The subject of New York based photographer Rob Howard’s Neighborhood Cut & Shave is the trusted West Village barber shop that he has frequented for years. A personal interest project, Howard explores the small shop’s unique rooted character and the sensibilities of its maverick owner, master barber Alex Nunez, who got his start cutting hair at the age of 12 on the rooftop of his building.
Howard had previously shot the space as a backdrop for commercial work but wanted to revisit it with fresh purpose. He documents its nod to a brand of traditional, classic masculinity of yesteryears and its role as an anchor in the community. Neighborhood Cut & Shave’s homespun style is imbued in its decor, jazz playlists and the time-honoured services it provides. Howard responds to the space’s authenticity. “They are my buddies,” he explains. “Really, really nice people. There is a lot of laughing there. It feels like home.”
When pressed about his own tresses, Howard laughs that he is happy he still has hair.