There’s nothing like a little competition to get us going; it can be just the motivation needed to escape a styling rut. This year, one of the most esteemed hair competitions held its first event in the US—ever. The inaugural L’Oréal Professionnel Color & Style Trophy took place at the esteemed Cipriani Wall Street, in front of over 500 attendees. The awards ceremony featured memorable live performances and a runway show for each of the five categories, where five finalists from around the country got a chance to face-off. Categories included Color & Style, Color Award, Styling and Cutting Award, Men’s Image Award and the Young Talent Award—all were automatically entered in the People’s Choice Award. The awards were hosted by Celebrity Stylist Ted Gibson, and judged by some of the top names in the industry. The competition was not only fierce; the ceremony was like none other. We checked in with the host with the most and our judging idols, Anh Co Tran and Johnny Ramirez of the Ramirez Tran salon to get their take on the night.
“When they asked me if I wanted to be a host I was extremely honored,” says Gibson, who noted that L’Oréal Professionnel’s unique point of reference sets the brand apart time after time—which is why he made sure to carry their products when he owned salons. As the host for first year of the show, Gibson set the bar high. Though there is little doubt that the contest will get “even more spectacular,” he says, with every year that passes, ultimately, it all comes down to the stylists. “It’s really about the people who came and put together a head to toe fashion statement to compete,” he commented of the talent.
So what were the judges looking for? Johnny Ramirez confidently tells us, “I’m looking for perfection,” noting he “took his sweet time” to assess the finalists. Ramirez held the competitors up to the same standards he sets for himself, explaining that he was looking for, “dedication, cleanliness, the shine of the hair, just the things that I like in my hair color that I do.” Ramirez notes that the best part of judging was seeing the piece of art that came from each contestant.
Anh Co Tran, who happens to be Ramirez’s partner at the one and only Ramirez Tran salon, seconded this, noting, that above all else he was looking for that special gestalt. “I look for balance—haircut color, outfit makeup, the model,” he explains—everything has to fit, coming together in a cohesive way. “It can be a crazy haircut but it has to suit the model. It has to be the whole entire look—that’s how I do my celebrities, it’s not just the hair, makeup or clothes—it’s everything.” The finalists definitely put their best work forward, with Anh commenting, “To me they’re all winners, I know it takes a lot of work to put yourself out there and be vulnerable,” he says noting, “everyone had their own way of projecting their creativity.”
As the US Color & Style Trophy is guaranteed to grow, if you’re planning on entering be sure to step it up. Anh advises to study the results of this year and “bring the bar to the next level.” Gibson agrees, the best work comes when you really put your soul into your work. “It’s important to step out of your comfort zone and do something a little different, to make yourself a little vulnerable,” he says. Now that L’Oréal Professionnel has this platform in the U.S., the sky for styling is the limit. “After today I hope everyone is motivated to show off their skills and talent and join us next time,” encourages Ramirez.
Congrats to all the amazing winners below, who were chosen from over 250 submissions.
Color & Style Award
1st Place: TRE VOLTE SALON – Orland Park, IL
2nd Place: SALON BIYÓSHI – Knoxville, TN
3rd Place: FORMA + COLLECTIVE SALON – Englewood, CO
People’s Choice Award
SALON BIYÓSHI – Knoxville, TN
STUDIO SAGE – Jacksonville Beach, FL
Styling and Cutting Award
RV HAIR GRAPHICS – Lancaster, PA
Men’s Image Award
DIPIETRO TODD SALON – San Francisco, CA
Young Talent Award
MATTHEW MORRIS SALON AND SKINCARE – Denver, CO
[Images courtesy of L'Oreal]