Hot fuzz: how did we get to this? Our guide to 20 years of hirsute hipsterdom

Hot fuzz: how did we get to this? Our guide to 20 years of hirsute hipsterdom

Our beardy poster boy is Barnabé Fillion. A true renaissance man, the jazz player cum model, perfumer, photographer, whisky blender and olfactory artist has worn his whiskers long for 12 years. ‘When I first grew it, the only young people wearing them were hippies and freaks. But I didn’t dress like a hippie so it confused people,’ explains Fillion, whose look was embraced early on by Martin Margiela and Paul Smith. ‘All my heroes had beards – Thelonious Monk, Terry Riley – and I admired Sikhism for the beauty of the turban with a beard.’ We suspect this beard is here to stay.

If, as is sometimes claimed, the volume of whiskers on a man’s face is inversely proportional to the amount of confidence he has in his masculinity, it’s safe to say the recent wobble has been seismic. A clean shave has been a rare find beyond our cities’ financial centres for the past two decades, while the creative enclaves – the Brooklyns and Dalstons of the world – have hosted some of the most experimental facial topiary. Matched by a resurgence in traditional barber services, facial grooming has tripped from designer stubble to full-on candy floss. We trace the shaving shifts across the years...

As originally featured in the October 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*211)


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