On Monday June 14, at the Australian Hair Industry Awards (Creative), the Australian hair industry indulged in the facets of the community that represent it to its very core – awarding talent, championing camaraderie and celebrating together after too long apart.

With Victorian representatives on screen, in thoughts and some safely in the room as well, The Star, Sydney, welcomed the industry to the inaugural outing of this event. Building off the esteemed AHIAs (Business), which is in its tenth year, this new platform put the focus on artistry, honouring the legacy of the Hair Expo Awards and pushing the industry forward in its own way as run by Mocha Publishing.

“The Creative AHIAs are our exciting new awards platform which highlight the quality of the industry’s editorial and trend focused skills and have allowed our entrants to show their clients and communities just how talented they are,” said Owner and Publisher of Mocha Publishing, Linda Woodhead. “The calibre of this year’s collections exceeded our high expectations and all of our finalists and winners should be incredibly proud of their work.”

The important event was MC’d by creative director, host and media personality Adam Williams, entertaining 700 guests with the award announcement and gala festivities. The evening included a circus themed opening show titled The Greatest Show on Earth, with Adam as the ringmaster, dancers, models, aerialists and conceptual hair and fashion. The show was created by the artistic teams of sponsors Revlon Professional and ghd with hair extensions provided by Amazing Hair.

The agenda also included a live runway and dance show from American Crew, with barber chairs brought on stage to turn salon into high fashion. Amidst a three-course meal, the finalists and eventual winner of the national American Crew All Star Challenge were also announced.

The awards ceremony saw the crowning of seventeen creative winners, as well as the 2021 Hot Shots team of young talents who will join the program to elevate their burgeoning careers. 100 renowned international and local judges decided the winners, with a panel that included Sam McKnight, Guy Tang, Sally Brooks, Angelo Seminara, Errol Douglas, Jenny Strebe, Julie Bellinger-Gibb, Faye Murray, Charles Marcus, Kym Krey, Cameron Pine, Brad Ngata, Jayne Wild, Tracey Hughes and Sharon Blain. Representatives from local publications including HAIRBIZ, INSTYLE, Woman’s Day, New Idea, Beautyheaven, Hair Romance, mamamia and Jones and international publications such as Hairdressers Journal International, Estetica, Independent Beauty Professional Magazine, Intercoiffure SA, Salon Magazine and Coiffure also contributed.

“The creativity and passion I’ve seen in this year’s inaugural AHIA Creative entries has been outstanding. What a defining year it has been. The ingenuity and resourcefulness of the entries is a testament to how strong, globally, we are as an industry,” said Sam McKnight.

Within the announcements, Dee Parker Attwood was named the prestigious Australian Hairdresser of the Year, while Danny Pato won the award for New Zealand for a monumental fifth consecutive time as extended from the Hair Expo Awards.

With industry legends taking the stage to present and tearful, proud and celebratory speeches throughout the night, a sense of purpose was tangible. Winners lamented the difficulty of the last 18 months, and ongoing difficulties especially in Victoria, while speaking to their own pride, accomplishments, creativity and the future we can all create together as an industry. The unbreakable spirit of the salon community was on full display and that future is enormously bright.

See all the winners below and join us in offering them your sincere congratulations.

AUSTRALIAN HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Deanna Parker Attwood, Wieselmann Salon

NEW ZEALAND HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Danny Pato, D&M Hair Design

COLOUR EXPERT OF THE YEAR
Stevie Corthine, Stevie English Hair

NSW/ACT HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Paula Hibbard, Paula Hibbard

QLD HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Amy Gaudie, Urban Chic

SA/TAS HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Mario Fioravanti, SJ Establishment

VIC HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Cristina Tatasciore, Flipped Hair

WA/NT HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Jude McEwen, TONI&GUY Perth Central

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
Paige Cameron, Cobelle Creative

INDEPENDENT STYLIST OF THE YEAR
Charlene Fernandez, Charlene Fernandez Hair

MASTER CUTTER OF THE YEAR
Elle Schoemaker, Cobelle Creative

NEW CREATIVE TALENT OF THE YEAR
James Morris, Biba Gertrude St

AVANT GARDE HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR and PEOPLE’S CHOICE PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION OF THE YEAR
Paul James Graham, Paul & Paul Salon

MEN’S HAIR SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR
Anthony Staltari, Barbery Australia

BEST COLLAB OF THE YEAR
Stephanie & Coco CREATIVE

TEAM OF THE YEAR – Salon or Salon group
SJ Establishment

HOT SHOTS TEAM
Eliza Andrews, Royals Hair
Evie Golding, Rokstar Salon
Leanne Kay, Stevie English Hair
Scott James Sheehy, TONI&GUY Newtown

INTERNATIONAL HAIRDRESSER OF THE YEAR
Sally Brooks, Brooks & Brooks