American Crew All-Star Finalists: Meet Bradford Davison, USA
UPDATE 5.19.14: Out of 1100 entries to the American Crew All-Star Challenge, a men’s styling and photo shoot competition, only 14 stylists were chosen to compete for the global title. They came to Lisbon, Portugal for two days of photo shoots with American Crew founder and photographer, David Raccuglia to realize their vision. Jerome Kantner of Germany was crowned the All-Star Global Champion on April 28, 2014.
The final photo that was created in Lisbon is the first displayed here while the second photo was the winning country entry and the image that secured the stylists a place in the global challenge. Brief interviews were conducted at the photo studio.
Meet the United State's Country Winner and competitor,Bradford Davison:
If your first concert at four years old was Twisted Sister, the universe might be telling you something. Bradford Davison, the United States Finalist for the American Crew All-Star Challenge, spoke to MODERN before his allotted 45 minute cut and styling on the morning of April 24.
Finalists drew numbers to determine their model pick. And you were seeing all the models for the first time this morning. How did that go for you?
I drew number 7, the last pick for the day, but I was really happy with my model. His neckline will be a bit of a challenge—he has a hairline that has cowlicks on the very bottom—but I get to direct which angle you see his haircut.
I haven’t decided if I want to do a dramatic side fade which is similar to what I did with my original entry which was skin to texture but I do know I’ll go with structured masculine haircut. Maybe down and forward or up with texture depending on how his hair is manipulated.
How do you work with your models?
I really want them to be involved and I feel like that is what helped me get here, that my model has input on the process. They are ultimately who has to deliver for me. I showed him a couple of different looks and I explained that his image could go worldwide; if he doesn’t feel strong and confident it will show.
It started with the same conversation everyone has to have with their client: ‘how do you like your hair, what is going to make you feel comfortable?’
You have been working with American Crew for a year. What have you learned in that time?
I have been around their trainings and the one thing I always see is that any guy, no matter what profession they do, any guy would want to look like a Crew guy. We’re not a trendy, gimmicky brand. American crew is a brand that will stand for all men, worldwide, and consistently deliver. We’re not trying to be trendy and do something that may go away tomorrow.
People ask me if I have been practicing but I do 50 to 60 men’s haircuts a week, that is what I do.
Tell us about your submission for the US competition.
My submission was not shot in a studio but in my barbershop, with natural light, a reflector and a camera. It was all done in-house. We had the access to do it another way but based on what was working behind the camera it was what felt right. What I think made it stand out was that the good natural light. It’s very hard to create or fake that.
This is the first contest I had ever submitted to. I have used the Crew products my entire life and professionally for four years. When I started the whole education route for American Crew, you have to submit a video and try to certify and in there I told the story of how I came to Crew. My father was in the US Air Force and all their shampoo, conditioners and gels are Crew. So I grew up with Crew.
Do you think stylists should compete in challenges like the American Crew All-Star Challenge?
Yes, because we all need to push ourselves. We are in an industry where you only evolve if you push yourself to evolve. I look at the greats—Paul Mitchell, Vidal Sassoon—and at one time, they had to put themselves out there and see what happens. Everyone should do it even if it’s just to show their own work in their salon and can still push you into new places.
Working as a salon business manager in Columbus, OH, helped open my eyes to the craftsmanship and artistry involved in doing hair. I knew I wanted that kind of career and decided I would pursue a creative passion in the industry, so I started technical training and never looked back.
Following completion of my studies, I was hired by Angus Mitchell to work at his salon in Beverly Hills, CA. While there, I continued my studies and went behind the chair full-time, where I found a passion for men’s grooming. To fuel that passion, I became American Crew Method One certified and am now part of the American Crew Certified Educator team. I currently work at the Blind Barber, in Los Angeles, and hope to open my own shop. It is my ultimate goal to give like-minded artists a place to grow within themselves and the community.
My Infinity scissors are my number one must! Paired with Y.S. Park combs, I can create any style. My go-to products are American Crew Light Hold Texture Lotion, Fiber, Boost Powder and Alternator.
FAVORITE MALE CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLE:
David Beckham’s hairstyle always changes, and I like that. I consider Jim Morrison of The Doors an icon.
AMERICAN CREW & MEN’S GROOMING?
American Crew has transformed the way I look at men’s grooming, shaping every aspect from start to finish. I believe that I create classic, yet modern looks for my clients, which to me, speaks to the American Crew style. Becoming an American Crew All-Star was one of my greatest professional accomplishments – I’m proud to join a team of pure talent.
WHAT DOES THE AMERICAN CREW ALL-STAR CHALLENGE MEAN TO YOU?
Winning the All-Star Challenge for the USA is a great accomplishment. It’s an outlet to test my abilities against the best from around the world and be judged purely on what I can create.
YOUR REACTION TO WINNING YOUR COUNTRY’S HONORS: