I've had the same barber since I was about 14 years old.
- Victor Cruz

There is definitely an abundance of barber shops here in Melbourne and in an effort to stand out from the crowd, most of them will go the extra mile by offering good old fashioned personalised service and perhaps even a beverage on the house to accompany your new haircut. 

Men's Biz started out life as an online store but opened up a bricks and mortar shopfront in Melbourne's CBD last year. 

With a beautiful array of products ranging from toothpaste through to straight razors, Men's Biz came to the obvious conclusion that adding a barber to their list of services was the next step in growing their business. They decided to go the traditional route and hired a classically trained Italian barber who was skilled enough to give their clients the full treatment (Shave, Hair cut, Beard & Moustache trims and skincare). 

Earlier this year I was honoured and lucky enough to be asked to star in a video showcasing what the store has to offer. Yes it was relaxing and yes I really did go through the process! The best news of all is that they're very well priced and have all of the right products on hand, making it a one-stop grooming shop.

At the grand opening of their first store in the Royal Arcade.

Services offered:
Hot Towel Shave, $35
Haircut, $35
Haircut & Shave Combo, $60
Hair Clipper Cut, $25
Hair Tidy Up, $15
Beard Trim without Shaved Neckline, $15
Beard Trim with Shaved Neckline, $25
Hot Towel Head Shave, $30
Moustache Trim, $5
When it comes to menswear, never listen to others, just to yourself. Wear what makes you feel at ease, observe a lot and grab details around.

-Luca Rubinacci

In 2011 they said it was right on trend, a few years later they said it was gone for good - Now it looks like the double breasted jacket is back again, popping up in all of the new winter collections here in Australia. To be honest I love a tailored double-breasted jacket and the silhouette that it gives whilst done up, is very flattering. Not to mention the extra warmth and security a double breasted jacket brings in the colder months. 

I know very well that a double breasted jacket isn't everyone's "cup of tea", but then what would personal style be if it appealed to every single person? And it's not just about the classic 6x2 buttoning, there are many variations: 6x1,6x3,4x2 (Known as "The Kent" after the Duke of Kent),4x1, even the very formal 2x1 button combination. 

And DB style doesn't stop there - it can also be worn as a sports jacket or even a dinner suit. So what are your thoughts, Is it back or did it never go? 
For me personally it has never gone out of style, nor will it. Classics never die.

Here I'm wearing a fine pinstripe from Melbourne brand Godwin Charli, other places to find the DB here in Australia are MJ Bale, Farage, Oscar Hunt, David Jones and Myer to name a few.

Roberto Mararo - DB Sports Jacket

Quilted DB

Tom Ford wearing a DB Dinner suit / Tuxedo

Suit, Pea-coat, Shirt & Tie by Godwin Charli
Pochette by Breuer 
Gloves by Aaron Cheung
Shoes by Carmina

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Let's just say that you have a business plan which you would like to put into action, but don't have the cash to get where you need to go, what can you do to solve the problem? Buskers have been successfully using crowd funding and people power for years, so how about taking a similar approach and using a kickstarter campaign for your small business? 

In the past few years dozens of crowdsourcing websites have appeared all over the internet and it can be really hard to distinguish one from the other, however, I have it on good authority that two of the better sites for creative ideas are Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

I recently had the pleasure of helping out with the crowdfunding campaign for Fortis Green Apparel. It was an awesome (and successful) experience and through public donations one of my friends has been able to get his small sock manufacturing company off the ground.  

Fortis Green on Kickstarter

Though being successful with your first crowdfunding attempts is a great achievement, how can a small start up company use that money to achieve their long term business goals? Regular readers will recognise the name Linjer as another small business which I've been supporting since their inception (via Indiegogo) a couple of years ago. I thought it would be interesting to ask Linjer's two owners Roman and Jenn about their fundraising:

"Before Linjer was founded, the idea was to create a high end, affordable leather bag.  The manufactures we use usually do extremely large orders per month and with Linjer producing far less, the use of Indiegogo made it easier to barter with them without having to make a large financial investment. There was a good few months of planning and product management before going ahead. Apart from design and manufacturing, building hype with marketing (social media) was a must." 


 Roman & Jenn, - Linjer

While they set the goal for funding at a certain level, Roman and Jenn made the wise decision to put in 25% from their own money, which gave them a great headstart to reaching their desired goal. They recently launched their second Indiegogo campaign and the future is looking bright for this online store.

I can honestly say that crowdfunding is paving the way for lots of cool products and having access to niche brands is always a good thing - from socks to  veg-tanned briefcases , perhaps it's time to start creating your own future through crowdfunding.
A person carries off the hat. Hats are about emotion. It is all about how it makes you feel.
- Philip Treacy

City Hatters on Flinders St, Melbourne Australia.

City Hatters have been trading for 105 years and they really are the ultimate one stop shop for fedoras and felt hats in Melbourne. To celebrate their landmark birthday, the Flinders Street store teamed up with American brand Brixton, who joined in on the anniversary fun by launching their new Autumn/Winter 2015 collection in store a couple of weeks ago.

All photos courtesy of Brixton.

Hands down City hatters stocks the best hat range in Australia - from Panamas to Whippets they really do have something for everyone and, if you can't get exactly what you're after, they promise that their resident milliner Tess will be able to deliver the goods. 

The store is located under the historic clocks at Flinders Street station and has been in the same location since 1910, when the former station masters office was transformed into a hat shop stocking brands from around the globe to the stylish men and women of Melbourne.

Although they are fairly new to the hat game, Brixton also has a great story to go along with their brand; The company was established in 2004 by three friends who wanted to share their love for music, culture and the people that surrounded them.

A great cozy night was had by all with the smooth blues by Chris Wilson and the gents at the Barrow Boys Brewing Co kept everyone's vocal chords hydrated.

Brixton "Gain" Hats

Chats with Roman from Henry Bucks

Chris Wilson playing the blues.

City Hatters resident Milliner, Tess.

Ice cold Barrow Boys brew