This is Next: Modern’s Photoshoot with the Winners of the 2015 Sebastian’s What’s Next Awards

Maggie Mulhern | July 30, 2015 | 2:26 PM
1 of 4

Gentle Fro

Shortall sprayed Sebastian Volupt on wet hair to create a base. Once dry, he applied Eruptek in medium sections before creating maximum texture with a ¾-inch iron. Shortall adds that he turned the iron in various directions including, as he says, “forward, back, upside down!” Shaper Spray was misted over the top before Shortall defined the ends.

Sebastian’s What’s Next Awards (WNA) is an annual competition inviting artists to submit photos based on a collection created by the Sebastian team to be used as inspiration. This year the collection was called “Totemic,” and featured exaggerated shapes highlighted by weaving and roping.

Hundreds of artists entered in either the Professional or Student categories. Among the prizes was a photoshoot with MODERN in Roberto Ligresti’s Water Street Studios in New York City (MODERN’s Beauty and Fashion Director Maggie Mulhern was one of the judges). The winners were invited to use the 2015 Meta-Morphik Collection as inspiration and use the freshly launched Eruptek and Resintek styling products to complete their finishes.

Carole Protat, North America creative director Wella, Sebastian, Nioxin and Clairol Professional; and Christina McCarver, director of education for Sebastian Professional, joined the artists for support and guidance. This feature is the result of that session.

“Getting to work with amazing models and an incredible photographer to show my interpretation of Meta-Morphik has been truly one of my favorite moments as a hairdresser.” —Oliver Shortall, Sebastian Design Team Member and winner of the What’s Next Awards, Professional Category


Oliver Shortall of the Harlot Salon, Venice, California, winner in the Professional Category, used his talent to highlight a combination of powerful textures including matte lengths and highly shined sides. These strong finishes define his creativity and talent.


Samantha Peters, a freshly licensed artist working at jcp Salon in Escondido, California, won in the Student Category with an intricate but elegant finish created with intense micro-crimping and conflicting textures. “My design featured a lot of variety,” Peters says. “I grew up with horses. I was always braiding!” Winning this competition has given her confidence. “It’s has confirmed that I should always go for it and get out of my comfort zone. It has demonstrated that there are no boundaries.”

“I love mixing up textures and putting in touches of the unexpected. Combining matte and small areas of super shine adds to the drama.” —Samantha Peters, jcp Salon Escondido, winner of the What’s Next Awards, Student Category

Photography: Roberto Ligresti
Makeup: Eric J. Allen
Fashion styling: Rod Novoa assisted by Dennis Pinto
Fashions: Alice and Olivia, Armani, Joanna Mastroianni, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein

More from Portfolio

Load More