We spoke with Tony Ricci, who took home the coveted Canadian Hairstylist of the Year award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
How would you describe your style when it comes to photoshoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track/what’s in your kit?
Every two years I switch my team because I feel that once you shoot a few times together, you aren’t trying as hard. It’s a roller coaster and we are all here to get the look. When I don’t say a thing, I’m not as happy, but it changes. When we get under the lights and as we are getting the shots, that changes. This was my first time doing a photoshoot in London and I find that when in a different city, I immerse myself in the experience. I go a few days before, screen the models and I make sure I have what I need to work with.
Tell me about your collection. What was the concept behind it? How did you decide on which colours and techniques to use?
This collection is called “Clan.” I did a lot of tartan-inspired looks in terms of the colour and I really spent time picking them apart. Families are known by their tartans and in a similar way your hair is a part of your identity, too.
What does winning this award mean to you?
When I work behind the chair, I’m a craftsman, but when I compete, I’m an artist. I think it’s important for hairstylists to try something different; like fashion designers, we are pushing the boundaries. I love winning, but for me personally, it’s an opportunity to push myself to a different level each year. Pushing yourself to a different level and getting better, that’s really what competition is about.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
At one point in my career I was a mechanic, but I really don’t know what I would do if it wasn’t hair. I have really started to be a decent hairdresser because I think I’m finally listening to me; I stopped looking at everyone else. My work has become different because of it. I have won many times, but it’s about breaking new ground, even behind the chair. I’m just more comfortable and confident. You need to be open to new things.
Who were your mentors?
Anna Pacitto gave me all the tools to get to where I am today. Two years ago, I shot with Robert Lobetta. I never thought I would work with him and that comes with putting out my work and pushing past boundaries. When you put your work out there, different people see it and you’re able to meet people to work with. I find that like-minded people will connect and as I’m putting my work out there, when I have emailed different people, it’s easy to open doors because they have seen my work already.
What’s next for you after your win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
Right now, I have the role of artistic director for Flow and I’m really focused on working with that brand. I would like to give back more and do more mentoring with my staff. I love seeing them compete.
Name/Nom: Tony Ricci
Category/Catégorie: Canadian Hairstylist | Styliste Canadien de l’année
Salon: Ricci Hair Co., Edmonton, Alta.
Makeup/Macquillage: Lauren Miles
Wardrobe/Styliste Mode: Bernard Connolly
Photos: Richard Miles