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. Summer Verrett, a stylist at Envy Salon and Spa, shares with us some of her experience and journey through this outstanding competition!
Summer is competing to win a professional photo shoot and immersion in Tokyo, Shu Uemura’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.
Can you share with us when Shu Uemura came into your life?
“I started using the brand at the same time as Kérastase, since they are sister companies. The first time I went was at a Shu seminar, with the owner of the salon, and we saw the artist do a fashion show/ education class and then I realized it is much edgier, there’s much more flare. The products have a lot of natural ingredients in it, so I knew that’s something that stood out to me. It smelt really good and fell really well in the hair. I love the Touch of Glass because it has some hold but there is still shine, and there’s little bits of sparkle in it so it catches the light. My hair loves it!“
How did you find out about the competition?
“Our boss wanted us to try out, and at first I was unmotivated… but she kept sending out emails and reminding me so within the last week I asked a girl to be my model and when I did it I was really happy that I went through with it. Everything came about that day so it was really cool. I took all the pictures in my backyard and it was a really stormy day, so the light came out great. There was a total inspiration.“
The theme was Tokyo Vibe – what items did you use to inspire you?
“I wanted a combination from the past and the present too, so this look that I created is very much a warrior, but for a person in stilettos, going to the club downtown to check out the nightlife in Tokyo. So it’s timeless.“
How was the experience of competing along with these other guys here?
“The one thing that is great about this trip, and my experience with the Shu Uemura team and other hairstylists, is that the industry has changed. People are more willing to help and be inspiring. 15 years ago it seems like it was more about climbing up to the top – but here, everybody is willing to help. We move forward when we work together.“
What are your new ambitions after Gallery of Style competition?
“My future goals are to continue to develop my craft. I do what I love right now! I share, I inspire people, I am able to grow and inspire myself – it’s like a cycle!“
THE INSPIRATION: “Japanese warrior meets Tokyo Vibe 2016. I wanted something that can be imagined in the past… and something that can be imagined in the present. Timeless…“
THE PRODUCTS: “I used Touch of Gloss, Clay Definer, Color Lustre Shampoo and Conditioner, Sheer Lacquer Finishing Spray.“
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!