The unstoppable revenge of the mullet

PARIS (AFP) – “Business in front, party in the back”: a hairstyle considered so obnoxious that for years it verged on being an arrestable offence, the mullet has made the unlikeliest comeback of the century.

From pop stars like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus to a surprisingly high proportion of the England rugby team, the short-front-long-back style has reinvaded the world’s TV screens and high streets.

“My idols have always been David Bowie and Princess Diana, so the initial idea was to look like their lovechild,” said Sharon Daniels, 26, an Australian living in Brighton, England.

‘Shaz’ was well ahead of the game, and when she first arrived in Brighton two years ago, only one other person around town was sporting her do. She knew because people kept sending her pictures of him.

Now, the mullet is everywhere.

“I don’t necessarily appreciate that, since now it looks like I’m trying to fit in,” Daniels laughed. “I don’t mind. I know how long I’ve been rocking it.”

A man poses during the Mullet haircut festival in Boussu on May 18, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

Fashion cycles are as inevitable as the turning of the planets, but this is one style that many thought buried for good.

“It’s back from the dead,” said Tony Copeland of the British Master Barbers Alliance, theorising that a few months of lockdown growth helped propel the resurrection. “We’re going to see more and more this year. Guys are just fed up with all the skin fades.”

That could mean fierce competition at the next Festival de la Coupe Mulet, Europe’s biggest mullet festival, last held in Belgium in 2019.

Current titleholder Gauthier Istin, a farmer from Brittany in northern France, isn’t worried about defending his crown. For him, the mullet is a passport to good times, and he intends to travel by foot to the next festival in central France in June, like a sort of slower, hairier Forrest Gump.

“I hope people will walk with me along the way, ideally with a mullet but no problem if not,” he told AFP. He takes a philosophical view of his flowing locks, “It’s about having enough confidence in yourself to not take yourself too seriously, and to totally own your look.”