Lipstein (left) and Rhaney are a new dynamic duo of men’s style
In the colorful showroom of Henry A. Davidsen Master Tailors & Image Consultants, Brian Lipstein, its president and CEO, sits across from JahmalRhaney, the brain (and hands) behind Center City’s luxury barbering studio 2B Groomed. The pair are an ideal match—for their impeccable taste in fashion, but even more for their complementary personalities. “It’s a natural partnership,” says Rhaney, whose creativity is the perfect accent to Lipstein’s business savvy. “It was love at first sight,” he adds with a laugh.
First sight came in 2009, when a client of Rhaney’s who had purchased a suit from Lipstein suggested they meet. “It seemed like a young, fashion-forward group,” says Rhaney, “so I came down, snooped around a bit—the door usually tells you a lot about a place—and then I called.” After multiple conversations, the two hosted a “shaving seminar and image talk,” with each bringing a handful of clients. “The friendship continued from there,” says Lipstein. “I’d send people over to 2B Groomed; he’d send people here for suits. We were looking out for each other.”
Four years later, the Philly natives have taken their friendship to a new level with the official launch of T.R.I.M. (Tradition Restored in Men). The shop, located in Henry A. Davidsen’s front room—a throwback to 1940s-and’50s-style barbershops, with pinstriped wallpaper and a vintage barber chair—provides the Philadelphia gentleman with something no other business does: straight razor shaves, haircuts, and made-to-measure suits (through Davidsen), all under one roof, with a full bar to boot.
Although these services are the foundation of T.R.I.M., its educational aspects are equally essential. “We want to teach our guys, so that they value the services provided but can also do it on their own,” says Lipstein. Adds Rhaney, “We give them the format from which they can work and think, so when they’re outside of this environment, they feel confident and empowered.”
In the process of educating other men, Lipstein and Rhaney have learned what it takes to run a joint venture. Working together “adds a new element to the mix—the business relationship becomes like a marriage,” says Lipstein, who hops in Rhaney’s chair for a shave almost every other week. “It takes work, and communication has to be clear. The start-up phase is the most stressful to begin with, but [we’ve] already been able to work through the tougher issues.”
The buzz surrounding T.R.I.M. is just beginning, but Lipstein and Rhaney are mindful of its potential. “Ultimately we want to make this scalable,” says Rhaney. “This is a business model that could fit anywhere in the world. The needs are there for all men.” 1701 Spruce St., 2nd Fl., 267-908-5334