Glasgow born, Berlin-based barber Kerr Sutherland is next in the limelight in our Universal People "On The Map" - Berlin series. Head topiary runs in the genes for the founder of CoBarbers Studio. Brought up in Glasgow, as a teen he spent his free time washing hair in the city’s ‘Cresswells’ salon, which was owned by his dad and uncle. For a while, it was just a fun way to make some extra pocket money, but then he decided that barbering was the right career path to go down. The decision took him to New York, where he wound up cutting at the legendary Freemans Sporting Club, working on film sets and then relocating to Berlin, aged 22.
Talking about the move to Germany, Kerr said, “I’d been offered a guest spot at a high-end beauty salon and barbershop - but we didn’t cut hair, only beards. This was a relatively new concept in Berlin and the role involved back-to-back beard trims all day. I really enjoyed learning more about skincare and facial treatments and then fell in love with the city. Back in Glasgow, the nightclubs close at 3am. But in Berlin, they don’t shut! As a big fan of electronic music, it felt like the best place to be, so I made it my permanent home. 8 years later and I’m still loving it. My younger sister has even joined me over here now, so it really feels like home.”
Kerr wears, Bucket Hat In Cumin Brisbane Cord, Newark Bomber In Licorice/Cumin Cord, Pleated Track Pant In Navy Paisley Cord,
For Kerr, the therapeutic and sociable nature of the job is what he enjoys the most - as well as the variety and diversity of opportunities. With a smile, he remembered when was once booked to cut at the KitKat club. “The promoter thought it would be good to have a barber in the crowd. I wasn’t sure what I’d signed myself up for and was pretty shocked when I rocked up to find it was a full-on bondage night!”
S & M surprises aside, Kerr has big plans for the CoBarbers brand. He’s set out to make sure the salon experience feels private, gender-neutral, and welcoming for all customers. Inspired by his dad’s commitment to making clients feel good, and flair with shapes and texture, he’s determined to open up more studios around the world and run workshops exploring the crossover between hairdressing and barbering. Laughing, he said, “Berlin is such a creative place and the cuts we do reflect that. Sometimes when I post a haircut I’ve done on Insta, my mates in Glasgow will comment, ‘What have you done to that poor person’s hair?!’.” Perm? Skinhead? Or a mullet? Whatever you want, it’s good to know that when it comes to beards and bonces, CoBarbers Berlin is strictly a judgement-free zone.
Kerr wears, Bucket Hat In Cumin Brisbane Cord, Zip Waistcoat In Orange Austin Wool Fleece, Pleated Track Pant In Navy Paisley Cord,