We are thrilled to partner once again with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) to promote all of the talented artists who are finalists for the 2017 NAHAs (North American Hairstyling Awards), the most prestigious hair and beauty award in the country. In this feature get to know more about this year's Men's Stylist of the Year Finalist, Rodrick Samuels.
This collection definitely caught everyone’s eye. With a strong industry trend toward men and their beards, the subject matter has never been hotter. Rodrick Samuels, a true Barber, showed off his talents by focusing on what he’s good at, and most proud of. With the loving influence of his fiancée, Lauren Moser, Rodrick took a step back and really looked at what he wanted to concentrate on this year. The result: images that spark a feeling throughout any audience. Take a peek for yourself and see how Rodricks collection resonated with so many.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
My inspiration for the collection was two fold. The idea came from my fiancée, Lauren Moser (2015 NAHA WINNER in Texture). She said "Babe, you should really do something to incorporate beards into your collection this year." I took the idea and added my own flavor by not focusing all of my attention on the styling aspect of the hair, but doing what I'm strong at, and known for and that is being a barber. So I integrated my love for beards, especially the character in the Harry Potter Series, Rubeus Hagrid.
What was your favorite technique to use?
My favorite technique to use when creating these looks was true barbering; fading, blending, tapering and the use of my hands, to create the shapes of the beards on my models.
How has the popularity of men’s styling influenced your choices for this collection?
The popularity of men’s styling influenced my choices for this collection because I think that men should look like men. For this collection, I chose not to use the pretty faces and angelic looks, I wanted it to be gritty and lifelike, I want people to feel the photo.
Did you always know that you wanted facial hair to be a part of your collection?
Not until Lauren gave me the idea!
What was your biggest challenge in creating this collection?
My biggest challenge in creating this collection was finding guys that had enormous beards. I reached out to one of my students and he in turn, called a few of his friends and made it happen.
What does your collection say about men’s trends?
What my collections says about men’s trends is that barbers, and the barber industry, are finally being noticed again for its attention to detail and meticulous work. From the shape of the hair to the design of the mustache, this is where men’s trends are headed and where they will continue to go.
How did you select/work with your team to hone your vision?
To hone my vision I chose my best friend, Lauren Moser, and my photographer, Eric Perry. They both know that I’m really structured because of my position as an instructor, so I needed people to help me educe my creativity, and who better than these true artists.
How did social media influence your work?
Social media influenced my work as I focused my research on beards and hairstyles that complimented beards. I found so much inspiration from so many talented people in the Men’s Grooming sector.
If you were to describe this collection in one word, what would it be?
Tell us a little more about you, as an artist.
I’m not your traditional artist, I’m a Tonsorial Artist: a Barber. There is an art form to what I do, but I would consider myself more of an idea guy.
How do you Vegas?
I do Vegas Poolside with my lady.
Salty or sweet?
What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?
What I learned about myself through creating this collection is that if I stick to what I’m good at, and stop trying to be what I’m not, I would have more success. I’m a barber, I’m not a Cosmetologist, I stuck to what I know versus what I thought which is what everyone wanted to see, and it paid off with a nomination for the nation’s biggest industry award. The NAHA.
If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?
If I won the lotto tomorrow, I would hand over my winnings to my fiancée’ to make sure it went into the right places. I know myself, she is better with money :).