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Making It | Igor Iskiyev of Igor’s Clean Cuts

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly making it. Here’s one of them: Igor’s Clean Cuts.

Igor Iskiyev, Imanuel (Manny) Ibragimov of Igor's Clean CutsShira Levine Igor Iskiyev tends to a customer while Imanuel (Manny) Ibragimov looks on.

Five years ago Igor Iskiyev left his gig cutting hair at Neighborhood Barber on East Ninth Street and became commissar of his own chop shop at 20 First Avenue. The Azerbaijan native had dabbled with hair-cutting back home after serving as an anti-aircraft gunman. Igor’s reputation for detail and perfection precedes him: good Yelp reviews, affordable prices ($15 for a haircut, $15 for a shave) and, let’s face it, the occasional offer of a beer have been key to his success. The Local recently spoke with Mr. Iskiyev and his right-hand man, Imanuel (Manny) Ibragimov about Mr. Iskiyev’s decision to go solo and his distaste for small talk.


How is business?


Igor: Right now it is slow, but not very bad. It was not good in 2008. Customers didn’t come as much. Some moved because they couldn’t afford to stay. We didn’t see many of our old customers for a while. Read more…