2015 What’s Next Awards

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Sebastian Professional announced the 2015 What’s Next Awards winners during the live finale. 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.

The What’s Next Awards contest encourages new and established artists across North America to create daring hair fashion by expressing their talent through a one-of-a-kind styling competition. Stylist entrants were tasked with creating their most fearless hair style, inspired by the versatility of the Sebastian Professional Fall hair collection TOTEMIC. Out of all of the submissions, 32 semi-finalists (16 per category) were chosen by the Sebastian Professional Education team. In March 2015, eight finalists (four per category) were chosen by the What’s Next Awards judges.

On April 12, 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. 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.

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.

Photos courtesy of Randy Taylor

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