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We are thrilled to partner with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all the talented artists who are finalists for the 2015 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. Bangstyle had the honor of interviewing amazing hair artist and, one of this year’s finalists in the “Master Hairstylist of the Year” category Vivienne Mackinder. Check out our exclusive interview with Vivienne and get the scoop on 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?
The Journey - was inspired by Samurai Warriors - drama, structure, with a fashion vibe. It was weeks in the making. P.S. I will be making a documentary about the journey, as it did test me and I did document my own journey.

Were there collections in other categories that you found inspiring or particularly appealing?
I did judge the Avant Garde category and there were some very clever shapes and techniques. So I always ask how can one make these looks commercially sound, and sometimes there is a gem of an idea. I think this year the North American Hairstylist of the year has some strong entrees. Men’s grooming for me is also very inspirational at this time. Again I look to ways to apply some of these cool styles for women.

What do you find most valuable, for yourself and the industry as a whole, in an opportunity like NAHA?
Each year NAHA gains more attention so it can be a good PR tool for building brand awareness. Win or lose, there is always something to learn from the experience.

What is your favorite aspect about your collection? What stands out most to you this year?
This was one model with nine different looks, (only 5 are shown for NAHA) and each image has something very special and unique to offer. I was striving for originality and beauty. Never cross over the taste line of creativity or it could become bad taste. Trevor Sorbie taught me this very important point. Regarding NAHA, I think this year the images are becoming more beautiful.

When looking back on your incredible career, how has your journey differed from what you imagined when starting out?
It has been totally different then imagined with much more hard work than I could have ever expected. I’ve made so many sacrifices for my craft. Originally, I only planned to come to the USA for 9 months and I have been here 20 years! If I could give advice from the old Viv to the young Viv - wow! My path would have been different. I suppose all I have learned, I have poured into HairDesignerTV.com. With my step-by-step tutorials, movies, documentaries and inspirational content, I have poured my heart into each video. Each shoot has shaped who I am today. This has kept me hungry to grow and help others.

Who are the younger talents who have really caught your attention/impressed you?
Douglas J team did an amazing collection, which surprisingly did not make it into the final 6 for NAHA Salon Team. The collection is amazing. Others from 2015: Todd Jackson - classic, Alain Pereque - NA of the year, Allen Ruiz NA of the year. Also, the barbers in the final 6 of NAHA, but I am not sure how young they are in the craft.

What should we keep an eye out for from you this year?
This year I will be focusing on barbering and dress work that is modern and fresh. No prom hair! Classic beauty mixed with natural color that looks expensive.

Throughout your time in the industry, what is innovation (or evolution) that you are most excited about?
I am most excited to see the future of innovative online learning that is and should be made a daily learning practice. Also, the art of blending precision razor cutting with fun color techniques, and dress-work that can be practiced in one complete style.

Who influenced you most in your career?
In my career I have been most influenced by Vidal Sassoon and Trevor Sorbie. But, of course my first mentors where my mum and dad. And last but not least, my loving husband.

How do you think we as a community can do better at bringing consumer attention to all of the artistry that is NAHA?
We must band together and put the “B” back in Beauty. We should share with our guests what NAHA truly is all about. And most importantly remind ourselves that we are not just hairdressers, we are so much more… We sell happiness and beauty each and every day and NAHA should reflect that.

Be sure to STALK Vivienne Mackinder to see the rest of her stunning hair art, and wish her luck at the upcoming awards!