American Crew has acknowledged that as we have entered a new decade, new perceptions of masculinity have come to the fore. By challenging old stereotypes through the collaborative mindset of industry leaders from fashion to hair, over a night that explored modern masculinity, American Crew presented MASC 2021, writes Cameron Pine.

Opening the mind about what it means to be a man, Melbourne’s Men+Co Barber Shop was the ultimate collaborate space for a night that broke down the walls of discussion and celebrated the freedom and individuality we are breaking down as men in 2021. 

On Monday November 29, the intimate event of approximately 30 guests – key influencers, panellists and industry personnel – made for eclectic conversations of old and new values but most importantly a mutual understanding of the need to be authentic in a new era of male grooming. While intimate and highly personal, the platform of MASC allowed guests to have true conversations with all other guests but, through the powers of digital, also opened it up to the wider industry. American Crew Australia Instagram followers were afforded the invaluable opportunity to join the panel discussion from 8:30pm via @americancrewoz. Art and digital installations added to the ambiance of creativity and freedom of the night where both the ideas around societal boundaries and intimacy were palpable.

Despite varying opinions across the globe and a common default back to traditional values of what being a man means, the event celebrated the fact that we no longer are perceived as less masculine if we dress more feminine. We are finally acknowledging just how long we’ve allowed stereotypes to outweigh celebrating true expression and individuality, and a global movement is already imminent.

American Crew as a global brand has, for the last few years, begun their journey to change this perception of the modern man through not just the aesthetic but also the conversations we are having with men and the type of men they are engaging with their brand. Where once you’d never see long hair and feminine silhouettes grace the screens or pages of American Crew editorials, in recent years we’ve seen a definite shift away from the American Crew jock as a main point of interest to masculinity through many forms and cultures.

“At American Crew we have been the official supplier to men for decades and as men change so must we,” said American Crew Australia Marketing Director, Cristobal De La Rubia. “As we all know, the perception of Masculinity has been changing through the years, especially in the last few. Across all the industries, brands, everyone is pushing the boundaries, and American Crew, as the leader in the men’s grooming industry, cannot be behind and must take the lead.”

With cocktails via Batch & Bottle, food, music and lots of true connection, men from across Melbourne and interstate discussed creativity, empowerment and what truly drives them. Joined via a video stream from American Crew Founder and true visionary David Raccuglia, David discussed, from a global standpoint, how American Crew is on board with a new frontier for masculinity internationally.

In discussing true diversity and accepting masculinity beyond the social norm, guests entered with an open mind and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

The illustrious panel include Shayne Tino, the renowned Melbourne fashion designer and progressive influencer with a gender neutral fashion brand, Stephanie Pfalzgraf, winner of the American Crew All Star Challenge 2021 and King’s Domain Barber who challenges masculinity through men’s hair styles, Gary McKenzie, who is considered to be one of Melbourne’s best hairdressers, and the owner of Meddler salon in South Yarra, and Colin Allingham, owner of Sweeney Todd’s, one of Melbourne’s most well-known premium barbershop brands.

Within this panel, Shayne was the perfect ambassador for challenging the status quo of how not only we see men, but also men’s fashion and interpersonal relationships between men. With Carla Bond, American Crew Business Development Manager, as the emcee, she encouraged open conversation across each guest’s individual strengths, resulting in a night of enlightenment and approachability.

The night also paid respect to our indigenous heritage through the food, with Mabu Mabu catering the event. Mabu Mabu is Melbourne’s first indigenous owned restaurant that dishes up experimental food made from native ingredients.

In typical American Crew fashion, the gift bags were plentiful and full of American Crew cult favourites and staples, giving plenty of content for influencers in attendance to ‘gram and post about even after the night.

Asking the question about what masculinity means to you can be quite confronting but through a diversity of talent, including women on the panel, the sentiment in the room and more braodly for the brand is that we are all one and the same and masculinity can be whatever it means to be the most confident versions of ourselves.

For more information visit www.instagram.com/americancrewoz