The Contessas have been a creative outlet for Freddy Sim. The hairstylist from Moods Hair Salon in Vancouver has won British Columbia Hairstylist of the Year and most recently Multicultural Hairstylist of the Year. We caught up with Sim to discuss why his recent win was especially important to him, what his good luck charms are and how he unwinds when he’s not behind the chair.
Salon Magazine: What was it like to win the Contessa award for Multicultural Hairstylist?
Freddy Sim: It felt wonderful. I aspire to be as well rounded as I can in all different hair types. So, to have been awarded a Contessa for Multicultural Hairstylist of the Year is really an honour.
SM: Why did you enter this category?
FS: I think that this category is really important in communicating the need to be accomplished in different hair textures. I love to challenge myself in this way. I feel strongly about showing that no matter what your hair texture or ethnicity, you can have stunning hair and feel beautiful.
SM: Where did you find the inspiration for your winning collection?
FS: I prepped my collection during the spring season, so that time of year played a part in the overall theme. The shapes, colours and textures of the collection were a reflection of the season. More often than not, I am inspired by my peers. I think everyone in the industry has the capacity of inspiring one another. It’s really a global community.
SM: You’ve won before, so why is it important to continue entering?
FS: To keep myself on my toes and to create in a different capacity other than behind the chair. I enjoy the process and the feeling of pushing and challenging myself. Come to the day of the shoot and being surrounded by so much talent—the photographer, makeup artist, wardrobe stylist and models—it’s a great energy.
SM: What’s one piece of advice you would offer someone entering the Contessas for the first time?
FS: ‘Fail to prepare then prepare to fail.’ It’s a no-nonsense quote that can really ring true. I think that as long as you really prepare and plan and have a clean and clear idea for your collection, you’ll always be a winner no matter what. Ultimately, no one loses if they give it their all.
“I think everyone in the industry has the capacity of inspiring one another. It’s really a global community.” ~ Freddy Sim, Contessa 2017 Multicultural Hairstylist of the Year
SM: Do you have any pre-Contessa rituals or anything you bring to the show with you for good luck?
FS: I always treat myself to a new ‘jazzy’ suit and a fresh haircut. And I always have my supportive partner on my arm—it seems to have done the trick so far.
SM: Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to when it comes to styling hair?
FS: I would say Chad Taylor and Tania Becker, the owners of Moods Hair Salon. They have seen and helped me grow, fresh out of hair school and have developed my skill set and vision to where it is today. I work with a couple of real hair nerds.
SM: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not styling hair or entering competitions?
FS: Dancing is another passion of mine. It’s another creative outlet for me.
SM: If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
FS: Honestly, I wanted to be a hairdresser since I was four, and my mom’s hairstylist predicted my career path at an early age. Stepping into the salon with my mom, I was like a kid in a candy store. But knowing what I know now about life, I think anything I can do creatively with my hands would suit me as a career.
SM: If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive (one being someone from the industry), who would they be and why?
FS: Vidal Sassoon: no explanation needed. Lady Gaga: Generally, she is massively inspiring. She isn’t afraid to show who she is from art to fashion to music, and her outlook on the world. I live and love her mantra of being true to oneself. My mom: I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. She’ll always have a spot at my table.
SM: What’s next for you?
FS: Professionally, I would like to take some more international hair courses and keep growing and hopefully keep winning. I would also like to expose myself to more editorial work, to keep things fun outside the salon.
Contessa entries are open! Fill out an entry form or access the rules and regulations here. Hurry! Entries close August 2, 2017.