Taking A Closer Look at Centre's New Gold Line Barber Shop.
Just a few weeks back, beloved Mockingbird Station streetwear boutique Centre soft-opened its brand spankin' new Gold Line Barber Shop.
The shop certainly had some new room to play with: In the wake of vinyl toy store ATAMA moving out of the store's upstairs space (and into the vacated Kid Robot space down the Mockingbird Station strip), Centre was able to rearrange its floor plan some, moving its footwear out from the back area of the store and into the upstairs portion. And, in place of where the shoes once sat on shelves in the back, now stands three barber chairs, three sinks and some counter space backed by a mirrored wall.
Although the soft opening for Gold Line was simply a small feature of the shop's larger “End of Summer” bash, locally famed barber and nationally famed artist Arturo Donjuan of Sour Grapes still set the stage on the day of that Saturday bash for good things to come . Although mostly known these days for his artistic endeavors, Donjuan has been cutting hair in his own Sour Grapes Studio-attached shop in Oak Cliff for some time now.
But in collaboration with Philip Sterling, his barber shop concept has been brought to a whole new level at Gold Line. And, with the shop now taking appointments and gearing up for its more-formal grand opening, we caught up with Sterling to chat about the decision to open a barber shop within the streetwear store, the additional barbers who'll be cutting hair in the space, and what else is in Centre for the near future.
Let's start at the beginning: How did the addition of Gold Line Barber Shop to Centre's space come about?
I've really wanted to do a barber shop in some manner for a few years now. We looked at a few opportunities in various locations, including the old Centre space around the corner. The real opportunity came after we secured the location for ATAMA just down the way. We knew we had to use the extra space for a barber shop. For a variety of reasons, we ended up putting the chairs downstairs. But we're happy with the results.
What's behind the Gold Line name?
Probably not as much as you would think. We just wanted a classic name and that one stuck out of the proposed list.
With the opening of Gold Line at Centre, what is in store for Arturo's other barber sop spot at the Sour Grapes Studio? Will he continue work there as well?
I think he still does cuts there for his clients who don't want to travel across town.
The End of Summer BBQ at Centre was kind of like a soft opening for Gold Line. Arturo clipped his first cut in the new spot, and kids were already lining up. Is Gold Line in full swing now?
We are just about to go into our third weekend with Arturo at the shop, and things are definitely building. We have two other barbers who will be joining us on a part-time basis at first and then moving into something more permanent as we build our customer base. Slow and steady.
Arturo is surely at the helm, but what other talented barbers can we expect to grace the Gold Line shop?
We introduced a new barber named Brandon last week, who cut for a few days. We are just in the middle of wrapping things up with a third barber. We want to be able to offer a variety of looks since our customer base is relatively diverse. We aim to offer quality cuts for a variety of styles, at a reasonable cost.
Barber shops are generally filled with men, but have any women come in for a cut yet?
We have had a few women get a quick trim, but no full cuts yet. We've thought about offering that, but obviously Centre's product is geared towards men.
Knowing how much Centre has been involved with visiting and local musical artists, small parties, and brand launches, will the barber shop be holding any of its own special events on its own or in collaboration with Centre?
Yes. We have started planning the opening event for Gold Line. It will definitely be a mix of art, whether through hair or more traditional mediums. Arturo and everyone at the shop are keen to see where it goes.
What is it about an old-school barber shop and a streetwear boutique that makes them go so well together?
[Laughs.] I don't know! I guess they are both about staying fresh? New gear, new hair cut. They just make you feel good and confident.
How has the addition of Gold Line to Centre affected the shop thus far?
Well, it definitely took longer than expected to come about. But really we want it to create a little community and interaction with the customer. Getting to know the clients and speak with them — we always want to encourage people to come hang out. Look for a TV and a few other things added to the shop in the near future.
All photos by Marty Olivo. Reserve your appointment at Gold Line by calling 214-821-2028. The shop is located inside Centre at 5307 East Mockingbird Lane.