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Wella YPS 2008: Four times a winner!

29th June 08

Four times a winner!

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Wella’s Top Young Professional Stylist for 2008 Nikita Barter and model Shannon Neilson


It’s not often judges will all agree to a winner. But that’s exactly happened on Saturday night at the seventeenth Wella YPS Awards held at the Viaduct in Auckland. A veritable who’s who of the hairdressing industry along with a huge amount of support for all the finalists made it an unforgettable night.

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‘Have you got what it takes?’ was the call out to all hairdressers up to 22 years of age in February this year and so began the nationwide search. Twelve regional heats and 21 finalists later Nikita Barter from Spectra, Palmerston North was crowned Wella’s Top Young Professional Stylist for 2008.

“You could see a lot of planning had gone into the final look. It could easily be the cover of a magazine”, commented Judge Cathy Davys. “What impressed us about the winning look was the coming back of the old skills, coiffed hair, partnered with an absolutely stunning cut.”

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When announced as the winner, 3rd time Wella YPS entrant Nikita was over the moon. “I feel like it’s all a dream.” Of her entry “I wanted a very soft, beautiful, quite sexy look .I had in my head what I wanted to do for months, so tonight was about actually doing it.” With flat-mate, work-mate and fellow contestant Sophie Hopkins working alongside her and a support crew cheering them on, Nikita just wanted to make everyone proud. “The salon, family and friends each year hire a bus to attend the finals in Auckland, so everyone’s here tonight.”

In addition to becoming the coveted ‘Wella YPS’ title holder for 2008, Nikita Barter was awarded a $5,000 prize package of travel and accommodation to London, including a week’s training at the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Academy.

Designed to recognise and reward the talent and creativity of our youngest up and coming hairdressers, each finalist had just forty-five minutes to transform their models while being constantly scrutinized by the hairdressing’s elite. International judge Lee Cohen joined Ryder’s Greg Murrell and Cathy Davys to sort out the winner.

Haight Ashbury’s, Bryan Pauley took out the Runner up slot. Collecting a prize package taking him to Sydney Hair Expo, Bryan described his entry as edgy, verging on a classic Vidal Sassoon inspired look.”I am just so excited to be in the finals. It’s my first time ever competing.”

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Bryan Pauley's model Laura Dunkley

Winner of the Colour Creativity Award went to Rebecca Dodunski from Toni and Guy in Auckland giving her the chance to work on an upcoming photo-shoot in Black Magazine. Greg Murrell says “This entry most encapsulated a daring fashion forward approach, mixed with enough restraint to have a fashion and consumer relevance. Peach and purple tones in the fringe area made it a gamble that paid off. “

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Color Creativity Award, Rebecca Dodunski, Toni and Guy's creation


The Fashion Focus award was given by Margi Robertson of Nom D to Zarnia Jessen from Jan Waite Hairdressing winning her a prestigious place working backstage at the Nom D Collection at this year’s Fashion Week.

Margi comments “I loved the whole co-ordination of the styling. The hair didn’t overdo the outfit; the outfit didn’t overdo the hair. It’s very difficult for a hairdresser to be thinking about styling as you really want your model to be noticed. I’m a fan of subtlety, the look just really worked.”

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Fashion Focus award winner Zarnia Jessen, Jan Waite Hairdressing


New this year The People’s Choice Award. “Headway”, NZ’s premiere hairdressing magazine gave their readers the opportunity to vote for their preferred choice. Tabitha Geary from George Janis, Wellington scooped the award and receives a double page spread in an upcoming edition.

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The People’s Choice Award Tabitha Geary from George Janis, Wellington


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