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:: Spotlight :: American Crew announces finalists at Face Off 2012

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

The eighth annual American Crew FACE OFF awards were staged in Melbourne recently, where 20 of Australia’s top hairdressers were announced as finalists in this prestigious men’s hair styling competition. Hosted by American Crew, the world’s leading in-salon men’s grooming brand, the event was held at The Peninsula in Docklands, showcasing over 700 black and white photography entries submitted by stylists Australia-wide.

The 2012 FACE OFF competition received the most entries to date and created an even greater challenge for the judging panel which, for the first time since the awards’ inception, was based here in Australia. The panel of esteemed judges included Editor of GQ, Nick Smith, Publisher of Culture, Hayley Miller and Director of London Model Management Group, Benji Hart.

The judges awarded the following 20 hair stylists as finalists in the 2012 FACE OFF competition:
- Benjamin Martin - Salon XIV, VIC
- Michael Forster – Identity Cut & Colour, QLD
- Sofia Azorakos – Sogo, VIC (listed as a finalist for two entries)
- Malisa Masci, Masci Hair & Spa, VIC
- Dean Tsopanis – Biba, VIC
- Rachel de Zylva, Rokk Ebony, VIC
- Eric Marziano – Raw Element, VIC
- Joe Cotroneo – Zink the Element of Hair, SA
- Todd Winterton – Spada, VIC
- Alexander Kontos – Nischler, TAS
- David Wieselmann – Wieselmann Salon, VIC
- Danielle North – Rokk Ebony, VIC
- Leah Tuminello – Biba, VIC
- Karen Murata – Sogo VIC
- Janice Watt – London Hair, ACT
- Melissa Bowman – Preen, VIC
- Travis George - Travis George Hair, NSW
- Danielle Solier – Xiang Hair, VIC
- Matt Davis – Rokk Ebony, VIC

The 20 finalists are now competing for one of three winner places which will be announced at an event in Melbourne early next year. The FACE OFF 2012 winners will be awarded a trip to Los Angeles with the opportunity to style their own American Crew photo shoot alongside the man behind the brand, American Crew founder, David Raccuglia. In addition to featuring in the annual American Crew FACE OFF magazine, the winners will also style their own shoots for GQ and Culture magazines.

Guests were treated to an AG-Arthur Galan Spring Summer 2011/12 fashion parade with hair styled by American Crew’s leading stylists who of course use the brand’s own styling products to create this season’s hottest hair trends for men.

American Crew established the FACE OFF competition in 2005 to allow Australian stylists the opportunity to display their most unique men’s hairstyles and the event’s success has seen it expand overseas where it’s now also held in the UK.

Pictures from the night.



American Crew celebrated the nation’s most talented men’s grooming stylists on February 22 when it announced the three winners of its 2012 FACE OFF Competition at a cocktail event held at Melbourne’s Tonic Bar in Crown Promenade.

The Awards, which were established here in Australia by the world’s leading men’s grooming provider, were led by GQ Editor, Nick Smith, and presenters included Mimi Galan, wife of fashion designer Arthur Galan, London Model Management’s Benji Hart and Culture magazine’s Hayley Miller.

Out of the twenty FACE OFF Finalists announced at an elaborate event in November last year, the three lucky winners were announced as:

Melissa Bowman (PREEN, Victoria)
Malisa Masci (MASCI HAIR & SPA, Victoria)
Sofia Azorakos (SOGO, Victoria)

Now in its eighth year, the FACE OFF Competition promotes the exceptional male grooming talent of salons and stylists across Australia. This year saw nearly 800 black and white photographic entries submitted for the chance to win an incredible money-can’t–buy career development opportunity.

All three winners will be awarded a trip to Los Angeles to take part in their very own professional American Crew photo shoot alongside the man behind the brand, American Crew founder David Raccuglia.

In addition, the winners will style shoots for GQ and Culture magazines as well being featured in the 2012 American Crew FACE OFF magazine.

Dean Tsopanis (BIBA - VIC) won the Culture Award, announced by Culture magazine Editor Jenny Burns, for the modern, unstructured, masculine look he created for his FACE OFF submission hairstyle.

The People’s Choice Award was awarded to Michael Forster (Identity Cut & Colour - QLD) who took home a $2,000 Arthur Galan AG wardrobe.

Jonathan Edmeades, styled by Sofia Azorakos (SOGO – VIC), was selected as the Model Winner, with his striking features and polished Aussie good looks winning him a two year modelling contract with the prestigious London Model Management agency.

Due to the unprecedented success of the American Crew FACE OFF Awards here in Australia, the brand has since seen success with the competition in the UK and is excited to launch the 2013 Awards globally.

Pictures from the night can be viewed here