American Crew All-Star Finalists: Meet Sofia Azorakos, Australia
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 Australia's Winner and competitor, Sofia Azorakos:
She was, in her own words, “in the zone” during her 45 minutes of cutting and styling time on the day of her photo shoot. “I hadn’t competed on the floor for years but I felt like it would be easy. It went very quickly.”
Sofia Azorakos has competed in the past in Long Hair Styling and Bridal but for the past couple of years, she has concentrated on Crew and on styling men. “It really lights me up at the moment.”
For her country/continent win, she found her original model in a bar. “He was not a model at the time and that kicked off his modeling career. I was able to manicure his style over a period of about six months and that was an advantage. He is so nice, as well. “
Her model in Lisbon was another rookie and before she shot with him, she wanted to set him at ease. “Hopefully, with a bit of direction and making him feel as comfortable as possible plus a little makeup, some lights and we’ll get him laughing, as well, we can go for a Hugo Boss kind of feel. I don’t want to bombard him but I’m telling him that I want to experiment and laughing can really be good for you, it gets you to relax.
Where does Sofia see men’s hair going? “Men are becoming more demanding, more like female clients, we have to alot almost the same amount of time and almost the same amount can be charged. I do a lot of personal profiling with my clients. There are the ones that want information and the ones that want direction and the ones that want to sit quietly. They are all very unique and they are changing. And it’s great. They’re talking about their styling with other blokes. They are not just talking about rugby. They are talking about what products and they’re using they are not afraid to express themselves in a nice grooming manner. “
After the clock has run out and she must set down her shears, how does she feel?
“It’s a challenge for me to let it go. I have to stop trying to control it and let it be. I want to be honest and true to to myself and let things evolve, to have adventures every day. I am definitely going for an adventure today.”
I always knew I wanted to pursue a creative career and hairdressing found me.
My older sister was a hairdresser and my mother was a dressmaker – it was in
my DNA. At the age of 17, I completed a full year of private training in Greece
and then started an apprenticeship after returning to Australia. I’ve worked as a
hairdresser for more than 20 years now and it has been an amazing experience.
13 years ago my sister and I opened Sogo, our own salon in Fitzroy, a suburb
outside of Melbourne. I’ve been able to connect with wonderful people during
my career – clients at the salon, and a network of creative minds that inspire
me and help me make a difference in the world through charity work we do with
our community. This is the second time I’ve been fortunate to win the position of
representing Australia in the American Crew All-Star Challenge. Looking ahead I
want to continue to learn and challenge myself mentally, spiritually and physically.
A round medium brush and a hair dryer, plus my Aesop mask. My favorite product
at the moment is American Crew Forming Cream.
FAVORITE MALE CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLE:
David Beckham and David Bowie, aka “Ziggy Stardust”
AMERICAN CREW & MEN’S GROOMING?
American Crew made me take notice and recognize how important my male clients
are. The American Crew philosophy is simple – they embody men’s grooming and
they do it the best.
WHAT DOES THE AMERICAN CREW ALL-STAR CHALLENGE MEAN TO YOU?
The All-Star Challenge is an opportunity to be recognized in the industry and the
prospects that follow after winning the title of the All-Star Challenge country finalist
are life-changing. The All-Star Challenge is like the Olympics of hairdressing and
it’s amazing to represent your country in the global challenge.
YOUR REACTION TO WINNING YOUR COUNTRY’S HONORS: