Customer Profile: Chris Ward - Huckle The Barber

Part of our ongoing series of interviews with Oliver Spencer customers and friends. We met up with Chris Ward, Owner and stylist and Huckle The Barber.

Tell me about what you do, and how you started.
I’ve been in the hair business for 20 years. My Mum, Aunt and Gran were all hairdressers and although I was not an academic at school, I’m definitely a people person and it felt great when I could improve someone’s mood with an image change. I worked in hair salons for 15 years doing mainly women’s hair, I always preferred the men’s cutting and the more relaxed approach that comes with men’s conversation.

My dream was always to open my own high-end barbershop so in 2012 I did, somewhere sophisticated, but not stuffy or tacky, where gents, could relax and enjoy their haircut or shave. I only employ highly skilled, like-minded stylists, and I hand pick the products we sell to make sure they actually work.

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How did you come across Oliver Spencer?
It must’ve been about seven years ago, when I was working in Shoreditch. I was invited to a sample sale where I picked up an amazing Lookout coat. I’ve still got it somewhere.

How do you get dressed in the morning, any rituals?
We’re developing our own line of Huckle products at the moment. It involves a lot of research and my bathroom is full of lotions and potions. Each morning I try out something new. Clothes-wise, weather is the great dictator for me. That’s always my first thought when I open my wardrobe. In terms of changing style. I used to be a jeans and shirt guy, but now I’m more interested in those subtle tweaks that complete a look, spending a little more on the key things like shoes and jackets really makes a difference. I have recently started experimenting with trousers, I didn’t pay much attention to my bottom half but really love the different cuts and fabrics other than denim.

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What is your favourite Oliver Spencer purchase?
Without a doubt, it’s my indigo buffalo jacket. I actually bought it twice because I went up a size after hitting the gym to recover from a back injury.

What’re your plans for Huckle?
The next big development is the product range. It’s great because we have the perfect lab and scientists to experiment with - the shops and the barbers. My dad is a wax chemist, so we’ve been working closely together developing our skincare and hair products. I was in Grasse in France last week visiting fragrance houses. Fascinating but mind-boggling!

It’s a long process, everything has to be spot on. We’re two and a half years in and I have four finished items. Watch this space - we’ll be launching our first products towards the end of the year.

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What do you like to get up to in your spare time?
Running a business is full on, so I love living out of London where I can get some space to unwind with my family.  After many years working for some of the best in the business in London, my wife has recently launched her own party & events company, Georgie Ward Events.  As the business is based in Kent we’ve been busy visiting loads of great event spaces and interesting locations in and around the coast and countryside. We’ve discovered some real hidden gems.

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What would you recommend doing in London? What is your London

Spiritland in Kings Cross - if you love music you have to go. It’s a bar and cafe with an astonishing sound system built by Living Voice. My favourite cocktail bar is a tiny place on Hoxton Square called Happiness Forgets. And Petek in Stroud Green is where I go for delicious Turkish food.

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What do you think of the new OS collection?

Oli’s collections are consistently good. He manages to move with the times without being faddish and this collection is no different. I’d happily wear head-to-toe Oliver Spencer without feeling like I was overdoing it.

Photography: Gray Brame - www.graybrame.co.uk

To check out our AW17 collection, click here. Plus, we've partnered with Huckle the Barber to offer both our customers some discount, check out the flyer below for details.

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From our earliest days, we’ve adopted a business model that incorporates environmental and social responsibility at every step. Each season, we increase the proportion of ecological, organic and recycled fabrics and will continue to do so until they represent the entirety of our collections. We also ring-fence a proportion of our revenue to put towards planting trees with the Woodland Trust.

 

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