Jorge Buccio has been taking his creativity to a new level. After winning the gold last year at the most coveted men’s grooming competition, Jorge came back to the American Crew All-Star Challenge once again to raise his creative bar higher – while competing against his last year self!
Jorge was captivated by hair and fashion at a young age. The passion for the marriage between these two soon took him on a wonderful journey, where at the age of 18 he began his apprenticeship at a major Chicago salon and attended fashion design school where he received his BA in Fine Arts, with a focus on Fashion Design. Today Jorge owns J Buccio Salon in Austin, TX while maintaining his celebrity clientele in New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. With celebrity clients like Kirsten Dunst, Mathew McConaughey and Camila Alves, Jorge travels the world educating fellow artists as well as working backstage at numerous fashion shows including New York Fashion Week for the last 6 seasons. Hair and fashion continue to inspire Jorge as he strives to share his vision and talent with the world.
ESTETICA sat down with the U.S. winner of the American Crew 2017-2018 All-Star Challenge competition to talk about his amazing professional journey and his second consecutive win in men’s grooming!
Congratulations! This is the second consecutive win for you! After your experience as the winner last year, what did you learn that helped prepare you for this year’s global competition?
“Thanks so much!! I’m super excited to be the American Crew All-Star Challenge USA winner again, feels great! I feel that last years’ experience helped me so much. Last year winning the USA and then going to Brussels to compete for the global tittle was unforgettable, but beyond all the fabulous experiences I learned not to second guess my original gut feeling, to trust my intuition and sensibility as an artist and to be proud of my original choices.“
Tell us about the look you created this year and how it is different than the look you used to win US last year?
“This year I wanted to go in a bit of a different direction. Last year’s look was an image I’m super proud of, was very clean, with lots of light and very little shadows, and inspired on my childhood and reminiscing of the clean looks of going to school with a crisp white shirt and side parted hair.
My current winning look is inspired on a very sophisticated man, more of a grown up elegant sleek but still modern man. Inspired on a friend’s personal photo shoot – when I saw the shadows and a turtle neck he used, I fell in love with the idea of shooting a more mysterious man, sophisticated and super elegant. I wanted the hair to also have an edge, clean lines along the sides but more playful and almost overly exaggerated volume on the top.“
What do you do to stay current with new trends and techniques?
“I love researching new trends and techniques, I’m very lucky to have great friends that grant me access to WGSN forecasting agency where I can find some of the trends that might become strong in future seasons, and I also love researching future trends from traveling, magazines and social media.“
You have a BA in Fashion Design – how does this background affect the editorial work you submit for competitions?
“Fashion design has absolutely impacted my editorial looks, and it has helped me tremendously. It helps with balance in the editorial composition. To edit a look and not take away from the focus which in this case is hair. And also helps me translate trends into an editorial look, without being too literal.“
How did you know you were ready to enter a competition? Was there a moment when you said – yes let’s do this? And what inspired that moment if you had it?
“I never felt ready!!!! I remember telling myself so many times, I wish one day I could be one of those stylists receiving awards, but never felt like I was part of that tribe, because I didn’t feel ready. Until one day I was streaming live the 2013 NAHA Awards and Dimitrios Tsioumas said something like, ‘if you are out there wishing to be part of this group, stop thinking about it and just do it.’ That moment changed my career, made me jump into action and even though I didn’t feel ready, I went for it and got my first nomination the following year for an award, NAHA 2014 in the Men Styling category.
I feel there are some of us who never feel a 100% ready, but it’s exactly that feeling what makes us want to do better and fight for what we wish for.“
What are your expectations this year for the final? How are you preparing yourself?
“I want to win the Global title and bring it to the USA! Last year’s competition was one of the most rewarding moments of my career, it felt less like a competition and more like a hair camp or gathering. I expect the same this year, or maybe better. And I’m preparing for it at the salon, behind the chair, working on clients.“
As a salon owner and celebrity hairstylist, you have an incredibly full and fruitful career, why do you take the time to compete?
“I’m so grateful to be busy and for the opportunities I have received throughout my career… competing feeds my creative hunger!!! I love everything I do, celebrities, clients, hair shows… But creating collections for competitions let me be free and artistic on a different level, it allows me to materialize any ideas and dreams. Since 2014 I haven’t stop creating a collection, wether it is for a competition or just for me to enjoy.“
What is it about American Crew culture that you like?
“I like that American Crew has a way to appeal to every man. Also their ability of always staying current, fresh and relevant without forgetting about the past. But instead honoring it and giving it a new life, a new take.“
What do you most like about the All-Star Challenge competition and how exciting is for you that this year the global final will take place in Barcelona?
“My favorite part of the All-Star Challenge was the PEOPLE; I loved how each one of the country winners came to this competition with the best attitude making it feel more like a hair gathering than a competition, everyone wanted the others to have the best time possible. The team organizing this event was outstanding and made the entire experience extremely enjoyable. I don’t think I have told many people how I feel about Barcelona, but it’s probably my favorite city in the World! Barcelona has a way to make you fall in love immediately, it blends fashion, beauty, architecture, and food in the most unique way. And now, having one of my favorite competitions in my favorite city, I can’t ask for more. How lucky!!!“