Project NY – Rudy’s Barbershop

Barbershops, they’re everywhere and new places seem to be popping up everyday, but which one is the right barber for you?  Growing up, I’ve got my hair cut from my mother, not in the sense where we were just trying to save money and butchering my hair gorilla style, but in the means of her profession, my mother was a proud owner of a beauty salon.  With that said, I was so used to getting my hair styled at salons vs barber shops, being ignorant, thinking the barbers wouldn’t be able to cut my “Korean hair style” the way I would like them too, but this past week I made the switch.

My mother has retired very early and moved to Korea with my father, fortunate enough to buy real estate and move on to bigger projects while I stay behind here in New York.  Since then I’ve struggled to find the right stylist for my hair and I, “we’ve” been salon hopping ever since.  But I think that journey has come to a close.  This past week I was a proud blogger, part of the ‘blogger project’ curated by none other than Marcus Troy for the Project Global Trade show.  Sitting on a wooden table I started to type, trying to type harder against the keyboard to ear out the sounds of buzzing and blow drying coming from right next to us, but I couldn’t focus on blogging rather drawn more into Rudy’s Barbershop’s booth.  I gave in by the second day of the trade show and really trusted them with my hair allowing James, my barber for the day to “do him” and gave him creative freedom.  Having my hair cut the day before I didn’t think there was going to be much difference, but the two styles, new and old, were worlds apart.  The new hair cut that James styled felt more modern and clean, while the one I received at a Korean salon seem repetitive and outdated.  I’m really glad that I let my guard down and gave barbers a chance, giving me the opportunity to find out who the right hair stylist was for me.

I’ve got to spend a few minutes with James from Rudy’s Barbershop and asked him a few questions.

Lavish-Livez:  Who are you and what do you do?

James Burkes: I am James Burkes and I work for Rudy’s Barbershop.

L.L:  How did you and Rudy’s Barbershop end up at project?

JB:  Well we just opened our first location in New York on 29th & Broadway right next to the Ace Hotel and we just wanted to do a promotion.  Luckily Project Trade Show asked us if we wanted to be apart of it and we said yeah!

L.L:  Do you like the interactions over here at Project?

J.B:  Yeah!  I definitely do, a lot of people from different areas and not only from New York also there are a lot of cool stuff going on here.

L.L:  Just as fashion is, there are trends in hair styling, tell us some hair styles that men should try out this season.  Which styles are in now?

J.B:  I think were moving out the very cropped 20′s, 30′s and 40′s looks.  I think we’re getting a little more edgy again, you know?  It got really, really clean and now it’s getting a little rougher.  I think in this Fall Winter, we’re going to see a lot of shaved heads, a lot of “kitchen” looking haircuts.  I’m very excited!

L.L:  Which products do you recommend to style our hair?

J.B:  I’m a huge fan of Bumble and Bumble, but recently I started using Malin + Goetz, which is New York based.  It’s amazing, it’s great for your skin, it’s a great hair product.  Their shampoos are amazing. They have a styling cream that smells like sage. It is mind blowing!

L.L:  Products you recommend to keep our hair and scalp healthy?

J.B:  Oh!  Malin + Goetz all the way!  It was created by two guys, New York.  One of them has skin issues and they just created an amazing line for just about anything.  All organic, all natural just amazing!

L.L:   I understand barbers talk to their clients, which is the most memorable story?

J.B:  God, they’re so many *chuckles*.  Just recently I cut a man’s hair that was a walkin and tried to pretend that he didn’t cut his own hair, but he obviously had *chuckles*  There were a lot of laughing, but he still wouldn’t admit that he cut his own hair, I knew he had… he had to of!  No one could’ve done a bad job like that.

L.L:  *LOL*  Was it that bad?

J.B:  Yeah, it was soooo bad!  One side was three inches longer than the other.  Yeah, it was pretty good, pretty rich.

L.L:  Have you had a chance to tour the project space yet?  Which brand stood out to you the most?

J.B:  Project was an amazing experience. Being surrounded by creative people is always an illuminating  experience, one in which inspiration can arise.  I am a big fan of Krochet Kids International. We sell some of their bow ties at our retail space above our shop in the Flatiron. It is a great organization, ran by amazing people.  I am also a fan of Antonio Azzuolo, I had the privilege of cutting his hair, which was probably one of the best conversations I had throughout the whole experience. Not to mention he is also an unbelievable menswear designer. 

L.L:  What are some difference from where you’re originally from as in hair trends and customer experience?

J.B:  We started in Seattle, then opened locations in Portland and LA.  I think we take the scene around each shop and make it our own, a  bad-ass and personal experience for each guest and as far as trends go, we try to create them.  We are artists. 

L.L:  And lastly why would I want to go to Rudy’s?  What separates you guys for the rest?

J.B:  Rudy’s is a lifestyle.  A true west coast lifestyle.  You wake up, want a cut.. you come in and get your do did.  Each location is made up of  diverse and talented artist, not just in the hair world.  A lot of our stylist are painters, photographers, designers, musicians, you name it.  We started in 1993 in the heart of Capitol hill Seattle.  We were the first on the barbershop frontier.  We team up with organizations that we believe in, the It Gets Better campaign, Krochet Kids, Japan relief just to name a few.  We also carry products we believe in, Bumble and Bumble, Malin + Goetz, URSA MajorKiehl’s, and even our own Rudy’s Brand.  If you have not tried the shower bombs, you do not know what you are missing.  We just opened our first retail space above our shop on West 29th street, which is jam-packed full of amazing things. 


I want to thank James and the whole Rudy’s Barbershop team for giving me an amazing hair cut and their time to answer a few of my questions.  These guys are truly talented and much more than “just barbers”, they got a new customer in me!  If you’re ever looking for a new barbershop, head down to 29th & Broadway, tell them Paul sent yuh!

All photographs in this post were created by Paul Chin of and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the proper citation of Lavish-Livez.

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2 Responses to “Project NY – Rudy’s Barbershop”
  1. Kristan says:

    Awesome haircut, and interview, James is extremely talented!!!


  2. blackhat says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!


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