If you heard a distant roar in Melbourne on Sunday night, for once it wasn’t the crowd at the MCG, but perhaps the purr of several motorcycles coming at you from a hair fashion awards night… yeah, you heard that right.

The Australian iteration of the 2019 American Crew All Star Challenge came to its conclusion, as 20 finalists and one national winner were announced at a major event in Melbourne on March 31. Hosted at a suitably graffiti-laden warehouse (with the street art extending both outside the venue and indoors), the event celebrated American Crew’s recent partnership with Harley Davidson. With astounding motorcycle tricks outside and sleek vehicles shown inside the smokey room, the fashion-forward event felt like Melbourne’s coolest warehouse party, with 450 American Crew hairdressers handed the VIP ticket.

With a DJ blasting tunes at the centre of the room and a runway set up for later festivities, the event screamed cool and edgy – perfectly on point for American Crew. From the beers (and harder liquor) at the bar, to canapés that ranged from sliders, to ribs and hot dogs, this was a suitably men focused event, encapsulating every guy’s dream in aesthetic, vibe and menu. Along the sides of what was almost instantly a massive dance floor, top-tier barbers such as Aryas Amouzgar from Col Nayler Barber Shop, Jackii Brown of Men + Co, Leilani Pickering, Sam Sharratt and Baylee Smits all from Tommy Gun’s Original Barbershop, Celine Kaponias from Barber Boys and Daniel Mhaanga and Taye Kolose of Grindstone Barbers, created barbering hair art and suavely shaved styles in front of attendees’ eyes.

These barbers were interviewed mid-cut for attendees to learn from, while American Crew All Stars such as Mark Rabone, Gary McKenzie and Lino D’adderio also spoke about their experiences with the iconic brand and how the All Star Challenge has forever transformed their careers. The brand’s General Manager Brad Raper also spoke about the entrants’ talent and ambition, acting as the proverbial drum roll to the awards.

A men’s hair fashion show ran the gamut in style, set up and soundtrack, whirring from dapper men in sophisticated suits and haircuts to a cool contingent of long hair and fades, styled with basketballs and with a hip hop musical backdrop. The show ended in ideal style for the Harley Davidson partnership, with men in leather jackets rocking out with the edgy cuts and styles your males clients will covet.

Next, the evening announced the 20 finalists on stage to the applause of the audience. Congratulations to finalists Cian Fogaty, Phillip Dutton, France Khamees, Brian Lee, Camille de Bondy, Danny Lazzarino, Celine Kaponias, Joeseph Bond, Jordan Tabakman, Sofia Azorakos, Jessica Sutherland, David Wieselmann, Collin Allingham, Manuel Provoost (who was awarded two placements), Fred Lemarche, Harriet Tan, Ying Sun Li, Tori Gill and Blade Pullman.

Ultimately it was up to 2018 winner Kevin Wong to announce the winner for this year – congratulations to Blade Pullman of Luigi and Sons who has not only won the title nationally, but also the chance to compete internationally against other All Star champions.

Kevin Wong, Blade Pullman and Brad Raper

“The look was something that I felt American Crew was – classic but modern, I tried to create the best look I could,” Blade said. “I’m excited to expand my knowledge now and meet new people, I’m still fresh to the industry, I was stoked to win. I’ve only been barbering for two years and I’m only eighteen so I was so happy to win.”

Blade Pullman winning image

The announcement didn’t mark the end of the night, as the DJ played, the sliders continued to make their way around the dance floor and busses showed up to shepherd revelers to The Albion in South Melbourne for the official after-party. A winner, a brand, a partnership and a male-specific mantra deserve that epic a night. Party on, for the boys.

For more information visit www.americancrew.com