It's the latest retro look to come back into fashion, a haircut that seems like something out of Boardwalk Empire, or a cut J. Edgar Hoover sported, or a style embraced by ... Nazi Germany? Yes, the clean-cut look—buzzed short on the sides, the longer top slicked back with pomade—was made famous in the 1920s and '30s but made infamous by the Hitler Youth. And it's making a comeback, reports the New York Times, which notes that men as wide-ranging as Win Butler of the band Arcade Fire and Joe Jonas have sported it.
And while one West Village barber says many New Yorkers flat-out ask for the "Hitler Youth," others aren't aware of its fashion roots. "You pick up a Doisneau book, or any photography book of Paris in the '30s, and almost all the guys had that cut," said Scott Schuman, the man behind the Satorialist, who himself once sported the style but says he didn't realize its association. In Europe, the look is everywhere, though people avoid associating it with totalitarianism. In Sweden, they call it a "synth," after 1980s New Wave bands like New Order. In Germany, it is an "undercut." And as for that NYC barber, "I was trying to not use that" term, he says.