Truefitt and Hill bring a touch of understated style to India
The oldest barbers shop in the world, which boasts a Royal Warrant to H.R.H, The Duke of Edinburgh, Truefitt & Hill has opened its doors in Mumbai. Introducing the concept of a barber’s shop — popular in Europe — this men’s-only grooming space provides an option for clients wanting swift, luxurious service.
Citing the lack of male-centred options for top-end clients, Lloyds Luxuries managing director, Krishna Gupta is confident that he’s found a gap in the market. “It is not everyday that you stumble across a 200-year-old brand, dedicated to men’s grooming. Yet men are starting to take better care of themselves the world over”, he says. “Here in India all salons are occupied by roughly 80 per cent women, so for men to go in and have a shave, haircut, or manicure is not comfortable,” Lloyds co-director, Istayak Ansari elaborates. Truefitt & Hill signature treatments include a 40-minute ‘Royal Shave’ that involves hot towel wraps, a pre-shave oil and aftershave balms. Men can also pick up Truefitt and Hill branded products, including fragrances, gels and shampoos. “My personal favourite is the Sandalwood and Grafton range,” advises Gupta. A line of quirky cufflinks from men’s jeweller Deakin and Francis, is also available.
Central to the concept are the female barbers at the outlet. “There isn’t a single place here where you can get a fine, clean shave by a female barber. Yet women tend to have a gentle touch, offering a better experience,” explains Ansari. Trained by expert barbers from the London outlet, Vrinda Rambhia and Jenny Chithung have built up a loyal following. “Our clientele includes high profile businessmen, politicians and celebrities. They come for our excellent service and skills,” says Rambhia. Chithung adds that the personal touch is important. “We know their likes and dislikes, their choice of drink, newspapers and birthdays. There is a sense of familiarity,” she concludes. With swift business in the months since the launch, the brand plans to expand into Bangalore and Delhi, replicating their model of quick yet excellent service for discerning gentlemen.
`200 upwards. At Colaba and Khar, Mumbai. Details: truefittandhill.in
— Maegan Dobson Sippy