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 Ireland's Country Winner and competitor, Paul Mac:
It was a hair-raising moment when Paul Mac’s razor stopped working and the clock was ticking. He needed to charge it in but didn’t have the proper adaptor to plug it into the wall jack.
Speaking to Mac after his shoot was wrapped, Mac said, “This had never, ever happened. I had been charging my razor all night but it just stopped working. I guess it’s a better story to tell with that little bit of drama. “ He did get what he needed to plug back in and set to work.
Mac, the only barber on the Irish Hairdressing Team, was down the line for model selection. “I was fifth but he would have been my first choice. When we walked in and I saw him, my face lit up but I thought, sh*it, what are my chances of getting him?” Very good, as it turned out.
“I came here wanting to do something very similar to my entry . The model, who was an absolute gent, by the way, had more of an Irish look to him so it worked well. Typically Irish men aren’t known for being that good looking.”
His technique, however, created an extremely good-looking finish, something he has been doing a lot of lately. He entered his first competition six months prior and has won three out of three, as well as being recognized by MEN’S HEALTH editor Sandra Nygaard with the Men’s Health Award at the American Crew competition.
“I did a fade with a zero around the very edges and I put in the shaved parting. Tight fades are my strong point and my trademark. I wanted to put my own stamp on it and I would rather fail going all out than have someone who took a risk beat me. In the past, people who were more experienced told me to go the safer route but I went with my gut and I won.”
Mac concluded,” It was amazing shooting with David Raccuglia. I know the difference a good photographer makes; it’s all about direction and even the model said it was the best shoot he had done.”
Products Used: Power Cleanser Style Remover, Daily Conditioner, Fiber
Technique: Started off by washing and conditioning the hair,then began the cut. I did a medium fade, with a blade 0 and flicked the edge with a whal mag mini razor. I then, blended scissors over comb and lined the edges up with a straight razor. Which I also used, to enhance the side parting. Secondly, I blow dried using a small barrel brush. Pulling the fringe back and curling around to give the structure of a front quiff. I added a little of the boost powder, to life the root and volumize the hair. I used the fiber to style the hair, then used the medium hold spray gel and comb, to ensure that every hair was in place.
Inspiration: I take my inspiration from 50s rockabilly looks & old school tattoo culture & from barbers such as the dutch barbers in Schorem Barbier in Rotterdam as well as new hypster trends & morph my ideas together. I know i've taken a risk cutting the fade so tight compared to last years finalists but I felt this is staying through to my personal style & is what is on trend for men's hair at the moment a look favored by many celebrities like David Beckham, Irish ufc star Conor Mc Gregor ,Robbie Williams etc films & tv series like lawless mad men & gangster squad & hair models such as models Ricki Hall, Jimmy q & Billy Huxley I think of my style as old school with a modern twist.
Why: I live & breathe barbering it's not just my job it's my hobby, my life, if i'm not at work or teaching my trainees, i'm researching new looks trends & styles online. I'm the current Irish Gents hair stylist of the year the 1st barber to ever win the award. It was my 1st competition this is my 2nd. Fellow barbers suggested I enter years ago but I felt now was the time as i've worked incredibly hard at perfecting my techniques, to win such a prestigious award from such an amazing brand as American Crew would be amazing. I'm going competing in IHF Irish barber of the year next month. There has never been a Cork winner so I would be very proud to accomplish this. & to represent my country at the finals of this comp in America would be a dream come through. I am country lad from the middle of nowhere & had to fight to make it in the city barbershops where attractive girls and family are usually favored for an apprenticeship. So I know i've got what it takes to work my ass off to succeed.
One Word to Describe Your Look: Dapper