Is it the end of the beard?

EDGAR ponders if society has reached ‘peak beard’.

Matthew Priest February 26, 2015

Excitement was at fever pitch as Hollywood’s finest filed into Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre last weekend. The film industry’s prettiest people packed into their seats watching, waiting, and hoping that the Film Academy will recognise their talents and reward them with that most recognisable of statues: Oscar.

But our minds were entirely on something else – facial hair. Now, anyone who knows anything will be aware that the biggest trend in men’s grooming – heck, even men’s fashion – over the past few years has, unquestionably, been the beard.

After years dominated by the smooth-chinned, metrosexual men, the last several years witnessed men across the planet revelling in a fashion-sanctioned reason to throw down their razors and embrace their inner lumberjack.

Regardless of whether it was style-led, laziness, or simply because razorblades are far too overpriced these days, creativity blossomed. Everywhere you looked men were crafting beards with enough skill and care to make Ernst Hemmingway proud. The more creative, the better. The end of the beard.

As we all know, the Oscars are not only Hollywood’s big night, but also one of the biggest on the calendar for the fashion industry. Looks, hair styles, clothing choices are all meticulously poured over by the actors and their entourages (now coming with a full compliment of stylists, publicists, social media ‘experts’, yoga gurus, bag men and – probably – an in-house healthy juice maker) before being televised for the world to see.

With that in mind, facial hair – or lack there of it – was a glaring omission from Hollywood’s big night. Of all the actors nominated for the prestigious Best Actor category (Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carrell and Bradley Cooper), only Steve Carrell appeared sporting a rugged man’s man beard.

Bradley Cooper, being perhaps the biggest culprit of the night, after sporting a fine beard during his Oscar-nominated turn as US Marine Chris Kyle American Sniper (main image). Even George Clooney was clean-shaven, and he’s married now, so he can officially not care about his appearance anymore. The end of the beard. Our mind then turned back to our recent trips to New York and London for fashion week, and now recalling a flagrant overlooking of the bristled chin. While there were still plenty of bearded men in the front two rows, the catwalk was a different story, with hardly a single bit of fluff to share among the baby-faced male models.

It seems that, as is true with so many things, trends come in cycles – it is as inevitable as daybreak. What falls out of fashion’s good graces will eventually rise to prominence, and so – with plenty of consultation with barbers, stylists and fellow trendsetters – EDGAR can declare that the days of bushy beards and glorious goaties are, sadly, coming to an end.

As with any trend, it is unlikely to be an overnight change, but let’s put it this way, we’ve instructed our brokers to buy shares in Gillette.