, hope you guess my name.
In the mouth of South Holland you’ll find the nine-chair cult barbershop, Schorem — The Holy Ashtray. Schorem was born not as a human, but as beast, created from straight razors, hair snips, witch hazel, Satan’s drink-of-choice and a drug-fueled expedition to open a safe haven for the wicked and weary.
With a bright red, 15-inch-long mohawk, torn clothes, $2 in his pocket, and the stench of an old, stray dog, 17-year-old Bertus “Rob” Rietveld walked into a Rotterdam barbershop. There, he met Lion “Leen” Bergmann, and asked for a cup of coffee and a job. The iconic Schorem barbers admit that it only took five minutes before the two were “on the ground laughing.”
“When Rob walked in, it was clear you couldn’t find two human beings who were more different. And it showed on our faces,” Bergmann “The Bearded Bastard” said. “Now, 25 years later, I look back and realize this was meant to be.”
While “rotten, foul-breathed Bertus” Rietveld has since ditched the mohawk — along with Bergmann abandoning his long braid and “way too tight jeans” — the two preserved their punk ethos throughout their raucous 60 combined years chartering the tradition of the world’s second-oldest profession. Their quest for the perfect, classic haircut became more than just an orgasmic nightmare. The goal to make the world a better place; one haircut a time, became about preserving, providing, and upholding the idea of the “classic gentleman.”
“For me, a gentleman is he who — at any moment in his life — is trying to be the best version of himself. To be honest, I find that this is one of the hardest things to do,” Rietveld said. “I think it’s really important because it’s a form of respect to your surroundings, but even more of a form of respect to yourself, because it should be the foundation of your personality.”
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