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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 Texture Finalist, Julie Kocanyar.

Texture has played a large role not only in the NAHAs but in our culture as well. What used to be an after-thought, or a symptom to be reversed or altered has now become an empowered movement. In this collection, Julie Kocanyar touches on just this: she explores working with her model’s natural texture, embracing it and creating beauty from within. Take a peek at her fabulous collection and learn more about the artist behind the images.

What was the inspiration behind the collection?

The 90s! This was my first entry, and I wanted it to reflect memories of my childhood. These looks remind me of similar textures and styles I saw growing up, and I wanted to turn them into more fashion forward, relevant styles.  


How did you decide to compete for “Texture”?

Ever since I started cosmetology school, I've always been drawn to textured looks. It was always the category I was most influenced by. When I decided to create a collection for NAHA, it was a no brainer, I had always wanted to enter for texture and had images of my own that I have admired for so long that fell within the category.


If you could describe your collection in one word, what would it be?



What was the most important aspect for you?

My team. I could not have accomplished this without them. It is so important to have people around you that constantly encourage and believe in you. It's amazing how much creativity can flow out when you feel safe and understood within your surroundings. 


What was your biggest challenge in creating the collection?

Honestly, self doubt. I threw myself into this huge sea of so many talented and deserving people, hoping to just stay afloat. It is indescribable to feel so much fear and pressure and then find out that you, little ole you, were invited to swim with the big fish. I have to remind myself everyday, all day, that I can get past my self-doubt and create work that I am proud of. 


How did social media influence your art?

Social media made such a huge impact on my collection. I was constantly browsing every hair platform, hashtag and stylist imaginable to gain inspiration. I wanted to create work that drew people in, that made them want to zoom in and look closer. I made a mental note of everything that made me feel that way, and began my process of creating my own.  

Lately, texture (especially natural texture) has become quite the trend, how did you touch on this?

All of my looks were created by re-working and utilizing my models natural textures. I thought I had ideas planned in my head, and then once I got my hands in their hair, everything changed. It was important for me to utilize real hair and real textures, so I did just that. 


What do you love about texture?

Absolutely everything. Whether it is natural or created, texture brings something to the hair you want to know more about. How was it done? What did they use? Is it natural? It makes the image/work more appealing. 


How do you Vegas?

KAIZEN does Vegas like no one else! Watch out for us this year! ;) 


Salty or sweet?

Definitely salty!


What did you learn about yourself through this process?

When I set my mind to something, it's very hard to pull me out of that! I'm hungrier than I thought I was, and I'm ready to create new work!


If you won the lotto (or slot machine) tomorrow, what would you do?

Give my parents and family everything they need.

Make sure my whole team was in Vegas with us! 

Give to organizations I believe in. 

Oh, and adopt all the dogs :) 

Be sure to check out even more of Julie Kocanyar's work by stalking her on Bangstyle and stay tuned for the latest NAHA finalists!