Sebastian Professional Knows What’s Next—Do You?
Sebastian Selects Professional and Student Winners at Annual Award Show
After an exhaustive search in which the work of more than 700 applicants was narrowed down to just eight finalists, Sebastian Professional hosted their annual What’s Next Awards at Gotham Hall in New York City on April 12. Oliver Shortall of The Harlot Salon in Venice, CA and Samantha Peters, a recent graduate of the Bellus Academy in Poway, CA, walked away as the professional and student victors, respectively, changing their lives overnight. Prizes for winning include working backstage at New York Fashion Week and a Sebastian sponsorship for NAHA!
“It is so important that we have a platform to elevate up-and-coming hairdressers. Sebastian believes strongly in elevating the artistry and the talent of our industry,” says Christina McCarver, Director of Education for Sebastian Professional, who emceed the awards with Sebastian P&G Professional Education Director, Carole Protat. “All of the contestants had something interesting and unique to offer, and the ability. I believe the judges saw a combination of refinement and detail in Oliver and Samantha’s work.”
Before the panel of judges, including industry icon Robert Lobetta; Sebastian Professional Global Art Director, Shay Dempsey; and fashion blogger Nathalia Ashba, selected Oliver and Samantha as the winners, the night included onstage education from the Sebastian Design Team—Diva Poulous, Maryelle Koken, Anthony Cole and Omar Antonio. And then, the moment of truth—last year’s professional and student winners, Heather Rae Chezek and Katey-Bug Browne, joined Carole and Christina onstage to pass their awards on to Oliver and Samantha as confetti rained over the crowd. Once the awards were handed over and all the confetti had settled, model Isaiah Grass grabbed the mic and performed an impromptu concert to end the night.
The 700 admissions—from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico—were all inspired by Sebastian’s TOTEMIC Collection. For TOTEMIC, Sebastian artists created extravagant looks, motivated by the texture of fabric and the idea of how to weave and rope hair differently. Oliver’s submission, “Totem in Motion” drew heavily from the collection. “I wanted to bring this idea into my look, by creating fishtail braids that elongate the style. The braids start as attached braids and leave the head at the crown,” says Oliver. Samantha based her style on a combination of textures, while maintaining ambiguity with the looks’ femininity and strength, conformity and diversity. “I started with crimped texture to build foundation and fabric layered with ropes, twists and overlaying braids to create visual excitement,” says Samantha.
Sebastian’s next collection—Metamophis—will debut in September.