Luka Chitty is a name that you should all be very familiar with by now, but for those who are out of the loop I'll give you a quick catch up class. He is covered in tattoos, from time to time he partakes in some modelling, he rides a Harley Davidson and, most importantly, he is one of the best barbers in the business. Having recently opened his flagship barbershop we thought now would be the perfect time to find out some more about him. Here's how it went...
First off, can you please briefly introduce yourself to the readers?
My name is Luka Chitty, I'm 29 and I'm from Exeter, Devon.
So, what does a normal day consist of in the world of Mr Chitty?
As soon as I wake up I put on music, that's a must. Shower, breakfast and then I have a 15 minute ride to the shop on the Harley.
Damn, I wish my mornings consisted of a 15 minute ride on a Harley! I’m sure I would be able to guess one, maybe two, of them but what would you say are your top three interests?
Motorbikes, tattoos and hair.
Haha maybe I could have guessed all three! Who are your role models/inspirations?
My dad is my role model and my inspiration. If I can be half the man he is I'd be happy. My friends also inspire me but I have way too many to list.
That’s great man. My dad is one of my role models too, along with my older brother, so it’s good to see someone else have such respect for the ones who raised them. I know that you recently opened your own barbers, congratulations. How has it been going?
Thank you!! It's been an emotional roller coaster to be honest. I've never been so exhausted in my life but it's the best thing I've ever done. I have amazing staff and friends that have helped me through everything. I'm so proud of what we've achieved and it still doesn't seem real.
I’m really glad it is working out for you dude, I love seeing people prosper. Especially when it’s with something they really love. Is the stress of the business worth it? Was it easier to just work under someone and not have all the concerns that come with being the man in charge?
It's 100% easier to work for someone else yes. I just think you have to be ready to make the commitment and work harder than you've ever worked in your life haha!! And having a strong supportive woman by your side is a massive help.
They do say that every successful man needs a strong, intelligent woman by his side. So make sure you keep hold of her! Did you always know that you wanted to be a barber or was it something you felt more passionate about as you got older?
I started taking an interest in hair when I was 14 and started a Saturday job in a salon in Taunton where I grew up. Long story short, I left school at 16, qualified as a hairdresser at 18, started taking more of an interest in barbering about 5 years ago and here I am.
Wow, so you were into it from a young age then. No wonder you’re so good now then! Are there any plans to expand in the near future to have more than one location?
Oh yes indeed. My dream is to have a chain.
Good! Because your current shop is too far away for me, so can you build one a bit closer please..? Haha. What was it that got you into modelling? Was it something you wanted to pursue or did your image introduce the opportunity?
Yeah I think it was my image. I'm in no way the best looking bloke on the planet so it has to be haha. I have a couple mates that own a clothing brand called Love Sick London, so I started doing a few things with them and then other companies contacted me to work with them. It's something I enjoy and I just use it as advertisement for my business so I'm thankful.
That’s good that you get to use it to advertise your business too, win-win for both parties involved then! Plus the Love Sick squad are all badass so it’s a good bunch to be mixing with. On the subject of your image, you have a shit-ton of tattoos. Which one is your favourite and are there any that you regret?
I don't regret any of them. I have a lot of tattoos with deep meaning to me. I think my favourite is the initials on my face. They mean a lot to me and are a reminder everyday.
Phew! I hate it when people regret tattoos. Unless it was just done really crap of course! What has been your favourite thing about being in front of the camera?
The feeling you get when you look at yourself in a completely different light. It's pretty cool. But mostly the people I've met. It's so much fun. Poochi Purtill is a hero. Salt of the earth, great photographer and so easy to work with.
I can only imagine what it is like to work with so many talented people. Have there been any moments that you couldn’t believe you were a part of?
I did a shoot with Greek Vogue which was unreal!! Also, I recently went on stage in Glasgow for The Great British Barber Bash alongside Hard Grind which was amazing!! I've also worked with Apothecary87, McCabe watches and Reuzel this year which has been so cool.
Bloody hell! At least you know that if for any reason you need to step away from barbering you will have something else to dive straight into! Is there anyone that you one day hope to work with? Be it a brand to shoot for, a barber to work alongside or even someone’s hair that you would like to cut?
I'd love to cut Stephen James’ hair. I'd really like to do more photographic work with Apothecary87, and I wanna work with Noose and Monkey really bad!!
Noose and Monkey do make some great suits so I don’t blame you! This doesn’t have to be about business, but over the years what is the best piece of advice you have been given, and what is the best piece you can give?
A friend of mine saying "believe in yourself, your great". It sounds so simple and very cliché but when you finally do, it's the best feeling in the world.
That’s actually one of the best pieces I’ve heard. If only more people believed in themselves the world would be a happier place! Where do you hope to be in a year or two?
Exactly where I am now, with my Mrs in our new home, working in the shop with my amazing staff and hopefully doing a couple days a week in the second shop. Also I’d obviously like a load more amazing achievements under my belt.
That sounds like a good plan to me! Hopefully we can do a follow up interview in the future and see if the dream has come true. More importantly, is there anything that we can expect to see from you soon?
I'm still doing things here and there but I'm really starting to focus on my staff achieving their goals and potential. They’re so talented and the world needs to see it.
It’s great to see the ‘head honcho’ of the business really taking an active interest in their staffs achievements, not enough business owners do that. Keep it up and I’m sure your team will remain just as loyal and committed as they are now!
Now for the five more random questions. Would you rather...
…have a dragon or be a dragon? Have a dragon!
…wear a snow suit in the desert or nothing in the antarctic? Snow suit in the desert.
…get up early or stay up late? Stay up late.
…be itchy for the rest of your life or be sticky for the rest of your life? Sticky.
…have the hiccups for the rest of your life or feel like you need to sneeze but never be able to? Hiccups.
Text Kiefer Horlock
Images Haris Nukem & Pooch Purtill