Contessa 2015: Exotica

Contessa Awards 2015/Image: Carla Hernandez


Each year, the finest and most talented hair artists come together for a night dedicated to their craft and creativity. The Contessa Awards are presented to the top Canadian Hairstylists of the year.

This year’s event was held at the Westin Harbour hotel in downtown Toronto with a fabulous cocktail reception, 3-course dinner, and a spectacular show.

The theme for it’s 27th year was ‘Exotica’, which was inspired by the natural botanical and avian worlds.

The performances included were dubbed ‘Birds’, ‘Birds of Prey’, and ‘Flowers’ which displayed a first ever men’s segment and featured work by Wella, Schwarzkopf Professional, and Redken teams.

The Contessa’s are presented by Salon Magazine, and we had a chance to speak with Editor, Yasmin Grothe, about the evening and the hair industry.

M5: How do you come up with the themes for Contessa?

Yasmin: It has to be well interpreted in terms of hairstyling. We thought that ‘Exotica’ gave a lot of freedom. Coming up with the theme is definitely a team effort. It has to be something that will appeal to our audience, which are hair stylists and people in the industry.

M5: What would you say are the top 3 hair trends that are here to stay?

Yasmin: A lot of hair stylists won’t like this, but I believe the ombre is here to stay. It’s very easy to adopt and it’s not very threatening. I also think pastels are here to stay. They’ve become mainstream. Finally, I think the silver/grey trend really appeals to Millenials, as well as, the undercut.

It really enables the hair stylists to explore their creativity. It’s more than just typical blondes or browns or grey coverage. It gives a lot of options for both the client and the stylist.

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M5: Would you say that salons are doing better economically, now that these trends have become so popular?

Yasmin: I think it has definitely been good for salons and salon owners because they are now able to offer their clients a very customized look. These types of looks are not cookie cutter and can be very personal. It’s very prestige, and this is what clients want. It’s a win – win situation for both people.

M5: What can someone who has never read Salon magazine expect?

Yasmin: Salon magazine is a trade publication. It’s for anyone who wants to get educated in the salon business. We cover everything from new launches and products, business tips, and trends. It’s basically the destination for anyone who wants to learn about the industry and how it’s evolving.