American Crew Finalists Speak the Universal Language of Beauty
STYLING BY EVA LILL KRISTENGARD, NORWAY'S COUNTRY WINNER. THESE ARE THE SHOTS THAT WON EVA LILL HER COUNTRY TITLE.Photo 2 of 17
THIS IS THE LOOK THAT WON SOFIA AZORAKOS THE TITLE IN AUSTRALIA AND THE CHANCE TO COMPETE IN LISBON.Photo 3 of 17
ANITHA SKOV FROM DENMARK AT WORKPhoto 4 of 17
ATILLA MOLNAR FROM HUNGARY (WITH THE SLEEVE OF TATTOOS) WATCHES DAVID RACCUGLIA DIRECT HIS MODELPhoto 5 of 17
BRADFORD DAVISON FROM THE USA FIRES UP THE CLIPPERSPhoto 6 of 17
Bradford Davison, USA finalist (left) and Pedro José Muñoz of Palma de Mallorca, Spain, the winner of last year's competition, on the first day of photo shoots.Photo 7 of 17
BRUNO LODISE OF SWITZERLAND WITH HIS MODELPhoto 8 of 17
FLOURIAN NOU OF FRANCE (FAR RIGHT, IN BLUE) AT THE MONITOR, WATCHING THE SHOTS APPEAR ON SCREENPhoto 9 of 17
JACOB ROZENBERG OF CANADA WORE THIS CHARM ON THE DAY HE COMPETEDPhoto 10 of 17
PACO LAPEZ OF SPAIN'S HANDS ARE BLURRED BECAUSE HE IS MOVING SO FASTPhoto 11 of 17
PAUL MAC OF IRELAND CONCENTRATES ON HIS CUTPhoto 12 of 17
HAMLET GUKASYAN FROM RUSSIA (FAR LEFT) MAKES HIS FINAL SELECTION, THE ONE PHOTO THAT WILL REPRESENT HIS WORK.Photo 13 of 17
ROBAR YASIN FROM SWEDEN ENTERED THE COMPETITION SIX MONTHS AFTER COMPLETING HIS TRAININGPhoto 14 of 17
YULIA MULDER OF THE NETHERLANDS FOCUSING INPhoto 15 of 17
DAVID RACCUGLIA BEHIND THE CAMERAPhoto 16 of 17
JEROME KANTNER OF GERMANY (WITH THE SLEEVE TATTOO) KEEPS AN EYE ON THE MONITORPhoto 17 of 17
The United Nations might want to tap into the goodwill American Crew has created with their All-Star Challenge in Lisbon, Portugal. Despite language and cultural differences, 14 country finalists have come together to share their passion for hairdressing and express themselves through their work during two days of photo shoots that will determine which hairdresser will leave with the title of All-Star Global Champion on Monday night.
In a studio tucked away in a Lisbon neighborhood, photo shoots took place on two days, the group of hairdressers divided in half. They picked numbers to determine their turn in choosing a model.
On the first day, American Crew Creative Director Craig Hanson addressed them while country managers interpreted. "You will pick one photo from the shoot that you think best conveys your story," explained Hanson. "Then we print that photo and that is what we judge you on."
Then it was upstairs to cut and style during their alloted time, a strict 45 minutes. Last year's champion and acting as a judge for this year's competition, Pedro José Muñoz of Palma de Mallorca, Spain was there to observe their technical skills but also to be a positive, supportive presence.
When time was called, it was clippers off, shears and combs down, and on to wardrobe. Then hairdresser and model stepped on set with men's grooming visionary, American Crew founder and accomplished photographer, David Raccuglia.
A hairdresser himself, Raccuglia's understanding of their craft meant they didn't need to direct the shoot; he knew what they needed to show their work at its best so they could concentrate their attention on their model and the monitor, watching their vision take shape.
Competitors are judged on different criteria including:
Structure and Finish--Their technique, their haircut, their finish, their artistic eye
Representation of American Crew--Is this something American Crew would share. does it speak to today's current trends?
Originality--Art direction, wardrobe, photography
The work that emerged was a testament to their creativty and to the collaborative environment American Crew fostered on the set. While second-guessing is inevitable, once the shoot was wrapped, a collective sigh was heaved and 14 masculine, clean, compelling and timeless images were created.