These images are taking Scottish and Irish barbers all the way to the USA!

Published 01st May 2019 by Charlotte Grant-West
These images are taking Scottish and Irish barbers all the way to the USA! Last month MB joined the finalists of the American Crew All-Star Challenge Competition for UK and Ireland and celebrated with the ultimate winners…Gemma Willock-Smith from Glasgow for the UK and Chris O’Riordan of ST4men for Ireland. These two talented barbers went on to qualify for the Global Finals and in just a few weeks will be on their way to the USA for an unforgettable experience. The Finals are scheduled to take place in New York City on May 19th. The event is also dedicated to American Crew’s 25th Anniversary and is sure to be packed full of surprises teaming up with Crew’s most exciting brand collaboration to-date, Harley Davidson. Gemma and Chris will join 13 other Global competitors for nearly a week of amazing experiences, including a professional photoshoot with American Crew founder David Raccuglia and culminating in a final show presentation.

Gemma’s final look for the UK competition was a show stopper for the judges, so how did she do it? “My final look was created using the mirror. I’m a big believer in using my mirror to advance my creations. It’s like being able to see it through the lens of your camera. I used the mirror to play with the shape of my model’s hair and his stare to create an intense image which my photographer Paul Montgomery captured perfectly.” Gemma is most looking forward to working with top hair professionals from all over the Globe and meeting David. She concludes “Being a UK winner was a dream come true and being a Global Finalist feels totally surreal.”

Chris went for an Americana inspired look for his entry and says “I wanted to create structure and strength throughout the haircut with strong sharp lines while incorporating volume and texture through the top. I focused on creating an image that I was happy with as I’m my own worst critic, after that I just hoped the Judges agreed. It’s amazing to be a country winner two years in a row, especially with the quality of work that was entered. I didn’t get to the Global Finals last year and it gave me the hunger and a little more experience to go one better this year.” Chris is looking forward to the whole experience, especially creating an image that David will photograph. He says “It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime and what better place to have it than in NYC?!” The winner will take away the title, $10,000 and a ton of international press coverage!

Follow Gemma @gws_barber, Chris @chrisoriordanhair and @americancrewuk to see how they get on in the Big Apple.


Charlotte Grant-West

Charlotte Grant-West

Published 01st May 2019

Charlotte oversees the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. With over a decade of experience as a journalist, Charlotte was formerly Editor of Modern Barber and HJ Men, Social Editor at Netmums and Features Writer at Boots Health & Beauty magazine. She loves any products that make her hair bigger and more voluminous, and loves a behind-the-scenes peek at anything hair-related – whether it's a factory tour, BTS on a shoot or backstage at fashion week.

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