Every Fellow Barber haircut is an individual experience brought to you by an individual barber. Our team features a cavalcade of talent with wildly diverse backgrounds. In this series, we put them in the chair to share their origin stories with you.
For this edition, we sat down with Andrea Lord, Senior Barber from our SoHo shop.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity
Where are you originally from?
What’s that like?
I loved it. My father owned a station wagon. We had our grill and surfboards in the back. Driving around, listening to The Beach Boys. Went to the beach every chance I had. Jumped off the cliffs with my friends, we’d go to concerts, and ya know, kid stuff.
Have you worked in other industries?
My first job was at Chili’s. But, mainly I’ve worked in fashion.
How did you get into fashion?
When I moved from Honolulu to LA, I assisted a stylist. Laura Duncan. She gave me my first break.
What does it mean to get your first break?
It was exciting! I felt really honored because I respected her in the industry but it was a grind! Wardrobe styling. I was doing pick-ups, drop-offs, picking out things for her last minute, getting up early in the morning, doing runs before meeting her. Just making sure everything was prepped and ready to go for shoots. She let me pick wardrobe for the actors and let me go out to the stores and choose.
Was it in LA that you discovered barbering?
No, that was in New York. I moved here to start an androgynous t-shirt line. It was called Son of John. Neiman Marcus picked up a design of mine and fell in love with it. It was the first moment I felt like I accomplished something in New York. Going to Neiman Marcus and seeing all my shirts on the mannequins. I felt very successful.
What shifted your interest to hair?
I worked with a photographer and groomer, Mira Chai Hyde. I was on a photo shoot and she needed a hand. I was picking up the tools and watching her work on set. I was enamored by it and wanted to work in the field. She looked at me and said, “You should do barbering.” Since I was very tactile and creative, I started exploring it.
What brought you to Fellow?
I worked in a very conservative men’s salon, but I wanted to shift into barbering. So I moved to a small shop in Brooklyn to build on my technical skills, but I needed more structure. I stayed there for a year, got my basics down then my friend introduced me to the Barber Manager in SoHo (Ed: much love to Richie Cuts), he gave me a test cut and threw me on the floor! This was about 5 years ago.
In your years of cutting, was there a client experience that really affected you?
A young kid came in with really beautiful blond hair, long, past his shoulder. He had to take it all off because he was going to prep school. I remember cutting his hair and he was just balling his eyes out. I think at that moment I realized how intimate hair is. It changed my attitude when I cut someone’s hair.
Who in history do you feel has the most iconic hair?
Keith Richards. He just has a beautiful androgynous look that men and women admire. His hair has a little bit of length and flare to it. I used to want to look like him. I cut my hair like his once!
What are your interests outside of barbering?
I’m currently building up my styling portfolio because I want to work on more photoshoots. I’m also starting a new men’s line that I’m really excited about. It’s called Brooklyn Fly, based on fly-fishing. My two business partners love to fish. One of them is a client of mine for the past seven years. He’s now a friend. That’s the cool part about this job!
What is your morning routine? How do you start your day?
Making coffee, putting on sweats, and taking my dog for a walk.
If you could fix any problem in the world, what would it be?
What was the best piece of industry advice you ever received?
Don’t take work home with you. Don’t take anything personally. Brush it off, baby!