The character of Jimmy Darmody on HBO's hit series Men's style trends are typically not as reported on or even as noticeable as those pertaining to women, but in recent years guys have become more interested in and accepting of fashion and grooming. The recent return to a shaved sides '30s-style haircut has caught our eye, but the hairstyle's name is even more attention grabbing. According to the New York Times, hipsters and creative types are heading to barbershops and salons requesting a "Hitler Youth" haircut.
Also known as the "undercut," the style was popular in Nazi Germany (as
well as other European countries) and has gained momentum with pop
culture figures sporting the sleek style throughout history. With the
new biopic "J. Edgar" in theaters, we recall J. Edgar Hoover donning a
similar style. Back in the '80s, skateboarder Tony Hawk popularized the
"McSqueeb" haircut with shaved sides and a longer front, while Swedes
called it the "synth" due to bands like New Order and Modern English
rocking the style. Currently, Michael Pitt's character Jimmy Darmody on
HBO's hit series "Boardwalk Empire"
wears the undercut style as many did in the Prohibition period. Win
Butler, the lead singer of Arcade Fire wears a similar style as does
cult director David Lynch. In recent years female singers like Rihanna
and Cassie even inspired legions of girls to shave the sides of their
heads. There are so many things you could call this style, so why are
people equating with with Nazi Germany and referring to it as the
offensively named "Hitler Youth"?
Arcade Fire singer Win Butler also wears the undercut style. Well, we kind of think the New York Times is full of it. Sure, we've seen this haircut around and we'll admit it appears to be having a moment. But only one barbershop owner told them he's heard the term "Hitler Youth." Sam Buffa, a founding partner of F.S.C Barber in New York City's West Village insists many young men are requesting the cut by that name. The Times also interviewed Sartorialist photographer and blogger Scott Schuman who while aware of the style had no clue about the Hitler association. "I think it goes along with a newly restored romance for tailoring, the cut and craftsmanship you see with this current heritage trend," he told the Times. "You pick up a Doisneau book, or any photography book of Paris in the '30s, and almost all the guys had that cut." Annika von Taube, the editor in chief of an art and fashion magazine called Sleek in Berlin told the Times, "We usually refer to this cut as the 'undercut,' and there are gazillions of variations, for boys and girls. We are aware that non-Germans refer to it as the 'jugend' " - German for "youth" - "or the 'Hitler' even. Maybe it's a case of selective perception."
While surely Germans and even Nazis have worn this hairstyle, so have
many, many other types of people before and afterward. We have a hard
time believe that men would go into a barbershop and request a "Hitler
Youth" haircut by that name. A haircut with shaved sides and long up top
may be a current trend, but we refuse to pronounce anything having to
do with Nazis as trendy.
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