Rokk Man: The Barber You Want To Know

Rokk Man: The Barber You Want To Know.

At Rokk Man, you’ll find all of the perks of a modern Barber: Chill tunes, a laid-back atmosphere and a rather generous range of alcohol. Three very friendly and knowledgeable dudes man the shop (Rob, Ben – my guy, and Jordan) who are ready to tend to any need you have – if it’s a simple trim, a mad fade or cutthroat shave. You’re also able to book an appointment with a dude you prefer, have a decent cup of coffee while you’re there, and (one of my favourites) a super relaxing hair wash afterwards.

Ben, Rob and Jordon
Ben, Rob and Jordon

It was late last year when I met Rob Ferlaino, owner of Rokk Man. He had just launched his new venture, and introduced himself to me as I was working in the area. Many months later, I’m proud to say I am a loyal client of this quirky old-world barber shop located in Collins Place, Melbourne. Only recently I was talking to some of my Melbourne mates who really take care of themselves (some who are frequently featured on my social media), and I realized that I was not the only one who has discovered this new gem – literally most of the stylish men of Melbourne frequent the establishment! It seems like Rob, Ben and Jordan have earned the respect of the guys I respect, and it’s easy to see why.

Rob messing with my hair
Rob messing with my hair

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Rob for a coffee and had him answer some questions that were on my mind:

What first inspired you to cut hair?
Well, I grew up around the trade. My father was a successful Hairdresser and Barber, and it was around the age of 15 that my own real passion began to build. Not long after I first held a pair of cutting scissors, I found myself at home after school cutting my mates hair, and soon realised that I had found my true calling.

How long before you realized that you wanted to pursue a career as a Barber?
I’ve always had an interest in classic hairstyles, traditional cutting methods, male grooming and fashion. It wasn’t until around four years ago (and after a successful career in the hairdressing industry) that I decided to specialize in the fine art of traditional male grooming.

What is Rokk Man Barbers doing differently?
Our initial success has grown from our innovative concept – fusing old world masculinity and cutting techniques with our fresh, modern approach.
We are not just thinking about our clients’ hair, we’re also getting to know them – their lifestyle, what they wear. We are creating a welcoming environment that suits all ages and professions. Our focus with every client is not only to ensure they leave our barbershop with a great haircut, but with confidence and knowledge as well.

Jordon McKenny, Rob Ferlaino, Ben Kane

Who is your main clientele?
Rokk Man is only five months old, and we are already seeing men from all walks of life coming through the door. However, the thing these diverse men share is a passion for grooming and style. Even though we are a collaborative team, we all have our unique approach to our art. This allows us to create such a dynamic barber environment and connect with anyone who walks in.

What hair mistakes do us regular dudes commonly make?
The most common is that guys overuse their hair products. Less is more! Although to be honest, I am generally quite impressed with the overall efforts Melbourne men are putting into their appearance and hair style.

If you could give any styling advice to the guys reading this interview, what would it be?
Always maintain your beard. Ensure you’re using the right product for your hair style, and make sure your personal style matches your ‘do. Lastly, men are often embarrassed to have different products for different occasions – this isn’t a crime!

Rob Ferlaino and his crew definitely know what they are doing. I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for his venture, and if you’re a local to Melbourne – I think you’ve just found the Barber you’ve been looking for.

Ciao,

Steve

Rob Ferlaino, Steve Calder

Steve Calder, captured by Elizabeth Kinnaird
Steve Calder, hair styled by Rob Ferlaino and captured by Elizabeth Kinnaird
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Introducing Jack Liang: Trunk Tailors and his Style Journey.

“When I needed a suit for my first summer vacation job, that was when I became obsessed with so-called menswear.”

Jack Liang Trunk Tailors Linen Handmade Blazer

Every time I see Jack I think to myself “damn, I need to lift my menswear game.”

Jack Liang is without a doubt one of the small handful of Melbourne dudes who oozes the nonchalant Italian style we normal people wish we had. Luckily with his new Made-To-Measure menswear venture Trunk Tailors (instagram @trunktailors), alongside the legendary local Homie Yang, we all have a chance to take a leaf from his fabric book! Sartorial aesthetic aside, he is super intelligent and down to earth. Two traits that are hard to find paired together in the Menswear world. I sat down with him in his brand new showroom, and was very impressed with his professionalism and the cosy, friendly environment that his brand offers.

Melbourne Made To Measure Suits Trunk Tailors Melbourne Made To Measure Suits Trunk Tailors Melbourne Made To Measure Suits Trunk Tailors

You seem to have a very directional and specific sartorial style. How would you describe your taste in clothing?

I work in a professional environment outside of Trunk Tailors, and in that business less is more. I focus more on details such as my collar roll, button position, higher waisted trousers and being comfortable. When I dress for work in the morning I usually start by choosing a Drakes tie and brown suede Oxfords and my inspiration builds from there. With my suits, navy and grey are the foundation of my wardrobe (I always recommend two shades of each), and I much prefer to play with textures rather than colours.

How did you first become inspired to wear and promote your current style?

It was a sort of natural progression. At first, when I was younger I’d look at Gino in the skateboarding video: Trilogy. Then I was hooked on the brand Visvim in about 2006 and marvelled at their product innovation. Soon after, I became hooked on Japanese denim, Goro’s, HTC and Red Wings. It was when I needed a suit for my first summer vacation job that I became obsessed with so-called menswear. I just had to know what I was paying for, and became obsessed with the intricate details of every garment.

Who are your main sartorial inspirations and why?

Early on I was influenced by The Green Diamond in NY. Then drew my inspirations from Giampaolo Alliata for his friendliness, Yasuto Kamoshita for his elegance, Brunello Cucinelli for his signature earthy tones. I also am impressed by Hiroki Nakamura for his dissertations, the Isaia team for being bold, Hiroshi Fujiwara for his product knowledge – however these days most of my inspiration comes from everyday people in everyday life.

Any words of wisdom for our sartorially inclined readers?

Dress in the right context! Dress for the occasion! Wear a wool suit to work with oxfords, wear cotton suit for drinks with loafers. Own a tuxedo and a bow tie. Get a flannel suit, a cotton, a linen and maybe throw in some seersucker and Solaro for good measure. However there is always a balance. If I can paraphrase Glengarry Glen Ross’ quote, I’d say “put that pocket square down”. At the end of the day, don’t take dressing yourself too seriously, a lady would much prefer a six-pack to a 3-roll-2. Focus on staying fit and healthy and style will follow.

You’ve mentioned your travels when we’ve caught up – can you pick your one favorite place around the world, and why do you love it?

It is so easy to say Naples for its colors, chaos and hospitality. However, I’d have to rank Tokyo as my favourite place. I love how nerdy and OCD Japanese people are with products of all kinds. Their hunger for knowledge and pursuit of perfection is only matched by their respect for traditions. It is inspiring visually and ethically.

trunk_logo

Trunk Tailors looks like a very exciting new menswear venture. Why will you be successful, and what are you hoping to acheive?

It’s simple. We offer 100% handmade garments using the finest fabrics we can find from Italy and Britain at the most competitive price in the market. It is more about sharing the culture and history with our clients and letting our passion shine through, than two-for-one deals or high-end pricing. We prefer to have a more personal relationship with our clients and be able to call every one of them our friend.

Jack is a very passionate man, and I am absolutely looking forward to what he will achieve this year. 

Ciao,

Steve

 

Melbourne Made To Measure Suits Trunk Tailors

Melbourne Made To Measure Suits Trunk Tailors

My Chat With Aaron Cheung: Gloves, Life and Menswear

“One painful mistake I made early on was buying too fast and too many…”

Aaron Cheung Melbourne Mens Suit Inspiration Summer Mens Fashion

I have been lucky to have known Aaron for over a year now, and I’ve always regarded him as one of the most stylish and sartorially savvy dudes I know. He’s worked at the famous store The Armoury alongside sartorial legends, and is an arbitrator of classic Neapolitan tailoring (check out his Blog). He has recently established a brand, producing exquisite Made-To-Measure Gloves (he regularly updates his Instagram with goodies at @aaronchg) and at the age of 24, has defined his style and goals early in his life. I sat down with him for a coffee and as usual, got sidetracked from the interview talking about travel and life (he’s also full of wisdom!) but finally had him divulging well kept secrets about his exciting new ventures.

At what time in your life did you realize you loved menswear?

Coming across menswear was instantly love at first sight for me. As a teenager, I read trend magazines and bought fashion items, it was at that time I developed an interest for things that are well-made. Not until I started to follow The Sartorialist, seeing a lot of #pitti and #tailoring, featuring men in perfectly tailored suits, I realised this was the style that I had been looking for all along.

What piece of clothing are you loving at the moment?
My wardrobe doesnt change much every year, as it’s based around timeless pieces of classic menswear. Having said that, I do experiement with new cloths and a variation of my style each season. The current fabric I love is a brown Spanish hunting jacket by Justo Gimeno. Its softness and slouchiness are just perfect to wear everyday.

Why start producing gloves? Where did the inspiration come from?
Indeed I have a leather gloves brand under my name, Aaron Cheung, that started with me being unable to find a pair of nice peccary gloves at an affordable price. In my mind, a pair of gloves should be hugging your hand in a way that leaves no excessive leather at the finger. That’s a pretty difficult thing to explain when people don’t pay so much attention to what they are wearing. Perhaps I’m a bit dreamy. Perhaps I shouldn’t think that everyone should look like those 1960s Esquire magazine Illustrations.

Handmade Gloves Melbourne Aaron Cheung
Unlined and made by hand – these Aaron Cheung Gloves are as soft as they look.

What are your plans for this year? Anything special in the works?
Since 2015 started a few short months ago, I have been focusing on the international market (thanks to Europe’s cold winter and Australia’s hot summer). I’m introducing a Ready-To-Wear collection very soon that will feature some interesting and unique leather such as Peccary and Carpincho. You can say that it’s a kind of refocus back home, as winter is approaching here in Australia. Also, a top secret menswear project is in the works too.

If there was one piece of advice you could give our readers, what would it be?
One painful mistake that I made early on was buying too fast and too many. A style Maestro once told me that for the first two to three years of your menswear crush, your style will be constantly changing. It means that you will most likely trash or donate the clothes that you have bought in the beginning. So I would say buy slower, wear every piece more often and remember that clothes are to be worn.

A Ready to wear line and a top-secret menswear project! I can’t wait to see what Aaron has in store for the large contingent of sartorial dudes who follow him. If you enjoy his style, make sure you follow his Tumblr and Instagram!

Ciao,

Steve Calder

Justo Gimeno Linen Summer Menswear Melbourne Mens Fashion Justo Gimeno Melbourne Summer Mens Suit Fashion Melbourne Shoes Style Linen Pants Inspiration