New talent winner Rachel Carr, established talent winner Daniel Lozada and their models (far left and far right)
With the conclusion of its run in downtown Los Angeles, the Sebastian Professional "What's Next" tour showcased the ultimate in hairstyling, trend forecasting and all-out creativity. After eight months of competition, two winners were crowned: Daniel Lozada, of the professional/established talent category; and Rachel Carr, of the student/new talent category.
"After so much work, it's definitely worth the experience, and it's incredibly humbling to be around artists I've looked up to," Lozada shares. "I am so happy!"
Lozada will join the Sebastian Stylist Design Team to style a top designer's runway show backstage at New York Fashion Week, while Carr has earned a one-year mentorship with a Sebastian Design Team member along with coaching and entry sponsorship into the 2013 North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). Both winners have also earned the opportunity to style an industry-leading trade publication.
"I'm surprised and honored to have won," smiles Carr. "I'm glad to be a part of Sebastian in this way; I have always been inspired by their style, shapes and textures."
The six-city What's Next tour began in September 2012, making stops in Toronto, Boston, New York City, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston and Los Angeles. At each stop, Sebastian's team of world-class stylist educators hosted three days of intensive workshops focused on multi-dimensional shine, in celebration of the brand's End-to-End Shine collection.
Bringing the spirit of the tour to stylists nationwide, Sebastian relaunched its What's Next Awards, a Facebook-based stylist competition, and invited both established and emerging hairstylist talent to enter. Entrants created their best interpretation of bold hair fashion, and eight finalists were chosen from among them to compete at the final live event in Los Angeles on April 28 alongside Design Team and Top Artists Anthony Cole, Omar Antonio, Marylle Koken and Diva Poulos.
Professional finalists Alessandro Saccoccio, Baylie Favero, Ashlee Berry and Daniel Lozada went head-to-head for the grand prize, while new talent finalists Clayton Beck, Kristen DeJong (Marvel Beauty School in London, ON), Rachel Carr (Salon Vivace in Mt. Lebanon, PA) and Juan Chacon competed in the student category. They were all tasked with styling a model's hair based on Sebastian's Urban Explorers collection, which culls inspiration from four cities of exceptional style: Sao Paulo, San Francisco, Shanghai and Berlin. Finalists were evaluated by a panel of four judges: Sebastian Professional Global Artistic Director Michael Polsinelli, American Salon Editor in Chief Kelley Donahue, Sebastian Professional Celebrity Stylist Thomas Dunkin and Sebastian Professional Canada Design Team Member John Paul Columbo.
Hair looks were judged on the following criteria:
Suitability for Promotional Purposes
Visual Appeal Based on Urban Explorers Theme
Overall Enthusiasm for the Entry
"It was really hard to select a winner, because everyone did such a great job," Dunkin explains. "They all had talent and knew how to use the products well. But we're proud of the winners!"