As soon as Van Capizzano turned around to show me the pattern on the back of his denim jacket that he had stitched himself in the style of the Japanese embroidery technique sashiko, it was clear this guy was no ordinary barber. The owner of Tribe barbershop in the South End, his talents have been lauded by Robert De Niro, and his former barbershops inside retail trailblazers Freemans Sporting Club and Ball and Buck became less quick stops for cuts and more gathering spots for the city’s swank and sharp fellows. His popularity can obviously be attributed to the artistic skill with which he sculpts and shapes hair, but people are drawn to him for his particular blend of originality, cockiness, intelligence and warmth. He will school you on men’s fashion brands and music like a know-it-all but also seems truly interested in your opinions and is a good listener. He’s brash but also familiar, like someone you’ve known your whole life who’s just up for a good debate. Chances are you’ll return to his scissors way more often than you actually need a trim.
I spend most of my time thinking about music and art.
My favorite part of my job is talking to 80 different people a week.
Top-water fishing for smallmouth bass at sunrise is my idea of perfect happiness.
My fashion splurge was a vintage bead-embroidered cowboy hat.
Silk or suede? Denim.
Debating makes me happy.
If I had three wishes, I would wish to take this ride three more times.
My motto is be here now.
My style hero is Georgia O’Keeffe.
Photography by: Karin Dailey