The 6 National semi-finalists in the Shu Uemura Gallery of Style competition have been selected and we were in NYC to get to talk with them. Jasmine Galazka, a stylist at Warren Tricomi salon located in NYC, sat down with us and share some of her experience and journey though the competition.
Jasmine is competing to win a professional photo shoot and immersion in Tokyo, the brand’s city of origin and continued source of inspiration. She was challenged to interpret the contest theme, “Tokyo Vibe,” by bringing to life Tokyo’s harmonious contradiction of sense of ritual and extreme attention to detail.
Tell me about your personal journey.
“I came from Poland when I was very young, about 25 years ago. I got my training at Red Door, and I went to a couple salons form there. I am the first hairstylist in my family! I love the business, we get to do fun things like this, it’s so inspirational, and it’s incredible to give back through the teaching.“
What is it like to be a hairstylist in New York?
“You get to work with the best salons, models, photographers. You get so much inspiration, just from the architecture and having inspirational trips like to a museum. Even going to a restaurant and seeing incredible food can be inspiring.“
What do you feel about sharing this experience with so many people from all over the country?
“Last year I competed, but this year I was one of the finalists. I would love to go see Tokyo and especially getting the chance to look at other people’s submissions is what inspired me the most. Whether I win or not, getting the chance to see what other people are inspired by is incredibly beautiful and definitely humbling to experience! I’ve never been to Tokyo so I would love to go.“
How such an experienced stylist like yourself feels about Shu?
“I just started working with the brand only two and half years ago and Shu is just pretty! It has a lot more grip to it in terms of product and the finishes on the hair. So it’s a lot more editorial and the products speak to me. My favorite product is Texture Wave. I use it almost on anyone.“
What items in particular did you use as a source for Tokyo Vibes yourself?
“For me Tokyo Vibe means innovation, doing something different. The Japanese people are masterminds. I feel like they are always a step ahead of everyone as far as innovations in hair, architecture… so I decided to do something deep and special. I did a lot of the braiding and expanded that. Then I took a flat iron and flattened it. Then I combined it with a Samurai-inspired ponytail with a braid as well. Kind of an effortless look, almost as if the model just took a ponytail and got lazy, but she’s still this fierce ponytail that collapsed on her but she’s like – I’ll wear it like this anyway!“
What’s the best advice you got from your boss Edward Tricomi and what is your current situation with the brand?
“He has special attention to detail. Edward is very specific in what he likes, fresh. I learned something I definitely need in this business. Hopefully just to continue to be inspired. And again, in New York you are constantly learning and growing and evolving as human being. I hope to never stop.“
THE INSPIRATION: “My inspiration comes from Tokyo’s modern architecture and design, all the way to the historic geisha inspired bun/chignon. Ladder braids were incorporated in this look for structure on the front side of my model’s face. The strips of hair/ladder effect, represents sticks which were used by geishas in their hair ensemble to word off evil. The shape of the Mode Gakuen cocoon tower building in Japan is very interesting and the berets in the back of this style resemble it and are there to constrict the look a bit.“
THE PRODUCTS: “I used Volume Maker, Sheer Lacquer, Touch of Gloss.“
Three U.S. Finalists will be announced in the next days and the three Global Winners will be announced in September 2016… check back with us for more updates on the talented Semi-Finalists!