17th-18th November 2018 - Old Truman Brewery

The Story Behind Uppercut Deluxe

Published on 22nd November 2017


Inspired by the timeless style of the 1950’s barbershop and its spiritual founder Willy ‘Uppercut’ O’Shea, Uppercut Deluxe is a modern, yet traditional approach to men’s grooming. An Australian born brand proudly made with only the finest ingredients, delivering a core range of high quality men’s grooming products without all the fancy embellishments of salon brands.


The brand was built by the creative brains, passion and hard-work of Luke Newman and Steve Purcell, childhood friends with a mutual love for barbering, surfing, skating and punk rock culture.


Newman’s first encounter with the traditional barbershop was whilst working abroad in Portland Oregon building skate parks. He immediately grew fond of the timeless nature of the trade, and the community vibe that it cultivated. When he returned to Australia he looked for an apprenticeship and the rest; as they say, is history.


Purcell; a qualified barber since 1999, found his start in the industry when looking for an alternative to completing his senior years of high school. During a visit to his local barbershop he noticed a sign advertising for an apprentice and jumped at the chance to trade school books for a life behind the barber chair.


Once experienced enough to step out on their own, the two guys joined forces to open a barbershop, in Brisbane Australia. They set about creating an atmosphere that was a true reflection of their personalities and lifestyles, lining the with walls with skateboards, punk rock posters and 1950’s nostalgia. The aesthetic instantly resonated with customers seeking an alternative to the ‘Salon styled’ shops of the era.


Uppercut Deluxe was born through the frustration of using mediocre products that simply didn’t perform in traditional style of cuts being demanded in their shop. A long process of experimentation began with their chemist and 1 year, and over some 120 variations later, “Deluxe Pomade” was born. Branded with a more masculine identity and an organic connection to a wider lifestyle market, it soon became the product of choice for barbershops around the world.


Nearly 10 years down the track and the brand now boasts a wide range of premium grooming products that cater to all aspects of the men’s grooming space which can be found in barbershops and select retail outlets around the world. Product categories include: Styling, Wash, Shave, Gifting, Barbers Collection (A professional range of back bar products), Accessories and range of custom branded apparel.


Uppercut Deluxe is endorsed by a 10-strong team of Global Barber Ambassadors who provide valuable insight into product development, assist in global marketing activations, content creation and reinforce the barber first strategy of the brand.


Key to the brands ongoing success is the point of difference they maintain in the market place, through an engrained connection with surf, skate and motorcycle cultures. Something that organically stemmed from the founders way of life and fostered through a team of lifestyle ambassadors who all embody the notion of timeless style.


The brands namesake stems from Newman’s Grandfather Willy O’Shea. An old bare-knuckle boxer from the Jimmy Sharman’s boxing troupe that toured rural Australia during the great depression.


A tough man born in tough times; Willy never had much money but would always ensure he looked his best. Always travelling with a freshly pressed shirt and a home-made tub of pomade. It was only fitting that his nickname “Uppercut” was incorporated into the brand.


Willy’s motto was “A hard beginning maketh a good ending”. Today Willy’s legacy lives on through Uppercut Deluxe, in the commitment to creating the highest quality products that will go the distance and give you that knockout look!

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