27 September 2023

Exclusive Interviews with the Kao Salon Division Global Creative Awards 2023 National Winners

The Kao Salon Division UK Global Creative Awards 2023, held on 4th August at the Menier Lounge in London, provided an opportunity for celebration… and for us to hold exclusive interviews the 3 Gold National Winners!

Before the three Global Creative Awards National gold winners go off to represent the UK & Ireland in Chicago this September at the Kao Salon Global Experience, we took the opportunity to hold exclusive interviews with New Talent Colorist of the Year, D’Arcy White, Jack & The Wolfe; Creative Colorist of the Year Alice Manser, SO Hairdressing; and Haircutter of the Year Jacob Scully.

New Talent Colorist of the Year – 2023 Gold Winner UK & Ireland, D’Arcy White, Jack & The Wolfe

Exclusive Interviews

Tell us about your Global Creative journey so far?

It’s been incredible. I’ve found it so inspirational at every level. What’s really amazing for me is that this is the first photoshoot I’ve ever done. Just to have taken part in the Global Creative experience and to have then been chosen as a finalist was already such an achievement for me, but to have then actually gone on to win Gold is beyond my wildest dreams.

What have been the most memorable moments so far for you?

The whole experience to doing the actual photoshoot was an important time for me – right from creating my original mood board through to coming up to London for the shoot itself. It was a really creative and insightful time, too – working with my mentors on the mentorship programme and finalizing in my own mind how I wanted my finished look to be was really big for me.

How have you been feeling today during the lead up to the winners’ announcements?

Today I’ve been on a real rollercoaster of emotions! The build-up has been amazing, especially as today has been an opportunity for us all to really support each other and celebrate our work and achievements. We’ve all got on so well with each as well, which has been so lovely.

How did you feel when you heard you’d won Gold?

I felt really emotional and I definitely wasn’t expecting it. There was so much talent in my category that I felt it was such an honour to be the Gold winner.

What are you looking forward to most about going to the Kao Salon Global Experience in Chicago this September?

I’m really looking forward to being able to show off my skills and creativity to a whole range of international judges. I know I’ll get so much inspiration from all the other competitors from around the world. I’m so looking forward to meeting them all in person. All I can really say apart from that is how proud I’m feeling to be able to represent the UK & Ireland on a global stage like this.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

I’d really like to thank my incredible bosses, Jack Mead and Lydia Wolfe. Without their support and encouragement, I don’t think I could have done this. They really have me the impetus and the confidence in myself to make this happen.

Creative Colorist of the Year – 2023 Gold Winner UK & Ireland, Alice Manser, SO Hairdressing

Exclusive Interviews

Congratulations, Alice, you’ve scooped Gold in a very hotly contested category!

Thank-you. Yes, it’s been quite a journey! It’s been a lot of fun and I also did Goldwell Mentorship Programme at the same time, which was useful to me. By nature, I’m a bit of a stress-head and there have been a few hiccups along the way, like when I messed up the colour just before the photoshoot! The whole team has given me so much support. Despite me sometimes stressing, everything has worked out well and I’ve really had so much fun being part of all this.

Any highlights along the way?

Definitely the day of the photoshoot and the mentoring day up at Goldwell. Although everything didn’t always go exactly to plan, we all had such a laugh together, which is important. It was such a great team. We all bounced ideas off each other and many of us become friends.

Today has been quite a bit day as well. How have you been coping with all the anticipation?

This morning I was getting quite anxious, but I managed to stay calm and keep focused. It’s such a mixture of emotions and they all came flooding out when I heard I’d won Gold.  This is the first serious competition I’ve ever entered, so it was a big thing for me, especially as I’ve pushed myself to deliver on the very particular goals that I wanted to achieve. Despite the anxiety of not knowing how things will pan out, what prevails on a day like today is excitement – and I have to say that in this moment I’m really buzzing!

How are you feeling about going to the Kao Salon Global Experience in Chicago this September?

I didn’t think I’d get this far, so I haven’t had time to think about it properly. I need to let it sink in a bit! I’ll definitely looking forward to seeing what a worldwide competition will be like and to engage with hairdressers from all over the globe. I’m so excited because all my team members are going as well. I’ve had such great support from them, so it’ll be great to be able to share the final stage of the journey with them. 

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

My team, of course, and also Annabel, who also got through to the finals. We’ve been so supportive of each other all along and I know she’s really pleased for me. I also want to thank my Mum, who’s also a hairdresser and has been my inspiration ever since I was small.

Haircutter of the Year – 2023 Gold Winner UK & Ireland, Jacob Scully, ScullyScully

Exclusive Interviews

Jacob, this isn’t the first time you’ve been on the Global Creative journey.

Yes, I represented the UK & Ireland in Amsterdam last year in the Haircutter category, but as it was my first time competing, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had an amazing time and it was fantastic performing in front of so many people – obviously I’m really chuffed to have got through this year again. This time I’ve been much more organized and as known what to expect I’ve also known what I need to do to get through to the next stage.

I hear you went up to Glasgow to do your photoshoot, how was that?

Yes, it was a memorable moment on my journey so far. It was the first time I’d ever been there and what’s more I got to do it with the mentorship of Beverly C, which was great as you can imagine! The moment that actual shot, which was the one I went on to enter for the competition, was fantastic. I knew it was the right one as soon as I saw it.

What has today’s UK & Ireland finals day been like and how were you feeling when you were announced as Gold Winner in your category?

Today I’ve been feeling very ‘up and down’ – I think we all have. It’s been an exciting day and the organization has been outstanding, but it’s inevitable that our nerves have got the better of us. Then, when they announced that I’d won Haircutter of the Year, I felt totally elated. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Everyone was so happy for me and to have my Dad there with me and to see how overwhelmed with happiness he was made it an extra special moment.

Amsterdam last year, Chicago this year… you’re becoming something of a globetrotter!

Chicago is such an amazing opportunity for me. To perform to an international audience on an American stage while doing what I love is a dream come true. I’ve only been to the USA once before and that was to visit Disneyland, so this really will be a whole new creative experience for me! I’m looking forward to meeting the international competitors as well as the people from their salon groups who will be there to support them. It’s so positive to see their work and to get their feedback on mine.  Being able to do that was a really enjoyable part of my experience in Amsterdam and I’m sure it’ll be the same in Chicago.

Who would you like to thank for their support?

Of course, Kao Salon, Goldwell and KMS, as well as my Dad and Laura from ScullyScully who have supported me throughout this journey, Beverly and Toni for all their help on the mentorship programme. Also, I’d really like to thank Silver Winner, Stevan Dulay at POMO Hairdressing, for hosting us in their salon when we did our shoot. Stevan and I have really been supporting each other and it’s fantastic that he’s done so amazingly well, too.


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