Classic cuts, vintage artifacts make up this old-school-themed Manhattan barber shop

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- There's a classic cut of history at one barber shop in Manhattan.

The NYC Barbershop Museum, located on the Upper West Side, is home to an array of colorful vintage artifacts and also a working, old-school barber shop.

Fourth-generation Master Barber Arthur Rubinoff is the brainchild behind the museum that pays homage to 100 years of barbering.

The Russian-born Rubinoff said his father started collecting vintage pieces from 1991.

"Anywhere we went, like to the flea market or to any antique stores, he used to buy vintage pieces, small pieces," Rubinoff said. "Each piece has a history. You don't know who has been cut by this razor or these scissors."

In 2003, he lost his father, and those pieces became sentimental to Rubinoff.

"I started collecting bigger pieces, as far as the barber chairs, barber poles, signs," he said. "Anything to do with the barbering industry."

Rubinoff traveled worldwide to collect these artifacts from countries like Russia, Portugal, Romania, Brazil, Egypt, England, France, Ireland, Poland and more.

"I started having (an) idea that one day I'm going to open up a barber shop museum to honor my father," he said. "And to give respect to all the barbers in the world."

That idea became a reality with the opening of the NYC Barbershop Museum in June 2018.

While customers learn about the history of barbering, they are also able to have their hair cut in modern styles, using long-lost hair cutting techniques in a retro setting.

"A lot of barber shops, they don't want to use scissors over comb," Rubinoff said. "That's why I'm trying to bring back that classical haircut."

The shop offers a variety of grooming packages that features a haircut, neck shave, hot towel neck massage, wash and blow-dry and complimentary champagne and black caviar.

"Customers respect that when you give time and effort," Rubinoff said.

His clientele includes high-profile CEOs and A-list celebrities, who come from all over the world to enjoy exceptional haircuts.

Rubinoff is a well-known educator too, teaching students the proper craft and techniques in barbering.

"I love what I do and I want people to be happy," he said. "I'm not doing this for the money. I'm doing this because I love it."
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