At a time when most anything can be summoned by the click of a smartphone — a new pair of shoes, dinner, a date — there’s still no techy alternative to a good old-fashioned haircut. The tradition of a gentlemanly barbershop can’t be replicated digitally, and for good reason: An hour spent at a great barber is an escape from the bustle of everyday life.
Case in point is Gian Antonio Pisterzi’s shop, tucked away on the labyrinthine-like club level of Cipriani on Wall Street. An intimate space, all dark wood paneling and mirrors with just four antique leather chairs, Pisterzi’s barbershop feels as if it has always been there. The laid-back, clubby atmosphere begs one to linger and take a load off.
Pisterzi began his training as a boy, working weekends at the local barber in his hometown of Amaseno, located a little over an hour outside of Rome. After putting in time at barbershops in Rome, London, and Milan—where he gave designer Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana his weekly shave—Pisterzi was appointed the worldwide master barber for Acqua di Parma, traveling to groom clients from Toronto to Zurich. In 2015 he opened his own barbershop across the street from Hermès on Milan’s toniest block, Via Montenapoleone, and late last year he debuted his second location on Wall Street.
The barbershop offers all the traditional fare—haircuts, hot shaves, beard trimming— complemented by manicures, shoe shines, and modern skin care like facial scrubs and soothing masks. Every element is designed to relax: Hot towels are spritzed with Acqua di Parma fragrances, the soundtrack features the gentle lull of Italian ballads, whiskey and espresso are always on offer. “A barber’s shop isn’t just about the barber,” says Pisterzi. “It’s about the place, a place where you can slow down and spend time on yourself.” In a hectic world, Pisterzi’s brand of pampering can prove addictive.