The institution that is The Fellowship For British Hairdressing is recognised worldwide. The name is synonymous with great artistry and excellence in hairdressing while the Fellowship can be credited with enabling and encouraging some of the most gifted hairdressers to notoriety (in the best sense) and success.
Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year
Since its inception in 2000, the Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year award was designed to recognise the skills, creative work and ambassadorial roles of some of the industry’s premier hairdressers. We’re interested each year to see if they follow the lead of the British Hairdressing Awards, or fete a different name. Since both are voted by hairdressers themselves, the accolades are prime indicators of the industry’s mood and vision.
To create a shortlist, it’s members of the Fellowship itself who are invited to nominate they hairdresser they believe to have gone ‘above and beyond’ during the year. While Antoinette Beenders is currently the only name to have picked up the award twice, of the 19 winners to date, only five are women, and Hooker&Young the only pair to scoop the title. As the 2021 announcement draws near, we asked several erstwhile award-winners, what it means to be Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year?
What’s it all about?
Robert Eaton is the Vice-President is the Fellowship currently, and explains: “Winning any award is a privilege, but to win one where you have been nominated by your peers is even more special. The Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year has seen some of the most inspirational stylists pick up the title, which just shows how important the work they do is. From mentoring young hairdressing, to flying the flag for British Hairdressing on the international hairdressing scene, these hairdressers demand respect wherever they go. And the Fellowship recognises the work they do in publications, on stage and with special projects they have been involved in.
Gary Hooker and Michael Young, winners 2020
“We were both beyond thrilled and genuinely surprised to be announced as Fellowship Hairdressers of the Year, especially after what had been a pretty dreadful year for everyone. For the first time, the event was a live broadcast due to the Covid pandemic; it was the first time any of us had seen each other for such a long time, it felt wonderful. The Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year is one the highest accolades anyone can achieve – so, to say it’s a career highlight is an understatement.”
Sally Brooks, winner 2019
“Being recognised in the industry is always such an amazing accolade and winning Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year was such an honour for me. The heritage of the industry is as important as the future and I am just happy that I have been able to contribute to this in the opportunities I have been given in my career. I have won quite a few awards over the years but this award is very special as it is more of what you have contributed to the industry and it doesn’t matter how many awards you have won, this one has a special meaning.”
Tina Farey, winner in 2018
“It was a really special day as Andy (Heasman had invited my mum to the Luncheon and when my name was called out I couldn’t believe it. It’s always lovely to win awards but this was really special as I have a large place in my heart for the Fellowship and to have my mum, Andy, the Rush team and my hairdressing friends there made it extra special. I think being a part of the Fellowship for such a long time made receiving this award so special – I was truly honoured and humbled to be awarded it. You know you are joining an elite club of past winners and that is such an accolade.”
Jamie Stevens, winner 2017
“Without a doubt, it was one of the proudest moments in my life! There are so many amazing awards in our industry but this one, to me, is up there as one of the best, because it’s about the individual, and what they have achieved for our industry. But mainly the honour is because of the people/peers that put your name forward. I am one of only a small handful of people to go from F.A.M.E team to Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year which is amazing, like Antoinette Benders and Errol Douglas and it’s a testament to what the Fellowship can do for you.”
Guy Kremer, winner 2014
“This award came at a time when I had stopped competing on a national level, so it was a wonderful accolade to know that what I was doing was still being appreciated. The Fellowship has always been very dear to me and I have always encouraged my team members to participate at every given opportunity. To achieve this accolade was simply an honour and doubly so because it was a surprise, it was amazing how everyone had kept it a secret!”
Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck, winner 2010
“The award is considered by so many as the best of all to win and really recognises the top names in the industry, so I was honoured to have won Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year. The Fellowship really unite the industry like no-one else, whether it be through their programmes or events there is always a feeling of togetherness. The Hairdresser of the Year Award offers such a platform within the industry, which gave me a lot of exposure to new opportunities.”
Angelo Seminara, winner 2008
“Winning Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year was one of the biggest accolades in my career. As our leading professional organisation, the Fellowship embraces all aspects of our industry, from creativity to charity, business guidance to education. It brings together the hair community to share knowledge and skills to positively develop us all. I believe in awards as an institution. Awards stimulate people, encourage them to drive themselves into areas they’d never dare go professionally with hair. Awards motivate us to come up with new ideas, new solutions, new colour, new cuts, new styling techniques and we need the Fellowship as its platform of expertise provides a foundation to benefit the future of younger generations.”
Akin Konizi, winner 2007
“I had been with the Fellowship since the start of my career and it felt like a major achievement to be embraced by the industry and to be chosen by my peers and icons to win this award. It was a platform for me and the team when there weren’t many platforms, it was before social media and the opportunities available today. I wasn’t expecting to win but it gave me a taste of what it is like to be recognised and respected by your industry.”
Antoinette Beenders, winner 2000 & 2003
“I had no idea I was going to be the very first Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year and feel truly honoured to go down in history as the first winner. Winning in 2000 and again in 2003 meant the world to me as I always felt that this particular award is the real trade choice of that year. It’s hairdressers voting for hairdressers and that always feels really organic and appreciated. Then, and especially now, it is a highly coveted and respected award, as it has a track record of incredible hairdressers, but like I said before it’s the hairdressers award, an award that truly reflects the best of British hairdressing.”
Total winners list:
|2020||Gary Hooker & Michael Young|
|2004||Errol Douglas MBE|
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