New Names to the Fore in the First Fashion Hair Awards

Runway and reality really did collide in Auckland when Tabitha Coffey judged our best stylists


The winning look from Andrew Cobeldick, who took out the L’Oreal Professional Stylist of the Year Award. Picture / Supplied

A striking pageboy cut and colour saw Wellington hairdresser Andrew Cobeldick judged the big winner at the first Fashion Hair Awards held in Auckland on Sunday.

Three international judges including reality TV star and hair business educator Tabitha Coffey choose the Rodney Wayne stylist as L’Oreal Professional Stylist of the Year.

The awards wound up a two-day event known as The Collective, which drew stylists from across the country to see 25 international and local experts.

Joining Coffey on the judging panel were two big names from North America, Canadian Mathew Collins and American Justin Isaac. Coffey said she was blown away by the calibre of portfolio work the judges had to select from and also the growth generally since her last visit to Auckland 6-7 years ago.

A live styling demonstration, with top Wellington stylist Michael Beel in the foreground. Picture / Supplied

“We believe hair colour really is the new makeup,” L’Oreal Professionel general manager Mike Bruce told the big crowd at the industry event.

Runway shows from Huffer, Wynn Hamlyn, Knuefermann, Stolen Girlfriends’ Club and Zambesi kept the crowd entertained between announcements.

Model Danielle Hayes in Wynn Hamlyn on the runway. Picture / Supplied

The strong fashion focus was deliberate, to emphasise the trend-setting connection between backstage beauty and runway. As part of his prize, Cobeldick from Rodney Wayne, Manners Street in Wellington, will get to work at New York Fashion Week. The nationwide chain supplied three of the five finalists, with portfolio work judged on cut, colour and commercial appeal.

A look from the Pureology Young Talent Award winner, Amy Jacobson (Three Hairdressing). Picture / Supplied

A feature of the awards overall was the number of new names emerging from around the country. Often repeat winners dominate the line-ups at hair awards and frequently they spring from Auckland salons.

A look from the Redken Men's Award winner, Nicky Crombie (Vivo, Blenheim). Picture / Supplied

The Pureology Young Talent Award went to Amy Jacobson from Three Hairdressing, Whangarei; the Redken Men’s image Award to Nicky Crombie, Vivo, Blenheim; and Kerastase Editorial Award, Alan Wang, Perfekt Hair Studios, Auckland.

A look from the Kerastase Editorial Award winner, Alan Wang (Perfekt Hair Studios). Picture / Supplied

The Matrix Salon of the Year Award, which considers business performance and marketing strategy, went to Buoy Salon & Spa in Wellington. This was a popular choice, following the death last month of salon founder Derek Elvy, a seven times New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year winner.

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