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 Hairstylist of the Year Finalist, Whitney VerMeer.
Whitney VerMeer’s style is classically artistic and incredibly created. Her attention to detail and eye for aesthetic turns hair into true works of art – a delight for the eyes, incredible from every angle. In her latest collection, she utilizes the timeless technique of finger waves intermixed with men’s styling. Take a peek for yourselves and learn more about the beautiful artist behind the images below.
What was the inspiration behind this collection?
The inspiration behind this collection came from an old photograph of my grandfather before he left for World War II. I’ve always admired and love his hair in the specific photograph. I try to take something that’s classic and add a modern edge to it and this was a perfect inspirational piece to try. I enjoy haircuts that are technically challenging with a style to match.
What was your favorite technique to use?
My favorite technique for this collection was the finger waves. I had tried to learn many shortcuts leading up to the date of the shoot, but when it came down to it, I had to go back to the basics and use the information I learned back in hair school.
How has the popularity of men’s styling influenced your choices for this collection? The popularity of men’s styling didn’t influence my choices for this collection. Early on, I began focusing on men’s trends, styling, and fashion. I often was asked if I focused on men’s hair because it was easier when in fact it can be the very opposite. Men’s hair is like architecture, it starts with a concept, but it can be taken to something beyond imagination because of the architect, or in this case – the artist.
What was your biggest challenge in creating this collection?
My biggest challenge in creating this collection was moving on from my last collection that I loved so much. It was hard to get my mind in the right place. In the early stages, I found myself allowing other’s opinions to influence my work – which is a mistake. It was a rollercoaster and it took some soul searching, but by the end of it I was really happy with how my work turned out – and even more so that I didn’t allow others to influence me and my final looks.
What does your collection say about men’s trends?
My collection says that men’s trends are all recycled throughout history and yet evolved through perception and creativity of the artist.
How did you select/work with your team to hone your vision?
After deciding on a concept, I begin working on putting together a wardrobe. I select models based on the wardrobe and then I pick the hair based on the models. Reversed engineering at its finest.
How did social media influence your work?
Social media did not have an influence on my recent collection. Though I do use social media as a platform for my work. In fact, I found each of the models I used for this collection through social media.
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 identify as a creative artist before anything else. My inspiration is embedded in design and sculpting, editorial photo work, session styling, and catering to high-end clientele. I am fortunate to be able to engage in artistic expression of all kinds in my business space, THE AESTHETIC X WHITNEY VERMEER. I am also a National Educator for Baxter of California owned by L’Oreal, and a Platform Artist for HATTORI HANZO Shears, which provides another element of artistry to explore and a way for me to share my passion with others. My work can be found in industry-magazines and men’s fashion magazines or even viewed on my social media accounts - including my NAHA submissions for the last two years. I feel honored to be nominated as a finalist for NAHA as “Men’s Hairstylist of the Year” in 2016 and 2017 - and to stand amongst so many talented individuals and teams.
How do you Vegas? I’ve only been to Vegas once and I was only here for 24 hours so I guess I’m still learning to Vegas!
Salty or sweet? Always sweet, but sometimes salty.
What did you learn about yourself through creating this collection?
I learned that no matter where you are, there will always be days you go back to the basics. This technique is something I learned in hair school. There’s nothing too simple or too complex with the world around you that should be overlooked.
If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?
I would put a scholarship together for someone who wants to go to hair school and follow their dreams. I would give a large portion of it to the kill shelter. And I would buy myself a bottle of wine, update Toby – my furbaby’s – wardrobe, and indulge in a few movies on demand – and go back to work the next day. What can I say? I love what I do! This is part of my DNA, it’s not just a job to me.