Boudewijn Juriaans, AKA Barber Birdman, is a man of many talents. Besides being one of Amsterdam’s top barbers, he is also a true style icon. Last week, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with the Birdman himself for a personal interview where we discussed everything from his platform Amsterdam Dandy to old-school Nintendo games.
How long have you been working as a barber and how did you decide to become one?
Well I finished high-school at a private school but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to study after that, so I ended up just working in hospitality behind the bar. I did that for about 10 years. I became a master barista but after a certain point, once you have made the perfect cappuccino too many times, you just get bored of it. I was 28 at the time and I decided I needed a change in my life.
Cut Throat had opened here in Amsterdam in the Red Light district and I ended up visiting because I was excited that there was finally a good barbershop in town. I came in to get a haircut and ended up asking the owner if he would train me to become a barber and if I could become his apprentice. He said no because they had just opened and it was way too busy. However, as it turns out there was also a small coffee corner inside the barbershop and I got hired as a barista. That was the way I originally started working at Cut Throat.
A month later I did my first beard trim, my first full shave and started having friends come in to train on. Then I decided to move to Dublin for a few months to attend barber school because at the time here was no equally well-established school in the Netherlands. When I returned, I did not get a barbering job at Cut Throat right away because I had no experience. I had to find another job on the other side of the country, while still coming to Cut Throat in the evenings to train more with the owner. Half year later, I got offered to work full-time as a barber at Cut Throat, where I am now one of the senior barbers.
What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t at the shop?
This strikes a lot of people as a surprise, but I am a total game geek. I love my Nintendo games, both old and new. I like PlayStation also. Legend of Zelda is definitely my favorite game, that is like THE GAME. I love the whole franchise. I am a big fan. I even have it tattooed on my arm! Gaming is definitely my favorite past-time besides my work.
Oh and I also like to cook! I can whip up a pretty mean spaghetti carbonara.
We heard that you go by the name Birdman. How did you get the nickname?
So I used to play a lot of handball. Well, the uniform for handball kind of looks like a basketball uniform, you know, with a singlet jersey top and baggy shorts. Also, I would always wear sweatbands around my wrists.
One day this guy came up to me and said, “Hey, you look like Birdman’. I had no idea who he was talking about. Turns out he was talking about Chris Anderson from the Miami Heat basketball team who had the nickname Birdman. I guess it was a combination between the blonde hair, the beard, all the tattoos and my handball uniform of course.
Many years later when I started working as a barber I needed a business name so I figured I would use “Barber Birdman”. You know, it just worked.
You run the platform Amsterdam Dandy, could you tell us a bit more about that?
Yeah, so Amsterdam Dandy is my second business name, if you will. My primary business is Barber Birdman which is barbering services, but as that developed there was a certain style that came with it, specifically in the way I dress.
My personal style is what I refer to as Amsterdam Dandy. It is not the traditional “Dandy” with the pocket square, the tie and everything over stylized. It is a bit more rugged. For example, nice selvedge denim with a nice bespoke jacket and some boots. I am currently aiming towards creating a platform/blog to showcase this style.
You have a lot of tattoos; can you tell us which one is your favorite?
Well, we already talked about my Zelda tattoo. Besides that, I really like my hand tattoos. On one hand I have a rooster’s head with barber shears and on the other hand I have the barber pole and a razor blade.
I don’t have a specific artist. My tattoos are like a collection rather than one big piece. I travel a lot and I try to get a tattoo everywhere I go.
You have a really amazing and unique look. What are some of your wardrobe staples?
Well basically, I would love to just have a wardrobe that I can just fall into and come out and everything will match. I don’t want to think too much about what I am wearing or how I will combine things. I just get good items, you know? Great essentials that will work together regardless.
I like lots of bespoke suits and a lot of craft and selvedge denim. My favorite tailor for suits is L’Atelier Amsterdam. I love handmade items.
If you could live in any time period besides the present, which would it be?
1920’s for sure. The roaring 20’s. I am just drawn to the whole decadence of the era with the fantastic cocktails and parties before the great depression. You know, upscale New York in the 20’s, that whole vibe.
What do you like about RENARD?
I like the style of the watches. I love that they are clean but still dressy. It’s a very decent watch for the price. You can wear this around your arm and it will just blend. It compliments an outfit without taking it over.
Boudewijn is wearing the Elite Ocean Blue Rose Gold Brown Croco
Follow Boudewijn on Instagram