A HISTORY OF THE SHOP
CUTS was founded by James Lebon in 1979 when he opened his tiny one man, one chair stall ‘JAMES CUTS’ in Kensington Market. Here his reputation grew as the go to hairdresser for the post punk and rockabilly styles of the early 80s.
Soon outgrowing that space and wanting to create a salon which challenged the effete reputation that hairdressing had gained throughout the 60s and 70s, James teamed up with Steve Brooks and opened THESE ARE CUTS on Kensington Church Street. With an art gallery on the ground floor and the salon in the basement. They recruited a diverse group of talented hairdressers and CUTS continued to create looks for the ‘street style’ conscious of London.
In 1984 the company expanded and opened its first shop in Soho, CUTS BARBER SHOP FOR MEN AND WOMEN on Frith Street. This saw the young CUTS staff working side by side with traditional Italian barbers, a ground-breaking idea at the time, giving women clients the opportunity to have their hair cut in a previously exclusively male environment. This concept stood out and the barbershop soon became packed with the hip young Soho crowd. In 1986 James quit hairdressing to pursue a career in video production, leaving Brooks in charge. The Kensington salon was closed and CUTS concentrated on working in Soho.
By 1990 the Soho barbershop had become so popular that a move was necessary. A new partnership was formed between Brooks and three established members of staff and CUTS SOHO was opened just down the street at number 39. This salon thrived, cementing CUTS’ reputation as the ‘coolest’ salon in London. Despite receiving almost constant media attention and attracting a ‘who’s who’ list of customers, the salon always managed to give the same laid-back egalitarian service to whoever crossed the threshold. With its buzzy and friendly atmosphere, CUTS became as well known as a meeting place for the young creative minds of London as it was for its hairstyles.
In 2009, after some complications with the property and the departure of Steve Brooks, CUTS was forced to relocate. Determined to keep the CUTS ‘crew’ together and to keep serving Soho, long term staff member and former partner Daniel opened WE ARE CUTS in Royalty Mews off Dean Street. It was at this venue that the decision to have a gallery again was made and CUTS began to exhibit a wide range of emerging and established artists with great success. Although this was almost a hidden location, the loyal ‘family’ of clients followed and CUTS continued to work there for four more years, until a fire in the adjacent building made another move necessary.
So, in 2013 WE ARE CUTS opened in the basement of ‘GINO’, a long established traditional barbers on Dean Street and continued to ’do what they do’ in this spot for the next six years.
In 2019 the opportunity for CUTS to return to its Soho roots in Frith Street presented itself and this is where the salon can be found today at number 41.
Still having fun, still creating the best hair, still showing art, still making YOU LOOK GOOD.
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