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We are thrilled to partner with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all the amazing artists who are finalists for the 2015 NAHA (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. We had the pleasure of catching up with one of our favorite Bangstyle artists Erika Fung, one of this year’s finalists in the “Avant Garde” category. Check out our exclusive interview with Erika to learn more about her collection and what fuels her passion for hair artistry.

Tell us a bit about your nominated collection this year. What was the inspiration behind the looks? How did the creative process unfold?
For this collection my inspiration comes from “The Phoenix.” I love the details and texture of the feathers and the flow of their wings. My idea initially came from being interested in the Japanese phoenix tattoo. The tattoo artist draws the phoenix so detailed that it gives an illusion of movement and power. With the drawings in mind, I wanted to create the same kind of flow and texture using hair. I used hair extensions and glue to create the hair sheets and played around with the sheets to create the head piece. I also made a variety of sizes and a lot of the pieces to make sure the head piece have more depth and volume. As for the wiring to create the base, many trial and errors were performed to ensure it was sturdy and comfortable for my model. I also got a white wig for my model to follow the colours of the head piece. I decided to create small basket weave braiding on the wig to balance out the textures with the head piece. My photographer, Babak, definitely helped me with the idea of primary colours to make sure it wasn’t only white.

Where there collections in other categories that you found inspiring or particularly appealing?
I am very inspired by all the finalists in the competition. It is amazing to see different techniques and originality in everyone’s work and it makes me feel that I need to keep working harder too! I really enjoy the avant garde, editorial, master hairstylist of the year, and newcomer categories.

What draws you to Avant Garde work?
The intense challenge of creative hair styling and artistic works draws me the most to Avant Garde.

What do you find most valuable, for yourself and the industry as a whole, in an opportunity like NAHA?
The most valuable thing, for myself, of having the opportunity to be in NAHA, is the chance to see that I am growing and the motivation to keep working harder. As for the industry, the most valuable thing is to be able to connect with other amazing stylists in North America and gain more motivation and inspiration from others.


What is the one tool and/or product you can't live without?
The one product I cannot live without is hairspray.

Do you have a ritual or lucky item you'll be bringing to the awards?
I have no ritual or lucky item to bring to the awards.

What was the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about the hair industry?
The most surprising thing I’ve discovered about the hair industry, is that, there are so many creative people out their and that it is a very competitive and a very artistic industry.

Who are your idols in the hair industry? Have you met any of them?
My idols in the industry are Peter Gray, Masa Honda, Farrux Shamuratov and Nicholas French. I have met everyone besides Nicholas.

Which non-hair related areas do you constantly find yourself being inspired by?
I am constantly inspired by Japanese culture, the architecture, their thoughts of detail in everything, music, customer service, basically everything.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is finishing the leftover cheese cake when everyone is gone.


Be sure to Stalk Erika Fung to wish her luck at the upcoming awards!