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More often than not, we see you rocking a Nixon watch on Instagram. What do you like about the brand and how does it fit into your personal style?
I have always really liked the style of the watches they make. And you can’t beat it for the price point. I like watches that are a bit heavier and less delicate-looking but still really simple. I don’t need my watch to do a million things. Just tell me the time.

Which Nixon model is your favourite to wear?
The 51-30 Chrono has been a favourite for a long time. I just really like the size and style. I have trouble going back to a smaller watch after wearing it, though!

What’s an average day in the life of Matty like?
The only thing consistent about my life is that every day is different. There is nothing average about it anymore. I own four shops, travel the world teaching, and just launched my own product line that I designed entirely from the ground up. So some days I am buried in my laptop, designing packaging and marketing stuff, and some days I am in the studio doing photo shoots. (I shoot almost all of my own stuff.) A lot of days are spent on a plane or in an airport, travelling anywhere from Toronto and New York to Tokyo and Dublin. The days I like most start with me walking my dog along the ocean in the morning and behind the chair cutting hair for my clients in the afternoons..

Between your shops and being on the road for classes and stage shows, what do you do with the little free time you have?
I don’t get very much, to be honest. My life is a delicate balance these days. But whenever I can, I like to ride my 1942 Harley Davidson that I call “Jolene”—yes, after the Dolly Parton song!—or go for a drive in my 1958 Porsche Speedster. Recently I spent a day cutting hair in the park for members of the homeless population in Vancouver. Honestly, I can’t wait to go back and do it again. So my next day off will likely be spent doing that.

You’ve been called a pioneer for “new market barbering.” You’ve also opened the very unique Saint Franks restaurant/lounge/barbershop! Do you enjoy being a leader and creator of new trends?
I have been called that… I never really considered myself that, though. Being somebody that people look at as a leader is a bit of a double-edged sword. You never set out to start a trend; you just do something that other people weren’t doing. It’s kind of counter-cultural in nature. They are always just deeply personal projects that usually come from a general dissatisfaction with what is being offered in the market. My barbershop was really just a love letter to my grandpa. It was a purely selfish project… we had no idea what it would turn into.


And are you working on anything else right now?
My most exciting project currently is the line of hair products that I just launched. I’ve been working on them for almost two years, and they’re finally ready for the public:

You’ve been in the industry for over 20 years now. What moment in your career stands out most to you?
Twenty-two years this year—wow, it has just flown by! I still feel like I am just getting started. So many moments stand out that it’s hard to pick one. Being asked to join Project X in Rotterdam was pretty amazing. When the most famous barbershop in the world decides you are one of their top-10 favourites in the world, that is a pretty big deal. Also, the launch party for Victory Brand in Austin, Texas, a few weeks ago! It’s mind- blowing how much support I have received from the hair community.

Is there anything you would go back and change?
That’s a tough one to answer. I’ve had a few heartbreaks I might have warned myself about, but honestly everything happens as it should. I really believe that.

What’s next for Matty Conrad?
I am heading to Ireland to be on stage at the biggest barber show in the U.K., then I’m off to Tokyo to be on stage with the Scumbag Barbers of Rotterdam. In the spring I am going on a world tour with some of my best friends who are also incredible barbers. Life is getting even busier, but I love it.

steal Matty's style: SHOP NIXON