Sebastian Professional Announces The Winners of The Annual What's Next Awards

n Professional announced the 2015 What’s Next Awards winners during the live finale event this week. Professional category finalist Oliver Shortall and Student category finalist Samantha Peters were named winners in the competition for their fearless style and artistic creation in their respective categories.

On Sunday April 12th, finalists from the What’s Next Awards Student Professional and Talent categories competed live onstage at Gotham Hall, for the grand prize of styling backstage at 2016 Spring/Summer NYFW and a Sebastian-sponsored editorial photo shoot featured in a top salon trade publication, among other prizes.

Stylists created looks inspired by Sebastian Professional’s TOTEMIC spring hair collection; introducing the idea of exaggerated shapes and fabric worked into new ways of weaving and roping to their own hair style creations. The competition took place in front of a live audience and a judging panel comprised of industry leaders, tastemakers and educators including: industry icon, Robert Lobetta; Shay Dempsey, Sebastian Professional Global Art Director; Maggie Mulhern, Modern Salon Beauty and Fashion Director; Heather Rae, What’s Next Awards 2014 Professional Category Winner and Nathalia Ashba, Fashion and Beauty Blogger.

“The What’s Next Awards is a great platform to spotlight the phenomenal talent that lives within the salon professional industry.  Experienced stylists and students get to take their creativity and innovative style to the next level. The WNA allows them to gain a special lifetime experience while growing them as stylists and pushing their creative limits. We congratulate the winners of this year’s competition as they continue to push their own boundaries and create What’s Next,” said Christina McCarver, Director of Education for Sebastian Professional.

Professional category winner, Oliver Shortall entered the What’s Next Awards competition with his entry ‘Totem in Motion’. Oliver drew his inspiration from the unique textures and beautiful shapes featured in the Totemic Collection. “I wanted to bring this idea into my look, by creating fishtail braids that elongate the style.   I started by crimping sections in the top of the head, and then fishtailing using Microweb Fiber. The braids start as attached braids and leave the head at the crown. I created more braids just below the crown and then formed them into "S" shapes. I finished the look with Shine Crafter Wax to smooth the sides” said Oliver.

Student Talent category winner Samantha Peters entered the What’s Next Awards competition with her entry ‘Tribal Structure’.  Fusing a combination of texture from smooth to rough, and blurring the lines of culture and diversity, Samantha was inspired by the balance of femininity and strong structure. “I started with crimped texture to build foundation and fabric layered with ropes, twists and overlaying braids to create visual excitement” said Samantha.  Samantha created her look with Mousse Forte for form and craft clay to provide an earthy texture.

[Images courtesy of Sebastian Professional]

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