ROME, IT – APRIL 17 American Crew 2014-2015 All-Star Challenge; United States country finalist...
ROME, IT – APRIL 17 American Crew 2014-2015 All-Star Challenge; United States country finalist Alyssa Brasket and model (Photo by Ebb & Flow) Photo by Ebb & Flow (photo credit: Ebb & Flow)

American Crew is accepting submissions for the 2015-2016 All-Star Challenge, the annual competition that brings together some of the best men’s hairstylists in the world and names one of them the best in the U.S. In addition to honoring stylists across the globe, the All-Star Challenge charges professionals with a passion for men’s grooming to create artistic, modern styles that express the true vision of the American Crew man. Entries are now open until February 17, 2016.

Last year’s US winner, Alyssa Brasket, traveled to Rome to compete in the global challenge.  MODERN SALON asked her to share her thoughts on entering:

Why did you enter the American Crew All Star Challenge?

I decided to enter the American Crew All-star Challenge because I was given the opportunity work with a professional photographer. Quavondo Nguyen from Los Angeles, CA came up to Vancouver, WA to The Barbers (where I work) to take photos of a haircut and style I created. I was then able to use that work to enter the Challenge.

Originally, The Barbers posted a flyer in the back of our shop asking stylists to enter a 3 minute how-to cut video challenge and I created this Youtube clip: During The Barbers’ yearly educational event, they pulled everyone who created a how-to video together to tell us we were going to have an amazing opportunity to cut and style a guy’s hair and have it professionally photographed in order to enter the All-Star Challenge. When I heard that, my heart started racing; I’d wanted a chance like that since I was 13 years old! 

Another reason I decided to enter the American Crew All-Star Challenge was because it offers a chance to travel (for free). When I was young, my family traveled around the world and fell in love with seeing other places.

Did you have any hesitation about entering and, if so, how did you overcome it? (any fears, etc.)
I had no hesitation. I knew I wanted to participate and entered with the intention of winning at least the US All-Star Challenge and securing an opportunity to advance to the Global competition in Rome. When I was in Rome, I knew at that point that I was already a winner; having the opportunity to speak with the other 14 Country Finalists and to watch them work was completely fulfilling. Traveling the world to watch and learn from other barbers is something I plan to do more of in the future.

What is something you would do differently? (spend more money, spend less money, etc.)
Honestly, I wouldn't change anything. The experience was eye-opening. I learned a great deal about the industry and about what I want in in my professional life. If I had to think of one thing, I would have been more outgoing. Specifically, I wish I’d had the guts to engage more with Wayne Gross (former Fashion Director for Maxim) who was also a Global judge. I look up to him as a style icon and would have been interested in learning about his career and journey with fashion.

What is something you did exactly right and would always repeat? (same photographer, etc.)
When I learned that I would be doing my first photoshoot with Quavondo Nguyen, I knew I wanted to use a professional model. Professional models know how to pose in order to effectively display the hairstyle and overall look you’re trying to showcase. I connected with a modeling agency that has worked with Quavondo in the past in order to hire my model, and he was outstanding!

Why would you encourage someone to enter the Challenge?
If you are a stylist who is passionate about men’s hair and who loves to experience different cultures, I would encourage you to enter. The All-Star Challenge offers you a chance to showcase your work, to visit another country, and connect with barbers from all over the world. It is also a great learning experience. All the effort will help you figure out what works and what doesn't work and you’ll gain additional confidence in your abilities as a stylist.

HOW: To enter, cut and style a male model with American Crew products and take two black and white pictures of the model from chest-level and above (one face-on, one profile) in front of a blank background (with no props visible). Upload the photos and enter your contact information via the entry portal ( along with a brief description of your look and the products used. There is no fee to enter.

PRIZE: The U.S. Winner will be awarded a $5,000 monetary prize, recognition in a 2015 professional magazine advertisement, mention in the 2016 American Crew Style Selector, and a chance to compete in the global  American Crew All-Star Challenge. The two remaining U.S. finalists will be recognized with a $2,000 monetary prize.

15 finalists (each from a different country) will ultimately be chosen to compete in the global 2015-2016 American Crew All-Star Challenge, held April 18, 2016, location to be determined.

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