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John Simpson on Judging the Goldwell Trend Zoom Color Challenge

John Simpson judging the Goldwell Trend Zoom 2009 entries

John Simpson judging the Goldwell Trend Zoom 2009 entries

So many looks, so many interpretations, so many decisions! Which tells the “perfect story†and which has pushed technique and creativity to the max? Which will be the best creative artist to represent the United States and win top honor and bring home the prize?

Just recently I was given the prestigious honor of judging the technical overall look for the Goldwell Trend Zoom Color Challenge. Whew! An honor yes, though what a tough job! I was one of five judges, including American Salon Senior Editor Lori Morris and global hair icon Robert Lobetta, and I have to admit that spending time with leaders of our industry was an incredible experience. What a fantastic time we had! (OK, that is another story!)

Our goal was to take the entries in all three categories and judge them separately. Creative Colorist, the Elumen Colorist and Partner Colorist—each one had very specific details by which to be judged: technique, overall aesthetic, trend world suitability, utilization of product tools, etc. We judged every entry again and again, scrutinizing every detail, then we ranked each photo with the goal to narrow the hundreds of entries down to five semi-finalists in each of the three categories. The semi-finalists will be judged by Goldwell headquarters in Germany, where three U.S. finalists will then be chosen to compete in the 2009 International Finale in Las Vegas on October 25-27.

At the International Finale, finalists from the U.S. will compete against finalists from around the world to become part of the Trend Zoom Master team, giving them an opportunity to develop 2011 collection. To design in your zip code is great; To design in North America is super; To design for the world … Priceless!

Futuretec Collection Virtualist trend world

Futuretec Collection Virtualist trend world

This year’s competition was based upon the Goldwell Futuretec Collection 2009, which focuses on two trend worlds, Virtualist and Ecopolitan. Virtualist, stemming from the Second Life phenomenon, features smooth and glassy finishes with color effects that create a haze versus a streak of color, a melting effect, if you will, that gives perfect reflective shading while enhancing the beveled precision of the hair cuts. Clothes that go with this trend world are metallic fabrics that are emulating the color story of the hair while bringing the Medieval feel that combines the illusion of metal.

Ecopolitan trend world

Ecopolitan trend world

The second world is Ecopolitan, which brings in the elements of “going green†with a cosmopolitan edge. The handcrafted clothing designs emulate the hair finishes and the “glowing†effect of the color. This new organic fabric is also the perfect way to show the disconnection of the hair cuts that tell the haircutting story.

For me, the decisions were tough, though I am personally honored to see all of the entries. For those who have not entered, I encourage you to try next year. It is the hardest thing to take that first step and actually push yourself to the limits and showcase you and your work!

Remember that life is not a dress rehearsal … live it, love it and create it!

—John Simpson

John Simpson is a Goldwell platform artist and salon partner at Lewis' Hair Salon in Pittsburgh. He won the 2008 NAHA Colorist of the Year award, and is currently a finalist for the 2009 award (to be announced July 19).

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