BEHIND THE ARTIST w/ BERTUS AKA THE BLOODY BUTCHER

// Many runway and red carpet hairdressers may walk into this corner-store barber shop and turn their nose up, and that's OK.

We know the smoke-filled air, beer and free-poured whiskey served by tattoo-clad staff might be unorthodox but the massive queue, which can go on for several blocks is all part of the service.   

Bertus and Leen view barbering as an "old-world" craft, this authentic duo created Schorem Haarsnijder en Barbier. It's become possibly, without any exaggeration THE most famous barber shop in the world, ever.

Men line the streets for hours just to get a cut. 

In Bertus’s own words "[it's] A place where Men meet, drink beer and get a Damn good cut."

The services, paid and otherwise are "old-world" indeed but this is an integral part of the business' success.

It's strange how in this modern, high-tech world we constantly pursue innovation and the next-best-thing yet, the most popular is a style from years-gone-by.

Deep down, it must be us "blokes" crave a rich and organic experience. We love a good pampering, but just keep it gritty... for God's sake!

The success of Schorem Haarsnijder is no doubt partly due to their passion and skill for Men's hair but, once in the chair they give an experience like no other to thousands of men every month. So there's the old-school style, amazing hair and a space where men can be men - but don't be swayed by the charisma and rock-star status of the duo, there's substance here also.

Some of their staff have come from a life of hard knocks and misfortune, fallen into a rut of pity and despair. We're not just talking about going through a rough patch in life but homeless, destitute and begging for a meal.

Many would see a person in this position as a lost cause - that's their place in life, but Bertus and Leen see opportunity. It's not uncommon to hear stories of staff being trained by the duo and given that small break they needed to get off the streets and find focus in life. 

The boy's intensity, enthusiasm and passion for cutting hair is contagious as you'll see in their video above AND in our interview with them.

They break all the rules and don't care. They won't be told or coerced and don't follow trends, nor proclaim to be "trend setters" but... they have resuscitated what was thought to be a lost art and delivering some of the finest men's cuts in the world.

They've butchered their way into cool without any intent and delivered what every guy needs in it's rawest form...

We think this may just be, the original, men's shed.


How did you get your start in the industry?
I think the way most of us started, by giving your friends the worst haircuts possible after smoking some weed at your parents place, hahaha. But that IS how it all began and I loved it from day one, that’s how I learned about Pompadours, Psychobilly Quiffs and all that haircuts that are deeply imbedded by (musical) subcultures.

You are a role model to many Barbers around the world , Who are the role models who have inspired you?
I really don't see myself as a role model because I’ve been a fuck up my whole life, it’s always been my love for barbering that kept me from falling off the wrong side of the fast lane. Off course there is a long lists of people who inspire me, Elvis Presley, The Coen Brothers, Oscar Wilde, Niccolo Ammaniti, Hergé, Willy DeVille just to name a few but the list is endless because I’m a sucker for movies, art, music, reading and I get triggered really easy but lonely at the top is Mister Vidal Sassoon for he has changed we look at hair forever.

// What advice would you give artists starting out?
Never stop learning but recognize the lessons and advice that are the most valuable to you as a person, I don’t believe in big classes, I believe in being self made but with an open mind trying to suck in as much knowledge from as much people and situations as possible.

// Your haircut menu offers 12 styles, from the Vangaurd to the Scumpadour Is there one that particularly you love doing?
The Pompadour, period!!! It has and will always be my favorite haircut, it’s the first haircut I tried and it will be the last haircut I try…

// What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
Realising I was a very good hairdresser but not good enough to make it to the top got me really depressed for a while, sold my shops, started doing what I love to do most, cutting the hair of my buddies, drinking beer and talk about women and music, that’s pretty much when the idea for Schorem started.

// Must have tool or products  for your kit?Well… It’s not the tool, it’s the hand that holds it and a good haircut does not come from a can… BUT… I will always travel with my WAHL super taper, my Mizutani scissors and off course our Reuzel products, with those in my bag I can conquer the world.

// What's the next big trend you're starting to see sneak in?
I don’t really believe in “trends” when it comes to barbering, I’ve been doing our classic and signature haircuts for over 27 years now and for me these cuts are the foundation of every men’s haircut out there, these cuts have proven themselves over the decades and will never lose their appeal to both men and women, a classic haircut is timeless and will always look good so we’re gonna stick to that. I do find it really, really interesting that men’s grooming products are getting better and better, especially now the market has opened up for a lot of small companies, there’s such a creative flow out there, I hope that’s the trend that will continue, young entrepreneurs who put a lot of thought and love into their products.

// Top 3 Instagram accounts?
HAHAHAHAHA… I hate these questions because there are so many… There are a few I check a lot though:
#barberconnect
#thenomadbarber
#puckwietveld (That’s my 17 year old daughter’s feed, she’s an amazing artist and I check her account a lot to check how many cigarettes, drinks and boys are in the photo's… HAHAHA)

// What do you enjoy to do when the scissors are down?
robably not what you want to hear but: Drink, smoke and chase ladies, next to that I love spending time with my kids, reading (A LOT), movies, collect (Kustum) art, bit of skateboarding, running and I spend WAY to much time on social media.

Editor

Digital Thump, Sydney