Morrama is an industrial design agency based in London. Having led established businesses and start-ups to success, Morrama has proven itself as a streamlined studio with it’s finger well and truly on the pulse. Never has this been more obvious than when Morrama released their very own Angle Razor. The sleek design fulfils its given function perfectly while looking and feeling great.
In a recent conversation about the Angle Razor with Andy, the Studio Director at Morrama, we stumbled across an interesting idea. He mentioned that shaving is a meditative process for him – one that’s emphasised by the use of a traditional open razor blade. In 2019, there is a multitude of ways to remove facial hair, so why choose the most dangerous one that takes the longest? Well, let’s allow Andy to answer that:
“The ritual of shaving and bathing is something that many cultures have celebrated for many years. As life has got faster so has our ability to do many things but faster doesn't always mean better, just look at ready meals for example.”
Can you introduce yourself?
Andy Trewin Hutt, I’m a Cornish Londoner and I love everything that each of those places has to offer. I’m a curator for the grass-roots music festival, Leopallooza. I sometimes DJ, sometimes make clothes and enjoy the city but love getting out to the forest on my bike. I guess keeping busy is something I’m drawn to.
What do you do?
I’m Studio Director for Morrama, a product design consultancy and we have created our studio to design products for ourselves. We work mainly with startups, people with ideas who want to make a new life for themselves doing something they’re passionate about.
When did you become interested in shaving?
I was one of the kids who had facial hair pretty early on. On one hand, it meant that getting into clubs was pretty easy but on the flip side, I recognised early on that shaving would become a regular fixture for me. In-growing hairs were something I’d have to deal with a lot, so I turned to clippers and fashionable stubble as soon as it was acceptable to do so. I must admit, I’ve had some very beardy years but now it's a grade two all over and I use the Angle Razor to “line up” and tidy up my neck.
What pushed you to design the Morrama Angle Razor?
The team had been working on a shavette for a client and this concept came out of a design sprint. The client wasn’t interested but we felt it had potential. During the process, we spent lots of time talking to barbers and working out what needed to remain but equally what wasn’t necessary. For us, we knew its beauty came from its raw simplicity. A blade and a handle, this is what a razor is.
What attracts you to grooming in general?
Aside from the obvious, there’s the culture, ritual and of course innovation. You can visit a barber and get a completely different atmosphere from place to place and country to country, although the goal is the same. In your bathroom, it can be your time, your space and a moment you own. The idea of providing tools to elevate this is pretty attractive, especially when it avoids the mass market.
With so many different options, why have we still not found ‘the definitive’ method of shaving?
We’re all so different and need different things. For example, I have curly black hair that can ingrow quite easily so I need to exfoliate and use a very sharp blade to lower the chance of irritation. My friends have fair fine hair but experience irritation in other ways. The skin and hair are a delicate system that can’t be approached the same for everyone. It’s all about preference and what you’re comfortable with.
The cartridge razor is great at removing hair but there are issues: the mark up is huge so people buy more handles than they need; there’s a lot of waste and the ability to recycle these items is almost impossible.
How does the experience differ between using an open blade to a modern electric razor?
This is a skill that isn't “plug and play” – like an instrument or tool, you need to learn how to use it and, like a tool or instrument, you get better at using it over time. I guess electric razors to me have almost lost their way, gone are the days of the beautiful Braun razors and we’ve been left with razors that look like F1 cars: great for some people but not for me or, I imagine, the discerning OPUMO customer.
Your angle razor is made ‘to celebrate the ceremony of shaving’. What does this mean?
Here we are in an age of startups looking to shake up the male grooming sector with the same unsustainable product. However, for myself and users I speak to, I’m hearing the same thing again and again: the process of shaving, something that so many of us do, can help us in more ways than we think. The meditative side of shaving is, I guess, pretty similar to the feeling of fishing, painting a picture or whittling a spoon.
I take as many steps to lower the stress of being a 30-something Londoner as possible. Regular exercise, time out the office once a week for yoga and cycling at the weekend, but nothing helps me concentrate more than holding an open blade to my face and shaving with it. The skill of shaving with the Angle Razor is something I’ve had to learn. The ritual of shaving and bathing is something that many cultures have celebrated for many years. As life has got faster so has our ability to do many things but faster doesn’t always mean better, just look at ready meals for example.
Why should we take the time to learn to use an open blade for shaving?
If you like taking the time to do something properly or enjoy taking the long way round because it’s more beautiful and rewarding, this type of shaving is for you. Once you’re past the inevitable first few nicks of the skin, using an open blade is much better for the skin. As well as that, the razor blades cost pennies rather than the normal astronomic cost of blades, they’re better for the environment and the razor itself looks pretty great, too.
Any advice for those just beginning to use one?
At first, don’t use the blade. Try using it with no blade and get used to moving your skin and hand in a way that glides.
Next, have a nice hot shower and prepare your face for shaving. If you use a brush and bowl, which I suggest you do, you can exfoliate the skin and lift the hairs away from the skin.
Follow the direction of hair growth and take your time. This is not something that should be rushed when starting out. There is no harm in doing a second sweep, soap it up and go again. The second time through will help cement that muscle memory and catch any stray hairs.
Finally, rinse your face and pat your skincare product on your face. Patting will help reduce irritation and prevent the block of pours.