Newly shorn clients on a Thursday afternoon at the 73-year-old downtown barbershop.
Is this where you normally get your hair cut?
No. So I’m on a surprise trip from Cary, where we live, with my dad. We’re going snowboarding after, and I needed a haircut so I could see. My dad took me here because his mom took him here like 35 years ago, so he wanted me to come too.
How’d you decide on the cut?
I was deciding between this and a fade. But my dad thought this would be the best thing for me, so that’s how I decided. I’ve had a lot of haircuts. One where it was really long on the left and short on the right. Once I got it — what’s it called? — buzzed and then no one knew who I was at school. They asked the teacher who the new person was. I was like, “Oh, it’s Jack!”
How long have you been coming here?
Since ’91. I love the place. So New York. I get in the chair, say “What’s up?” to Alex, my barber, maybe talk about how crazy Trump is for a second, then a minute later he’s done. Also they have a karaoke machine, so.
What did you ask for today?
Today is just a trim. You can’t see, but under the right side of my hair, it’s shaved. I did that three years ago, here, around when I was coming out. It felt like the best way to express it without saying it. Afterward, I strutted around Astor trying to get used to it, seeing how I felt. It was a trip.
Always the same barber?
Yes, Deon. He cut my hair through law school. And he knew when I was applying for jobs because I kept coming in in a suit. When I got an offer, I told him and he dapped me up.
What are you doing after this?
Well, I’m a model, but I’m also a nightclub promoter at the Little Sister Lounge in the East Village. Tonight, I’m bringing three young models to the club, all 21, of course. So yeah, first impressions matter.
*This article appears in the February 3, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!