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The Buzz: NY’s Blind Barber Makes its West Coast Debut

Blind Barber L.A.

Jeff Laub, Adam Kirsch and Joshua Boyd at NY’s Blind Barber

Business in the front, party in the back. While that famed saying refers to the mullet — a less-than-desirable hair style — it’s perfectly apt when it comes to the Blind Barber, L.A.’s newest hipster barber shop by way of New York’s Tompkins Square.

Like the New York location, Culver City’s Blind Barber is a full-service barber shop in the front, catering to guys who crave traditional haircuts and straight-razor shaves. But behind a door that’s cleverly hidden with a line of pegs for coats, there’s a Speakeasy-style lounge hidden from the main drag of Washington Boulevard, serving up drinks and haute cuisine twists on grilled cheese sandwiches.

“The barber shop provides the great quality of service but in a man’s environment,” said Jeff Laub, co-owner of Blind Barber of the resurgence of the old-school barber shop. “Women have it in the salons and men like to talk about stuff just as much as women do.”

In New York, the Blind Barber is always busy. Since 2012, they’ve made do with just two chairs and their bench outside, and it might actually be harder to get in for a cut at the shop than it is to get into a show during Fashion Week. But in Los Angeles, the vibe is completely different. Filled with the California sunshine and boasting four chairs, the shop’s soft opening had no semblance of a crowd at all — in the front, that is.

Blind Barber L.A.

But in the back, it’s like a scene straight out of Boardwalk Empire. The lounge is dark, sexy and crowded just about every night. And now that more and more people are hearing about the barber shop, the crowd is likely to form hours before the lounge opens its doors at 6 p.m.

“Despite being across the country, we have tons of friends and family that live here on the West Coast, so it seemed like a natural fit,” said Laub.

“Despite the difference in climate and trading the beach for rooftops, the similarities between the two cities are super close. There is great music, great people, dope fashion, and just all around culture that floats back and forth between the two cities and that’s where we want to be.”

Creating the combination of barber shop and speakeasy wasn’t an accident. Laub and his partners Adam Kirsch and Joshua Boyd  (both come from a background in nightclubs and hospitality) wanted to create a place where men could hang out — a modern-day gentleman’s club, if you will.

“I feel like talking about the one-night stand you had, cursing, sports and drinking are  a bit out of place in a salon for a man,” said Laub. “I think we take great pride in making our space feel like home, like a hangout.”

Blind Barber L.A.

That community feeling has made the New York location a place where guys not only get their hair cut, but also a place for them to gather after work or after their shaves.

It’s also what’s made Blind Barber a collaboration-ready brand, especially when it comes to Fashion Week. The shop frequently hosts pop-ups and events with sponsors such as Gillette. They’ve even branched into their own line of grooming products, candles and limited-edition ties and headphones (with C. Chauchat and Skull Candy, respectively). They hope to create that same feel out here on the West Coast.

 “Culver City, specifically, is a great place for us,” said Laub. “It keeps that neighborhood vibe we love, just like the East Village, yet has new and amazing things — restaurants, bars, stores — popping up all the time. We love being a part of the growth of such a cool neighborhood.”
While the L.A. location is just starting to gain a loyal following, Laub is optimistic about opening more locations.

“We work heavily with ‘gut feeling’ and when we saw the neighborhood and the mix between all that has been here and all that was being built, it definitely excited us to be here,” he said. “What place doesn’t need a barber shop and a watering hole?”

The Blind Barber is located at 10797 Washington Boulevard, in Culver City. 310-841-6679. For more information, visit www.blindbarber.com

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Our Top Mixed Media Sweaters for Under $80

Piperlime Mixed Media Sweater

Whatever your style, there’s no denying that a great knit piece can elevate your look. If you’ve got a great pair of jeans, you can pair it with the humblest of sweatshirts and still look great. But if you’ve got a closet full of sweaters, even the softest cashmere can seem a little too basic. This season, designers are mashing up materials and giving the simple sweater or sweatshirt a major overhaul.

From big names such as Givenchy and Calvin Klein Collection, who pieced together knits with panels of neoprene or printed plastic, to more romantic takes from Vera Wang and Rachel Zoe, who mixed chunky ribs with soft sheer pieces, there’s something for the prim and proper and the punk-influenced alike. We’ve gathered together a few of our favorite mixed media knits, which you can pair with your go-to denim, leather-accent leggings or even a floor-grazing maxi skirt for an update on the relaxed, louche look that we’re all loving.

H&M Fine-knit Sweater

Fast fashion retailer H&M is always quick to jump on a trend, which makes the brand’s stores a great place to go if you’re looking for runway-inspired pieces that 1) fit in your budget and 2) often hit the sales floor before their high-end inspiration. The not-so-basic black Fine Knit Sweater ($17.50) looks pretty straightforward at first glance, but take a closer look and you’ll see that the super-soft micro knit is accented by attention-grabbing faux-leather (vegan!) sleeves. Paired with a great coat and a chunky knit scarf, you’ll look like a street style celeb. But  pair it with black staples and keep it monochromatic and you might just get mistaken for a celeb fresh off a plane at LAX.

Available at H&M.

Hive & Honey Eyelet Sweatshirt

A grey crew neck sweatshirt is a staple that just about everyone has in their closet, but it can look a little bland and boring if it’s missing that something special. The Hive & Honey Eyelet Sweatshirt ($49) takes the athletic staple and adds a huge dose of feminine detail with a delicate eyelet panel in the front. The effect lightens up the look, giving this go-to layering piece a little less weight and making it a great piece to add when the temps drop and keep wearing through spring and summer when you’re sitting beachside in your cutoffs — trust us, those days are fast approaching, so buy this now and you’ll wear it all year long.

Available at Piperlime.

Club Monaco Celeste Lace Top

If you want the same feminine details as the Eyelet Sweatshirt but don’t want to be wearing a sweatshirt, the Club Monaco Celeste Lace Top ($79.50) takes the same basic idea and puts it on a more dressy look.

The top is an ultra-fine tee-shirt, but there’s a delicate lace detail on the front and back, giving it a more work-appropriate look and feel. We love that it’s lightweight, which makes it great for under coats and blazers but also because we can reach for it through the chill of spring’s mornings and nights.

Available at Club Monaco.

Glamorous Contrast Shoulder Sweatshirt

Say your look is more slouchy and casual than buttoned-up. The Glamorous Contrast Shoulder Sweatshirt ($39) has a looser, more relaxed shape than our other picks. It’s got a cool sporty look, but that’s tempered with soft sheer panels at the shoulder. It’s a great look if you’re into sleek, athletic looks from C©line or Michael Kors but don’t want too look too polished or precious. It’s a great item to pair with this season’s track pants for a look that’s perfectly on-trend without looking like you’re trying too hard.

Available at Piperlime.

J. Crew Vintage Sweatshirt in Metallic Triangles

Shimmer and shine with the J. Crew Vintage Sweatshirt in Metallic Triangles ($65). The geometric design gives this simple gray sweatshirt a major dose of cool — it’s something that could be on the runways at Missoni or Isabel Marant, no question about it — and keeps things easy to wear. We can’t think of many things that this sweatshirt won’t go with, and it’s guaranteed to get you compliments whether you’re shopping at Whole Foods and Barneys alike. We love it with black denim and biker boots to temper a badass moto look or with white jeans and gladiator sandals for an off-duty weekend look that’s still polished.

Available at J.Crew.

Shop the trend:

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Save Steal Splurge: The Full Skirt

Skirts are coming around full circle this season. Instead of long and flowing maxis and skin-skimming pencils, the silhouette you’ll want to try this season is the full, or circle skirt. Flirty and fun, it’s a great way to add a little bit of feminine charm and whimsy to just about any outfit and occasion, and it’s still not too much to wear to work. Paired with a simple top — tucked in, always — it’ll make even a humble t-shirt look a little more dressed up. Go for basic black to get the most mileage out of what’s sure to be your new favorite skirt (something that nips at the waist is always flattering, naturally), and when it starts to cool down, add a pair of eye-catching tights to transition into the cooler months without missing a beat.

Save: Alythea Striped Full Skirt ($58)

Steal: Cameo Reflect Skirt ($150)

Splurge: Elizabeth and James Morrison Stretch Flared Skirt ($295)