As MODERN continues its coverage of NAHA 20, coming July 19 to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, we’ll be interviewing former NAHA winners. This month, we talk to Nicholas French, winner of the Avant-Garde category in 2006 and 2008.
MODERN: Why do you enter NAHA?
Nicholas French: “NAHA is a great way to stretch your legs creatively, to push the envelope and be unique.”
MS: Do you feel entering competitions is important to the growth of hairdressers?
NF: The growth of hairdressing awareness to the general public as to the level of our creativity is from the publicity we can draw from as many events as possible. The general public does not realize the level of intensity in our work. This is purely because the focus is on fashion designers. The difference between us is that they can choose the fabric to create their designs and we can’t—the clients’ hair is our canvas.
MS: How do you assemble your team?
NF: I always work with positive people I trust who have energy, vision, patience, flexibility and passion.
MS: Which was your favorite entry and why?
NF: My 2008 entry photos for Avant-Garde are my favorite. Very rarely in a shoot does the concept come alive. Avant-garde is probably one of the most misunderstood phrases in modern times, especially in relation to the fashion arena, and even more so when it comes to hair design. My definition of avant-garde is, “An intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts, especially in the arts.”
MS: What are you planning for the 2009 NAHA competition?
NF: I am entering the Avant-Garde and Texture categories. The photographs will be an inspirational factor for my attendees at my courses throughout the year at Matrix Craft Global Academy in New York.