In 1966 Sebastian Maimone was the first barber to work out of a Melbourne department store and now he is the last.
After 51 years attracting dream male shoppers into CBD menswear departments, he was last month shown the door.
He believes David Jones has been short-sighted but he is not bitter about his treatment. Rather, he has simply moved across Little Collins St and down Carson Place where he has found space for himself and his three staff at Ab’s Barber Shop.
At 73, Mr Maimone is just warming up. After all, when he started his apprenticeship, the youngest barber in the business was 81.
“I have a lovely clientele. I love talking with them and there is still a living to be made,” he said.
He explained that his client list contained the cream of Melbourne’s society – including governors, judges, captains of industry and high-ranking bureaucrats.
Mr Maimone said that, at its peak, the competition among men’s wear retailers to attract the best barbers into their stores was fierce. In fact, the Buckley and Nunn floor manager who first offered him his first business opportunity poached him from Peter Jackson.
He stayed with Buckley and Nunn – all the way through its transition to David Jones. However, his 51-year service was broken seven years ago by a temporary period at Ab’s Barber Shop in Carson Place while David Jones was renovated.
Now that he’s back in Carson Place, Mr Maimone is keen to let his loyal customers know where he has moved. He can be contacted on 9663 1283.