THE BLOG
03/28/2013 12:10 pm ET | Updated May 28, 2013

The Man Behind the Edge of Tradition

San Francisco, CA - The success of four men's grooming clubs in New York, Chicago, Toronto and Beverly Hills. Is just the tip of the iceberg for John Allen who recently partnered up with men's designer John Varvatos.

Allen is the man behind the edge of tradition. Now he's opening his fifth location which is right here in San Francisco. This new upscale club is donning a new name called the "JA Razor Club" which is featured for the first time in a boutique clothing store with the Varvatos brand.

Born in Miami Beach, Florida John saw his grandfather dress up everyday when style was not a factor. Fashion was at it's best and his grandfather impacted his dream to work in men's grooming. After moving to New York with his family, Allen jetted off to Paris, France to work with the best in the business, he worked along side Frederick Fekkai, Michael Gordon of Bumble and the late John Sahag. Together they all dominated 57th Street at one time.

"I did research by walking around New York, visiting many product shows and decided, I think I want to do something exclusively for men," said John. "From what I've studied all my life, I think I can make a difference and that's what propelled me into this business."

He opened his first store on Wall Street back in 1988. Looking at the market back then, no one was playing in the men's world outside of getting a cut and shave at a Barber Shop. So, it was the perfect time to start a new venture, which was building a club instead of a salon to give men more ownership and feel more comfortable.

The first service that was introduced back then was giving manicures and pedicures but that didn't work. Today, it's a growing business along with the typical barber shop amenities (shoe shine, cut, shave) with a personal server providing appetizers, drinks of your choice and comfort throughout time spent at the club.

"I began my expansion with Saks Fifth Avenue who gave me a call to work with them and build a place on their 7th floor. And from there I went to Tribeca."

The new product line is what catapulted the move to the West Coast. "The Black Line" will control the frustrations men face from shampoo's preventing hair loss while adding sheen, facial products to control hair bumps and create smooth skin.

This upscale club will remind you of the comfort many men have found in small barber shops or at home. It's a culture that you can't replicate, however one will certainly enjoy the service provided. The future behind this endeavor eventually will become a members only club, but for now they are open for walk-in's.