American Crew is the men’s grooming leader that hosts a truly life-changing opportunity for barbers and stylists all over the world: American Crew All-Star Challenge is the annual competition that recognizes the best men’s hairstylist in the world!
A victory in this challenge not only places you on the professional map, but the competition charges pros with a passion for men’s grooming to create artistic, modern styles that express the true vision of the American Crew man.
We talked to the gold winners of the past four years (2013-2016) to discover the true abilities that are necessary to become this year’s global winner, as well as what they should expect as the aftershock in a professional’s career once they have accomplished this high honor.
“Winning the competition for me is a source of endless motivation,” says Sergey Shapochka (Ukraine), Global Champion of the All-Star Challenge in 2015. “You realize that you are your only limit. Dream big, work hard, and don’t stop. With a team like American Crew Ukraine, we shot a great collection and after did a big tour all over country.”
“The experience is more than the challenge,” says Global Champion in 2016, Sandra Perovic (United Kingdom). “I got to meet a whole array of different stylists all with a unique perspective on hair and styling plus the bonus of being in a beautiful city that I have never experienced before. The All-Star Challenge was a life changing and unforgettable. It came with high pressure, especially since we didn’t know who our model was or what type of hair they had. We had to think quickly and outside the box as we were under strict time conditions. It is an experience I am glad I got to live!”
This year, artists will have to compete for the final title in Brussels (Belgium), a city known for its culture and arts and of course, beer. The journey, however will be one with worldwide competition, but the experience is worth the work! All-Star Challenge entrants must cut and style a male model with American Crew products and submit photos to a judging panel of industry experts who selected them as country winners based on technique, styling and their inspiration for a modern, masculine look.
“A lot has changed for me in the last years – the timing was exactly right,” says Jerome Kantner, 2014 All-Star Global Challenge Champion from Germany. “It happened right at the boom of the Barbershops. My style has always been about barbering, I’ve always been working as a professional and have given training. Winning made me international recognition and I would become more focused with Education. Today I am traveling internationally. My life is barbering, education and barber measure.”
“There are many stories and anecdotes,” recalls Pedro Muñoz (Spain), Global Champion in 2013. “After living a few days with different hairdressers from all over the world, you become a part of a big family, in which everything is an adventure until you pack and return home. In fact, it all starts sinking in when only when you have settle back to your life, when you sit down and realize that everything lived has not been a dream, it actually came true.”
The aftermath of the All-Star Challenge is one of the most widely recognized professional grooming career boosts for its winners.
“It is an experience with amazing and talented people and a great opportunity to make new connections,” says Sergey Shapochka. “The entire experience from the beginning is so good; when you cut, style and shoot your initial look in your home country, especially without even expecting how far it can get. You do it because you love what you do. Once in the competition, meeting finalists from all over the world and spending time together in competitive but friendly atmosphere, sharing knowledge and experiences – those moments are just unimaginable, something you could never have dreamed of.”
The competition combines the key aspects of the art and science in men’s grooming and style –the cut, the model and the photograph– and brings them all together to deliver the ultimate interpretation of the American Crew man. Once this is achieved on an international level, the professional changes inevitably result in changes for the better.
“Have fun, and don’t take the competition too seriously, time will pass you by and before you know it it’ll be over,” says Sandra Perovic. “Instead enjoy every minute. You’ll go home knowing that you have made some amazing friends around the world and some unforgettable memories. Keep an open mind throughout your time here because you will learn so much from everyone. You all have something to offer each other, so soak it all up and enjoy!”
“It was the best experience of my life – I became a member of the American Crew family,” says Jerome Kantner. “My advice for the finalists? Enjoy the time and stay the way you are.”
“Simply the fact that you are creating a new style and investing a whole day to step out of your salon and beyond your comfort zone, makes this a unique experience. I recommend that this year’s finalists should not be scared or nervous, but rather enjoy it from the instant it happens, because without a doubt, it can become one of the happiest experiences in their life,” says Pedro Muñoz.
For more information, please visit www.americancrew.com/allstarchallenge