Bastions of the high street, entrepreneurs, creators, confidants – hairdressing professionals go by many names and their impact is far-reaching. The Most Wanted awards, established 21 years ago by industry publication Creative HEAD, recognise the leading talents in British and Irish hairdressing and now the 2021 finalists have been named. Amongst them, Tom Chapman of The Lions Barber Collective based in Torquay, Devon, stood out among a record-breaking number of entrants in this year’s competition, becoming one of just five finalists earning a place in the Innovation category.
Most Wanted salutes the most accomplished individuals, teams, and salons impressing with their creative and commercial skills, building business through inspirational teamwork, and playing a vital role in their local communities.
Thirteen categories celebrate a multitude of disciplines, from artistic dexterity and commercial prowess to business acumen and sustainability expertise, and it is the job of a prestigious panel of experts across hair, fashion, business, and media to establish the frontrunners. Influential names including Sonia Haria, beauty director of the Telegraph Group; Claudia Croft, editor of 10 Magazine and contributing editor for Vogue; Shannon Peter, beauty director of Stylist magazine; Denise Baden, professor of Sustainable Business, University of Southampton, salon owners Mark Maciver, Errol Douglas MBE, and Sophia Hilton, as well as leading session artists Nick Irwin and Leigh Keates, were among the judges deliberating over this year’s entries.
Tom Chapman will now join his fellow finalists at the Most Wanted Grand Final, the most eagerly anticipated event of the hairdressing calendar, taking place on Monday 6 September. Held at London’s iconic Printworks – former home to the Metro and Evening Standard newspapers – it brings together an all-star guest list of over 700 names to celebrate the crowing of the 2021 champions.
Alongside a coveted Most Wanted trophy, winners receive an exclusive gift from their category sponsor plus 12 months of profile-boosting coverage across the Creative HEAD print, digital, and event platforms.
And opportunity awaits the Most Wanted title-holders – past winners have gone on to represent global brands, work alongside respected retailers, lead Fashion Week teams in London, New York, Paris, and Milan, get slots on prime-time TV and collaborate with the world’s most coveted designers and publications. The recognition really is career-affirming.
‘We know British and Irish hairdressing has faced an awful lot over the past 18 months, but I’m convinced that the fervour, the passion, and the energy that everyone has shown in these record-breaking Most Wanted entries illustrate an unwavering optimism and positivity, as well as a desire to share with others their stories and achievements during such challenging times that I just am so proud of,’ said Creative HEAD editor, Amanda Nottage.
‘I cannot believe it, this is the third time I have made it to the finals for the innovation category of MWIT awards! Hopefully, the work I put into training well over 400 hair pros in mental health training during the lockdown will pay off and be enough to take the prize home for a second time,’ said BarberTalk Training and Lions Barber Collective Founder, Tom Chapman.
For a full list of finalists visit their website.