As part of our series for the autumn/winter issue of No.3 magazine, we step inside our neighbour Truefitt & Hill, the home of luxury grooming in St James’s
You might say that people go to St James’s because they want to, not because they need to. Arguably, that’s no more true than at Truefitt & Hill, which offers haircuts and wet shaves to locals and tourists, regulars and one-offs.
“The customers who know about the area will come and book a haircut every three weeks,” says Agata Baran, the brand’s marketing manager. “Some of them have been coming here for 30 years.” Yes, you may be able to find a hairdresser on pretty much every high street in the country, but people come to Truefitt & Hill for the comfort it offers them. “There is a specific connection between them and the brand,” says Baran, “and there is just something very lovely about the routine of the English gentleman.”
On doing business in St James’s...
“We’ve been in this location since 1993, but we’ve always been in business around the area, since 1805 when the business was established. The quality is amazing, and the products are made in England, which is a huge selling point for those who are looking for something very English, or who are visiting London for the first time. In our shop we have excellent barbers. We get a lot of tourists coming specifically to the shop, treating it as a hidden gem, just to find out what being a true English gentleman is all about.”
On the area’s unique atmosphere...
“Jermyn Street is very famous for everything gentlemanly, and the whole area is very specific in that respect. We notice that a lot of our customers are a lot more interested in buying certain products and are more willing to return and repurchase the product if they feel the connection. So it’s not just the amazing quality – it’s also the history and the heritage that we have as a brand, which is something a lot of modern brands don’t have.”
On the St James’s community...
“It’s amazing to be around so many historic brands, to introduce them to our clients and to recommend other neighbours. Our customers can go to Lobb to buy some shoes, they can go to Lock & Co to get their new hat, and Berry Bros. obviously for some amazing wines and spirits as well. It’s all connected. It definitely makes sense to be in this particular location and have amazing Royal Warrant holder brands nearby. It’s fantastic to have so many brands that are like-minded, and to have them all around us.”
On the changing face of the area...
“It’s definitely changing. We’re seeing new and young clientele who are going back to the traditional way of shaving, and are more interested in the traditional idea of a gentleman. It’s passed on: we have fathers and sons coming in; we have three generations of gentlemen coming into the shop and buying the same product. It’s a lovely seamless experience for the whole family. That’s how they find out about us.
“And the development of social media helps, too – we’re visible on Instagram and Facebook, and that helps to get younger clientele into something completely different from what you’d get on the high street.”
More from No.3
You can read more stories from our neighbours in St James’s here.