Hairstylist David Vendittelli from Valvano Salon Spa in Niagara, Ontario, and Contessa 2016 New Hairstylist of the Year shares with us his styling influences, and advice to anyone thinking of entering the Contessas next year.
Salon Magazine: When did you first know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
David Vendittelli: Way back in 2000 I finally figured out what I should be doing with my life. At the time I was working in a bank, going to work unhappy everyday. My girlfriend at the time and now wife Marilyn Vendittelli was flourishing in her career as a stylist, winning multiple competitions and loving life. I loved being around the industry so finally made the switch in careers.
SM: Who are your styling influences?
DV: There are so many on so many levels: besides my team at Valvano, in my early days, Anthony Mascolo and Vidal Sassoon were huge influences! Now I am strongly influenced by Rodica Hristu, Derrick Zeno, Michelle Pargee, Michael Shire, Mark Lesson and artists that continue to push the envelope. Outside of hair I find styling influence in clothing, architecture and music/musicians.
SM: What’s the next milestone you want to achieve in your career?
DV: Canadian Colorist is definitely the Contessa award that I would love to wrap my hands around. Outside of competing I would love to be a platform artist! To be able to inspire other artists would be a dream come true! So many have inspired me along the way and made me the artist I am today.
SM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone entering the Contessas for the first time?
DV: Just one!? Fully understand the category you want to enter! Find models that will let you be as creative as you can be and most importantly surround yourself with the best team possible. Your photographer is just as important as your own hands, a mentor to guide you in the right direction and makeup artist! Take advice and criticism and grow from it. Finally if you have the opportunity, ask to assist in a photo shoot, even if just to hold a clip the knowledge gained is priceless!
SM: What’s your process for planning a collection?
DV: Decide which category you want to enter and get inspired from previous winning collections. Find models who will let you be as creative as you can be. Storyboard so you always have the vision to look at and keep you inspired. Finally get all the pieces in place so the day of the shoot you have your photographer, make up artist, wardrobe stylist, accessories and mentors ready to go! Make sure your team is on the same page so everyone understands your vision.
SM: Who’s the first person you called when you found out you were a Contessa finalist?
DV: My bosses Felice and Tony Valvano were the first I called. When I received the call I was a finalist I had a couple team members beside me to share the great news with right away! The hardest part was keeping it a secret from my wife Marilyn Vendittelli, I wanted her to get the amazing news herself when she called Salon Magazine back!
One year ago Marilyn and I went to watch the Contessas and as we watched we kept saying how amazing it would be to win! Here we are a year later with 3 Contessa trophies! Thank you Salon Magazine for show casing the greatest industry in the world!