Leicester entrepreneur Barrie Stephen is expanding his business portfolio in a partnership with internationally renowned barber Sid Sottung.
The collaboration between the city’s most decorated hairdresser and American born barbering industry icon, will form the men’s grooming destination, ‘Sid Sottung Barber Shop’, and will bring world-class barbering to Leicester. The new concept will open in December.
Sid Sottung brings three decades of hairdressing experience to the new men’s salon which will be on Hotel Street in Leicester city centre. His impressive CV boasts 17 years at Vidal Sassoon in New York and Washington D.C where he rose to Assistant Creative Director with the brand. Sid has also looked after celebrity clientele, worked backstage for designers at London and New York fashion weeks, crafted hair for television, and was part of the hairstyling team on the 2005 blockbuster Pride & Prejudice.
On the back of a stellar career at Sassoon, Sid began teaching at hairdressing academies, before gaining invitations to lead seminars at international hair shows as far afield as China. 2014 and 2018 saw the launch of his two hair academies in Nottingham. Sid continues to travel as an international hairdressing and men’s barbering educator in countries as diverse as Mexico, Russia, Ireland and Romania. The new Sid Sottung Barber Shop in Leicester will also be a base for his high calibre education.
Barrie Stephen has likewise been in the hairdressing industry for thirty years and recently won Salon Business’ Ultimate Salon of the Year accolade and Business Person of the Year 2019 at the Nachural Awards. This year also saw him gain a finalist nomination for the prestigious Director of the Year – Small Medium Business award at the 2019 East Midlands Institute of Directors Awards.
He launched his Barrie Stephen Hair business 23 years ago in Anstey and has since grown his start-up company into a five-strong salon business including a training academy and barbers lounge spread across the county, in Ashby, Anstey, Narborough, and the city centre. He was this year named the first ever patron for Leicester’s Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, whose support enabled Barrie to launch his own business in 1996, when he transformed an old butcher’s shop in Anstey into his first high-class salon.
Sid Sottung Barber Shop will be opening at 6B Hotel Street, whilst BStyled, a boutique arm of Barrie’s business, which opened at this central location in 2015, will merge with Barrie Stephen Hair.
Barrie Stephen says: “Sid Sottung is already an integral part of Barrie Stephen Hair’s professionalism and growth. Over the last four years Sid has trained up all our Barbers Lounge stylists, helping us skill up and provide amazing male grooming. I am so excited to be partnering with such an internationally recognised expert to bring world-class barbering to the heart of Leicester.
“Bringing so many amazing hair stylists under one roof is a response to the demand for more top stylists at our King Street salon. This marker driven merger between our two styling arms, BStyled and Barrie Stephen Hair, will make space for our new concept that also meets market forces for barbering.
“We are consolidating and bringing all our BStyled customers into the King Street salon, so that the new Sottung Barber Shop venture can really fly and have space to flourish.”
On the collaboration, Sid Sottung says: “Both Barrie and I have the same energy and drive to make things happen. We share the same goal of outputting high-quality hairdressing. Our new concept will combine all of the excellence of men’s barbering, attention to detail styling, traditional wet shaving and beard design with great attitude. Men can come and feel like a man without all the macho vibes – it’ll be comfortable yet creative.”
Sottung Barber Shop will open in December with a new team of five barbers employed from Leicestershire. All BStyled staff remain at Barrie Stephen Hair across the salon portfolio.
Male Grooming has undergone a revival in recent years and is a huge part of the hairdressing business sector. Men now make up one in five salon customers, with over half (55%) of all hair professionals declaring a growth in male clients.
Despite these strong results however, 45% of salons still don’t offer male grooming services. These findings suggest that many industry professionals are missing out on a compelling opportunity to both expand their business offering and acquire new customers. Currently over 287,000 people work within the hairdressing, barbering and beauty industries; contributing over £7bn to the UK economy each year.