Best of Barbering Announced at Australian Awards

Published 08th Nov 2023 by Josie Jackson
Sunday 5 November saw the most exceptional barbers and barbershop owners that Australia has to offer celebrated at the Australian Modern Barber Award’s (AMBAs). Held in Melbourne at the Plaza Ballroom, the gala event was a celebration of inspiring hair and beard creatives.

The evening saw some big winners across the 15 categories, including Matt Clarke of Esq. Male Grooming for AMBA Australian Modern Barber of the Year, New York Barbers for AMBA Australian Modern Barber Business of the Year and the UK’s acclaimed George Smith, who travelled Down Under to accept AMBA International Modern Barber of the Year.

Created by Mocha Group and launched in 2021, the AMBAs provide men's hairdressing and barbering trailblazers with a much needed and often requested benchmark of excellence.

Mocha Group Owner/Publisher Linda Woodhead was thrilled to recognise these winners, sharing: “The AMBAs have yet again shone a spotlight on some of the most exciting global talent in the grooming world. The role of barbers and the barbershop is deep rooted in our cultural history and they remain an integral part of so many Australian men’s lives. These creatives are operating at a world class level and their talents completely wowed our judges.”

Each award submission was deliberated on by an independent panel of judges including media, PR and business specialists, international barbering icons and specialists in the barbering industry. The awards were proudly sponsored by Heiniger, American Barber, Babyliss Pro, American Crew, Andis, Depot, JRL, Shortcuts, Excellent Edges, Timely, Comfortel and Wahl.

Check Out The Winners from the AMBAs

Best Men’s Styling Product of the Year, sponsored by Barbershop Magazine
Styling Paste by Smash It

Best Men’s Collection – Junior, sponsored by Depot
Gianni Sollazzo, Esq. Male Grooming

Best Men’s Collection – Freestyle, sponsored by Andis
Costa Zacharia, Unoit Barber

Best Business Director/Owner of the Year, sponsored by JRL
Aaron Chan, Kings Domain Barber Shop

Best Customer Care, sponsored by Shortcuts
Unoit Barber

Best Men’s Collection – Classic, sponsored by Babyliss Pro, Dateline Imports
Ryan Poole, Esq. Male Grooming

Best Men’s Educator of the Year Organisation, sponsored by Excellent Edges
Barbery the Craft of a Barber Academy

Best Barbershop Design, sponsored by Comfortel
The BarberBar, Broadbeach

Best Team Collection, sponsored by American Crew
Reed Studio

International Modern Barber of the Year, sponsored by Timely
George Smith, UK

BTS Crew, sponsored by Mocha Group
Leigh Winsor, Sophie Harris and Jose McManus with Suzi O'Brien for her Australian Modern Barber of the Year Collection

Special Recognition Award, sponsored by WAHL Professional
Fraser Forsey

Hall of Fame, sponsored by Mocha Group
Mark Rabone

Australian Modern Barber Business of the Year, sponsored by American Barber, M&U Imports
New York Barbers

Australian Modern Barber of the Year, sponsored by Heiniger
Matt Clarke, Esq. Male Grooming


Looking to take your barbershop to the next level? Why not check out this advice from two-time Modern Barber Award winner, Natalie Cresswell?
Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 08th Nov 2023

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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