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 Alter Ego.
Sebastian Professional announced the 2014 What’s Next Awards winners during the live finale event this week. New Talent category finalist Katey-Bug Browne and Professional category finalist Heather Rae Cheszek were named winners in the competition for their fearless style and artistic creation in their respective categories.
Finalists from the What’s Next Awards New Talent and Professional categories competed live onstage at the Vibiana in Los Angeles, for the grand prize of styling backstage at New York Fashion Week 2014 and an editorial feature in a top salon trade publication, among other prizes.
Stylists created looks inspired by Sebastian Professional’s Spring hair collection – EvoTech, bringing the idea of contrasting effects of shape, texture and shine 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: Christian Siriano, Fashion Designer and CFDA member, Danny Lozada, 2013 What’s Next Awards Professional Category Award Winner, Lauren Quick, Modern Salon Assistant Editor and Shay Dempsey, Sebastian Professional Global Art Director.
“The What’s Next Awards is a wonderful reflection of the fearless talent that lives within the salon professional industry. The competition is a platform for new and established talent to push their creativity to new heights and create innovative styles that will continue to shape the industry and inspire stylists nationwide. We applaud our winners in this year’s competition, as they dare to create What’s Next,” said Christina McCarver, North American Director of Education for Sebastian Professional.
New Talent category winner Katey-Bug B. entered the What’s Next Awards competition with her entry ‘Simply Something’ drawing inspiration from the different shapes and soft movement in the Sebastian Professional Fall collection – Alter Ego. The Victorville, California based finalist took the stage at the What’s Next Awards and impressed the crowd with her daring style and enthusiastic spirit, “I am so passionate about Sebastian as a brand. I think the What’s Next Awards is the most fearless and fiercest competition, it pushes you to reach out of your comfort zone and create something amazing,” said Katey-Bug Browne.
Professional category winner, Heather Rae Cheszek, entered the What’s Next Awards competition with her entry ‘Hollywood Chelsea,’ where the artist was inspired by the Sapphire Blue Cellophanes used in the Alter Ego collection and incorporated her knowledge of the Sebastian Professional liquid tools to create her style. Hailing from the prestigious Hairroin Salon owner Janine Jarman, Heather Rae C. captivated spectators with the bold style and detailed technique of her artistic creation.
“Hairroin Salon is a Sebastian flag ship salon, so I get to work with the products every day. I also do a lot of editorial work and it has helped to go onto the Wella Education page where I get inspiration for the looks I create, so for me the style I created is a reflection of real life,” said Heather Rae Cheszek.
Submissions were posted to the Sebastian Professional Facebook page over a five-month period, where consumers and stylists were able to view, vote and comment on their favorite looks. Out of over 600 submissions, 32 semi-finalists (16 per category) were chosen by the Sebastian Professional Education team. In March 2014, eight finalists (four per category) were chosen by the What’s Next Awards judges based on the following criteria: suitability for promotional purposes, visual appeal based on hair collection and overall aesthetic to participate in the live competition for the chance to show the world ‘What’s Next’.