Bevel Find Your Barber

Exclusive: Bevel Has Launched An Easy New Way To "Find Your Barber" Nationwide

Walker & Company Brands has released their new nationwide life-fixer, "Find Your Barber: Bevel’s Guide to the Best Barbershops."

Ask any woman who cares about the upkeep of her tresses how hard it is to find a trustworthy hairdresser when in a new area and the deep sighs will be nearly identical. The same goes for men and their barbershops. Venturing outside of one's staple barber requires equal parts faith and research, since finding new shops often depends on word of mouth and friends' suggestions.

Enter Bevel, Walker & Company Brands' flagship brand with the intention of helping people of color acquire better shaves through quality products and education. Today (Nov. 10), they are celebrating the nationwide launch of "Find Your Barber: Bevel's Guide to the Best Barbershops."

"We used to do a series called Inside the Shop, in which we would go and feature some of the most prominent barbers around the country. And we started to continue and search more and more, and it was really difficult to find barbers, when you’re doing it from afar," explains Cassidy Blackwell, who leads Walker & Co.'s brand marketing. "Yelp doesn't have barbershops that specifically focus on men of color. And there’s no easy repository or way of finding those shops, so one of the ideas we had was to build that ourselves."

"Find Your Barber" already launched in New York, but today, the platform has officially expanded to Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia, The Bay Area and Washington, D.C., with eventual plans to explore international territories.

The complexities of "Find Your Barber" are really what makes the resource special. Not only does it give you a list of several shop options you have in a given area, but it gives you a in-depth run down of what to expect when you get there. There are hi-res images of the shops, interviews with the barbers in the shops, their hours, how long they've been in business, how many chairs are in the shop, whether they take appointments and if they're cash only or take credit cards. "That helps the person figure out if the shop is for them," Blackwell says. "Each editorial write up ends with a few lines that says, 'This shop is for you if,' and in those three lines, we’ve included a very distinct, concise description whether or not a shop is for you." Whether the shops are quiet, one-chair operations or the stereotypical barbershops you imagine with board–playing, guys shouting, politics being talked, they jot all of that down to find the best fit for the reader.

And how exactly does Bevel make sure that the shops being listed are of quality? Yes, there are recommendations forms available, but the company makes sure to personally check out every possible shop.

"It's more about the comprehensive services being offered at the barbershop, especially because Bevel is also focused on the problem of razor bumps," Blackwell says. "When you see a barber taking great care of their client from start to finish including things like the use of a hot towel, straight razor shave, and/or shampooing the client, we are sure to call these services out and tie back to bigger trends we are seeing. But there exist those types of shops where you go and nobody is there to talk to you. The barber is on his cellphone the whole time. It’s unwelcoming and not as clean as you would like to see as sort of the sanitary standard. So we want to make sure that we are recommending places that upload that high quality of service. They’re not all about salon-esque experiences because some guys don’t want that and we recognize that. But more often than not, customers want a rewarding experience that includes the banter, the sports talk, that authentic feel, and we have the opportunity with this project to show the spectrum of services available so that people could make the decision that’s best for them.”

“We see this as another way to make health and beauty simple for people of color,” said Tristan Walker, Founder and CEO of Walker and Company Brands, the makers of Bevel. “We want to help people find the barber they need, so they can look and feel their best regardless of how and where they get their shaves."

Bevel and their editorial site, Bevel Code, have become a trusted place for men of color to go to learn about the safest ways to shave and indulge in the many facets of barber shop culture. Even VIBE's Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas is in on the Bevel gem.

Head to the site now to explore the best barbers in your area or area-to-be.

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Celebrate Apollo 11's Historic Moon Landing With Grand Marnier's "Moonwalk" Cocktail

It's been five decades since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land on the moon. To mark the historic moment that occurred on July 20, 1969, global French liqueur brand Grand Marnier is celebrating the historic "Moonwalk" cocktail inspired by Amstrong and Aldrin's lunar journey.

In 1969, Joe Gilmore, head barman of the Savoy Hotel's American Bar, invented the drink to commemorate the astronauts' return from their successful mission. The classic cocktail — made of Marnier's cognac and bitter orange-flavored liqueur, champagne and more — is said to have been the first beverage they sipped upon their homecoming.

“The cocktail was a mix of grapefruit juice, Grand Marnier, champagne and rose water,” he explained to Wonderland in 2008. “The Savoy sent it off in a flask and I received a letter back from Neil Armstrong thanking us and saying it was the first drink they had when they came out of quarantine.”

In honor of the 50th anniversary, we're sharing the classic "Moonwalk" recipe for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home today and for years to come. Scroll down for more details and relive the historic moment in the video below.

Bonus: We've added four more Grand Marnier cocktail recipes for the French holiday, Bastille Day (July 14). À votre santé (Cheers)!


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Scotch Porter Taps VIBE Editor-In-Chief Datwon Thomas For 'Dare To Care' Campaign

Grooming brand Scotch Porter has selected VIBE editor-in-chief Datwon Thomas as one of several men to participate in its "Dare To Care" wellness initiative launching on Father's Day weekend.

"Dare To Care," according to a press release from Scotch Porter, aims to "evolve the perception of manhood." The project will highlight men who use philanthropy, media, education, fashion, music, and advocacy to "aggressively push boundaries to reveal the multiple internal and external layers of themselves to inspire others."

Along with Thomas, other notable participants include Akbar Cook, principal at Westside High School; Carl Banks, two-time Super Bowl Champion and founder of Gil Sports; Emil Wilbekin, founder of Native Son (and former VIBE editor-in-chief); hip-hop artist Grafh; Travis Simons, pastor and life coach; and Iquan Worthington, founder of The Artoholiks.

“For so long you’re taught ‘you can’t cry, you know you play ball... that’s a hard foul’, it’s all these different things,” Thomas said. “It’s about understanding when you need to step up into a position and when you to need to be empathetic to others and yourself.”

The "Dare To Care" campaign will open Father's Day weekend with a multi-city digital billboard review, and across multiple platforms.

Scotch Porter customers can also visit to submit their own videos about how they're driving change around the mindset of being a man. More information about the company and the "Dare to Care" mission are available on Instagram and Twitter (@ScotchPorter), Facebook (ScotchPorter), and join the conversation with the #ScotchPorter hashtag.

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Courtesy of STRONG by Zumba

Zumba, But Make It Slap: Grammy-Nominated Producer Sevn Thomas On Creating 'STRONG By Zumba' Music

As New York residents anticipate the summer sun, the dancefloor of popular hotspot Copacabana was transformed into a full-blown STRONG by Zumba session.

With a high-intensity exercise led by Ai Lee Syarief, one beat, in particular, riled up attendees. It's the aptly titled "Knock 'Em Down," created by Grammy-nominated producer Sevn Thomas. Fast and slightly akin to his many hits (turn up Travis Scott's "WAKE UP" and Drake's "Pop Style"), the Toronto native gave the crowd another bop to add to the workout playlist.

Scoring a workout isn't easy, but the pairing seemed ideal for Thomas. "It's the perfect merge between music and exercise," he tells VIBE before the big workout. "They go hand in hand with each other, they complement each other. A lot of people listen to music when they work out to get in their zone and channel that energy. I thought it made perfect sense."

Thomas' collaboration with the STRONG by Zumba brand falls in line with the non-dance workout and incentive to challenge traditional fitness regimens. Past collaborators include Timbaland, Steve Aoki, and Krewella. While Thomas isn't the first hip-hop based producer, his take twists the brand's sound with an arena-like quality and a high tempo beat.

"["Knock 'Em Down"] is energetic, intense—a driving force," he said. "It's the perfect pulse for an intense workout. I tried my best to represent that in the beat as best as I can." 

Thomas' beat was used during the middle of the workout when legs were giving out and water breaks lasted a little longer than intended. As Syarief set up the next set of crossovers and squats intervals, guests like Chanel Iman were moving to Thomas' beat with ease. Thomas also joined in on the fun, STRONG by Zumba gear and all.

"Sevn's innovative sounds, blending of multiple genres with hip-hop beats and wrapped with a hint of his signature Caribbean-inspired bounce syncs perfectly with STRONG by Zumba," said Zumba CEO, Alberto Perlman. "By working with world-renowned producers, we are able to provide the best, most motivating and unique beats in every class that drive the ultimate afterburn."

For Sevn's personal STRONG by Zumba playlist, the producer is all about trap beats and artists like Young Thug's YSL Records signee Lil Keed.

"I really like trap music. That's my type of stuff [to workout to]," he said. "I've been listening to a lot of Travis Scott. I'm not sure if you're familiar with an artist named Lil Keed. I love Lil Keed right now, he's one of my favorites. His brother, his name is Lil Gotit. I love Lil Gotit's stuff too. I've been rotating that stuff when I'm in the gym doing my thing, I kind of zone out to that."

But STRONG by Zumba's workout not only came from a little inspiration from trap music but martial arts as well. Lead instructor and developer Syarief found her way to the brand in 2010 and has been the face of their many workouts like Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Gold, Zumba Gold Toning, Zumba Kids/Kids Jr. and Zumba Step. Syarief says the latest Zumba workouts are less about perfecting reps and more about moving to the beat.

"There are so many fun movements. You're going to sweat, you'll go to your limit, it's going to be hard. But the music is always there to push you," she said. "Even though you feel like, 'Can I still go?' The music will push you and we don't count reps. You won't even think of the reps, just to move to the beats. That's what makes it different than any other workout. We're going to start a bit slow and then it's going to increase the intensity until we really push your limits. You always have small, active recovery bouts in between so you can really catch your breath and then go full high intense, work hard. So that you have the afterburn effect and then you have the active recovery."

When Thomas isn't on the boards, he's trying his hand at developing artists. Currently, he's working with Long Beach native Gibby, a partnership that fits his organic approach, not molding them into a carbon copy of what's trending.

"I think he's going to be super special. He is super special but for the world not to see how super special he is[...] That's one of the things I have on my agenda right now," he said. "It's super cool and interesting to work with a new artist because you see how chemistry and synergy work as well as working with somebody that gets it. An artist such as Gibby, he gets it, it makes it so much easier for me. It's not as much heavy lifting, but it's super dope to see how people are on the same wave and how they can exchange ideas with each other. The end result is always the best when you guys have the finished product, it's kinda like 'Look what we created together.' That's the fun part."  

Thomas also has a few major productions on the way, noting how he's very booked and busy. "I've been getting in the studio with everyone right now," he said. "So I'm super excited to see how that unfolds."

Learn more about STRONG by Zumba fitness here.

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