Not too long ago, while passing through Grand Central Station in New York, I first noticed the Art of Shaving.
Warm woods and glass, alabaster lighting with a vague Parisian/Milano feel to it, the store cum barber shop was an immediate draw.
Its elegant feel belies a company obsessed with the timeless and masculine art of the shave. The approach? (1) Prepare, (2) Later Up, (3) Shave, and then (4) Moisturize. Their extensive line of product offerings follow this mantra with pre-shave oils, skin sensitive shaving cremes and a variety of after shave balms.
Founded by a husband and wife team, she with a spa and skin care background, the company is not just a fancy showplace; it’s an actual skin care business. That it is a modern “guy’s spa” that still retains a definite air of manliness is testament to the owners style and business savvy.
The Art of Shaving also stocks a wonderful variety of razors and associated paraphernalia. From the ultra-modern five blade Gillette Fusion to classic old school strait edge razors from Thiers-Issard, every need and skill level is covered. You will not, however, find an eight pack of disposable single blades. This is temple built to the “art” of shaving and is appropriately stocked with products equal in design and price.
When I first saw that it was going into Union Station I hoped it would do well, it’s a great site for travelers looking to grab that unique grooming product on the dash to the train’s platform. It just feels right. I finally took the time to stop by the shop and chatted with Marcus, the store manager. Even with a shaky economy, he indicated the store was doing just fine.
His philosophy is that even when times get tough, there are some things people still need – and grooming products is one of them. I tend to agree. While I may not feel the need to get a Starbucks coffee every day, I do shave. Maybe I’ll make Art of Shaving grooming products my small day-to-day luxury; form and function working together.
For a real treat, stop by the in-house barber spa for a shave or haircut. I have yet to get in there myself, but you can bet I’ll let you know how it goes when I do. From what I’ve heard, it’s worth every cent. Another larger Art of Shaving will be opening in 2009 near the Mayflower Hotel. It also will be in relatively direct competition with The Grooming Lounge.
Whatever the result, there are going to be a lot more well shaved guys in D.C.