The NAHA Awards, hosted at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino this past weekend, gave Aveda a lot to celebrate about with Chris Rushton, an Aveda institute graduate, and Aveda Lifestyle Salons Logan 14 Salon Spa of Washington D.C. and Van Michael Salon of Atlanta, Georgia taking home big wins at this year’s ceremony.
Named the 2014 Newcomer Stylist of the Year, the 23-year-old Rushton, who works at Logan 14 Salon Spa, was deeply grateful for the recognition. “This whole experience has been incredible and I am truly honored for this win,” he said. “I always believe that fortune favors the brave and to succeed you must put in the work, and I did that with this collection. I pushed myself so hard and took a huge risk and it paid off.”
A clearly dedicated worker, Rushton perfectly embodies Aveda’s commitment to nurturing new talent through first class education. Receiving loud cheers from the crowd during his acceptance speech, Rushton thanked members of his Aveda family who had inspired him in his journey including Logan 14 Salon Spa owners Wendi Dofflemyer and Michael Hodges and longtime mentor, Logan 14 Salon and Spa Instructor and Aveda Purefessional Juan Perez. Most importantly, Rushton thanked his mother, Carm Holley, who worked as a hair styling instructor while raising Rushton and shared with him the craft of hairdressing.
Van Michael Salon was also honored with a big win, taking home the Salon Team of the Year award. Prior to accepting, the team presented a 9-model runway show titled “Gothloli,” which fused together concepts from Japanese anime and Lolita to create something truly one-of-a-kind. Looks seen on the models included short textured, geometric shapes and hair pieces with bold shaved segments. Headed by Daniel Holzberger, creative director for Van Michael Salons, and Natalie Gurley, director of Hair Color Education for Van Michael Salons, the team created anime cartoons of the looks that played in tandem with the presentation making it even more special.
This wasn’t the only unique show at the awards, though. Aveda Global Artistic Director and the 2013 North American Hairstylist of The Year Allen Ruiz opened the ceremony with “Chameleon Stealth,” a stunning runway show featuring five models morphed into reptilian goddesses and boasting hairstyles in serpentine shapes with snake patterns and textures—a brilliant exhibition that had the crowd standing with wild applause.
In the end, Rushton and Van Michael Salon weren’t the only ones making Aveda proud—this year, there were 13 finalists from the Aveda network in the competition. For more information about the nominations, visit the NAHA website. If you're interested in downloading finalist work, find it at www.probeauty.org/nahagallery.