Downtown Buffalo has a new barbershop – a convenience which is surprisingly not easy to come across. Co-partners Anthony Violante and Robert D’Amico, along with Master Barber Michael Dinino, have brought their collective vision to the heart of Main Street (near Chippewa). The business, Architect For Men, was designed to appeal to guys looking for professional, stylish cuts, delivered by barbers who are on the top of their game.
Currently, there are three Master Barbers practicing at the swank space, with another Master Barber on the way. Violante, D’Amico and Dinino refer to their location on the 600 Black of Main Street as their flagship location, because they are anticipating taking the brand nationally before long. The brand consists of a line of proprietary men’s face and hair products, including Structure forming cream, charcoal face wash soap and beard oil. “We have a number of products on the shelves, and a number in development,” said D’Amico, who handles branding, marketing and retail for the company. “We want men to be able to ‘build a better self’, by introducing them to cuts and products that they can’t find anywhere else.”
When asked about how the downtown location came about, considering that the team came together from all over the East Coast to pull it together, D’Amico said, “We are all from Buffalo, and wanted to do something for our hometown. We overhauled this space, added retail, and created a modern lounge atmosphere. We offer hot towel wet shaves, straight razor shaves, beard trims, line-ups… the works. Customers can hang out and watch TV, listen to our eclectic playlist of music, sit back and relax, and we’ll even pour them a craft beer if they’re getting a cut. We’re not a salon – we’re a modern day barber shop… but we still have a barber pole. We wanted to bring something special to the guys working downtown, but anyone can walk in or make an appointment.”
D’Amico, Violante and Dinino all felt that the Buffalo image (the Rust Belt) was part of the brand. There’s something about an underdog city making a comeback that is appealing to people. Violante is in charge of product development, which is no small feat, because Architect For Men products are currently being rolled out into 30 salons and barbershops. After that, they are going to take the retail show on the road by going national.
In the meantime, Dinino continues to research, create and test out new products for the line. Once the products are refined and ready to go into retail production, they are launched at the Main Street barber shop. “The flagship store will always be the place where we introduce our customers to the latest products,” noted D’Amico. “Buffalo is our home once again, and we’re going to do everything that we can to make a difference in the city that we love. Buffalo is a strong, resilient city, which you can find in our name and our logo, inspired by the city’s architecture.”