Hidden in a nook of the iconic Rotonde de la Villette, a celebrated pre-revolution historical building-turned-bar facing the Canal St Martin, you’ll find a Rock ‘n’ Roll, washboard-playing, traditional barber in the heart of the Parisian vintage community.
Nicky began his professional career in 1984 with renowned Teddy Boy barber Jacky David, who founded his salon in Paris in the late 1950s. Passionate about his trade, Nicky excels in period authenticity and a refined attention to detail that is key to the perfect cut.
Moreover, Nicky’s services are not limited to gentlemen but also extend to ladies looking for a unique and stylish hairstyle.
After speaking to a few female clients, given that ladies’ hairdressing is usually a somewhat delicate practice, I was impressed to hear he was one of the few tonsorial artists in the area where a woman was consistently delighted with their resulting cut.
With his singular 1930s-1940s style, Nicky exhumes a rare coolness while carefully tending to his clients’ hair between sips from a nearby glass of Pastis. Big band swing plays on over the radio. Outside of his barbershop, Nicky regularly attends Vintage Markets, Classic Car Shows, Rock ‘n’ Roll Festivals and various events hosted in Paris offering his services at a convenient stand.
After spending a number of years in the United States, Nicky speaks excellent English with a charming Franco-American lilt. This, combined with his welcoming personality, makes a trip to his salon ideal – not only for locals, but also tourists and Expats.
Before getting my first cut from Nicky, I was ignorant of the vintage scene in Paris. Since then, I have been introduced to a rich community in the City of Lights and consequently invited to soirées hosted by iconic honkytonks such as the Balajo and the Bellevilleoise – an invitation I certainly intend to accept and cover in detail here on Bespoke Unit.
If you’re ever in Paris and need a good cut, look no further than Nicky Ritoit at La Rotonde de la Villette. Although he’s an old-fashioned sort, you can also connect with Nicky on his professional Facebook account here.
6-8 Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad,
75019 Paris France
+33 (0)6 66 40 98 26
Photo credits: Stéphane Thouanel, Eric Esquivel