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Rotterdam is a slap in the face. It hurts briefly, but then a pleasurable warmth arises and you feel grounded again. The old port city not far from Amsterdam pulsates furiously and candidly. Its subculture also seems to have left its mark on a barber studio. Its name? Schorem, just Schorem Men and dogs are allowed to enter – not women. The doorplate at Nieuwe Binnenweg 104 greets you honestly. One step over the threshold, one look into the rotating blue-white-red spiral of the barber pole, and at some point in the 1950s the time machine wakes you with a kiss. Along with ear-splitting music and almost nonstop laughter. The waking kiss thus becomes a courageous step: Welcome to the world of Schorem Haarsnijder & Barbier (Schorem Hairdresser and Barber) – one of the last masculine adventures under clouds of musk. The polarizing barber studio in the heart of Rotterdam comes from the bold heads of two hairdressers who could not be more atypical: Leen and Bertus – two fully tattooed rascals with a subtle quality. One wears a full beard, the other a twirled Kaiser Wilhelm moustache. that scene,” adds Bertus, squinting his left eye along with the razor tattooed into his skin beneath it: “At first we even had to learn to perm – that was hard.” Eventually they got their master craftsman’s certificate. And that was the moment of radicalization. Bertus and Leen put the art of hairdressing back into the hands of the person who created it: the barber. Schorem was initially ridiculed. Many considered this loud, rocking hairdressing studio to be a flop and its Scissorhands freaks to be aliens from another planet. Schorem literally means “I have shaved him” in colloquial Flemish. But in the Netherlands, and particularly in Rotterdam it also means “bastard”. To this day the name fits perfectly, and the Schorem is a place that holds back the second hand of our fast-paced time. Here the needle scratches on old Mink DeVille vinyl, here stuffed wild boars carry melons and crocodiles wear neckties. Tennessee whiskey within reach – firewater meets hair tonic. Not a single woman to be seen, except perhaps a glossy version. Here the sole focus is the gentleman. Two-hundred-year-old mirrors are adorned throughout with small portraits of the barber who is currently busy creating in front of them. Know who you are dealing with. One man. One haircut. “Schorem was born four years ago,” says Bertus. “Exactly four years and three days!” Leen clarifies after quickly checking his pocket watch. The founders of Schorem bumped into one another after they had dropped out of school. “One long night about ten years ago we talked about our future and envisioned how we would spend our last days cutting the hair of the old guys from the neighborhood and chatting about the good old days. From the start we both wanted to be barbers and so that fit perfectly. Tough guys were rarely part of M E 102 Schorem, Nieuwe Binnenweg 104, 3015 BD Rotterdam, Netherlands


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