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Stylist a cut above the rest

LEIGH-ANN WORRELL, ​ [email protected]

Stylist a cut above the rest

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LET’S “HAIR” IT for the Style Master!

Son of the soil Adrian Carew has been cutting up Toronto with his innovative hairstyling techniques, which have propelled him to catwalks in Rome as a global contender for one the largest hair shows in the world: the Style Masters 2015 International Contest, hosted by Revlon Professional Brands.

“This is the fifth year of this competition . . . where hairdressers from around the world enter three looks on one female model. It’s your interpretation of creativity, technique [and] fashion-forward style.

“Each country has its own competition and then they pick a winner, and this year I was chosen from Canada, out of a few. Not only did I win for Canada 2015, I was a global contender. [Out of the] 33 countries that made it, I was one of the top nine,” he told EASY in a recent interview at the Nation Publishing Company’s offices, just hours before returning to Toronto.

The international contest was held in Rome on April 20, 2015, and Adrian placed in the top ten. According to the event’s website, Revlon Professional Style Masters provides a platform for hairdressers to express their artistic side.

Adrian was the only one from the Americas who was a global contender – a feat the Holetown, St James native was very proud of – and for him it represented a win in itself.

“Being a Bajan up there was totally awesome . . . That experience was unbelievable. The event had about 4 500 people, all Revlon brand users . . .  When I came on the stage, all I could see was black and it [sounded] as though we were on a soccer field when we walked out. I was stunned to hear all that noise [and] I said to myself, ‘Who even cares if I win or not? I just won by being here.’ This is an accomplishment . . . to know that this little guy from Barbados, living in Canada, is known throughout the world is massive. Who gets that opportunity?”

His Canada Style Masters win was announced on March 29 at a luxe event held at Muzik Night Club. Interestingly, the proud former Combermerian decided to enter the contest on a whim.

“I decided to do it for the fun of it and to see how far it takes us. This year my team and I, especially the make-up artists, had four hours of sleep creating the looks . . .,” Adrian recalled.

The stylist extraordinaire relocated to Canada in the late 1980s, and even though hairstyling was in his family (his mother, the late June Carew, was a well known stylist), Adrian did not plan to have a career in this field. However, he saw it as a skill that could be used anywhere in the world.

“Whenever I put myself into something, I do it 120 per cent, more than the average. I go all into it.”

This insatiable work ethic led him to styling for celebs like Deborah Cox and Sheryl Lee Ralph and more recently working on the looks for actors’ junket for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s mini-series Book Of Negroes. He has also done work for Vogue Italia and the Caribbean Bride magazine. Yet Adrian saw his achievement in the Style Masters show as a way to push his career even further.

“The ability to exchange knowledge and to know that hairdressing is not just behind the chair, and there is so much more that you can do with it. It was not just a job, it is a career; it is a profession. We deal with a lot and we can make or break your image,” the owner of Hair91 in Yorkville, Toronto added.

And while he humbly admitted he had “more to learn” when it came to hairdressing, Adrian was willing to help others carve out their own niche in the field, including fellow Barbadians.

“We need to make sure that people do things the correct way. A lot of people are thinking they are stylists and get by by doing a lot of shortcuts, meaning they are not going through the right channels. You want to make sure that person looks stunning when they walk through the door, and that they generate business for you and that the hair is sitting perfectly . . . A lot of students out of school think they know a lot, but they need to sit back and learn a little and grow a little.”

And who knows, perhaps a high-level hair show on these shores would be one of the ways that Adrian gives back to local stylists. (GBM)