We spoke with Dustin Schumann, who took home the Multicultural Hairstylist of the Year award at the 30th annual Contessa Awards.
Tell me about your collection. What was the concept behind it? How did you decide on which colours and techniques to use?
I always wanted to showcase the beauty and power of black women. I was introduced to many cultures through my elementary school (Hillcrest P.S.) and my high school (Montcalm S.S.) in London, Ontario. I knew I wanted to show three unique hairstyles that were very strong shapes and current on-trend looks. I have never done a black and white shoot, so I did something out of my comfort zone and it paid off.
What does winning this award mean to you?
Winning this award is by far the most pivotal moment of my career. The people in my category are people I have looked up to for years, and it truly is a blessing to be next to them. This award validates my hard work and strength to keep pushing forward and never giving up.
Who is your mentor or someone you look up to?
My mentor is a special person who I met when I started hair school. Debbie Renaud is the coordinator of the hairstyling program at Fanshawe College in Woodstock, Ontario. Debbie has been a real friend of mine and a true mentor to look up to. She has given me the encouragement, and strength to always keep moving forward and I owe a lot of my success to her. Thank you Debbie.
How would you describe your style when it comes to photo shoots? Any special rituals/how do you stay on track/what’s in your kit?
Travelling to Barcelona this year truly gave me the inspiration to make this collection. Travelling always resets my mind and I can focus on an idea without stressing about day-to-day life. I stay on track by creating a very strong team that I select myself through the strong networking I have done over the years. When you trust your team, you can always trust the outcome. My ritual is to stay focused, do your homework, prepare, and trust your gut.
If you weren’t a hairstylist, what do you think you would be doing?
I have successfully graduated from the Pre-health Science program and the Hair Stylist program, both at Fanshawe College. I can say now being in this industry, I can’t imagine not being a hairstylist. Doing hair is not just what I do, but is now a part of who I am.
What’s next for you after your win? Anything you’re working on or any goals you have that you are hoping to achieve?
I am looking forward to the future, and am hoping to get affiliated with a hair brand, and work alongside an amazing team of stylists who will encourage me to keep growing and moving forward. Opening my own salon is always an option. I don’t ever want to close doors, I just want to live my life happy and fill it with positivity.
Name/Nom: Dustin Schumann
Category/Catégorie: Multicultural Hairstylist | Styliste Multiculturel
Salon: Freelance, London, Ont.
Makeup/Maquillage: Ty Wilson
Wardrobe/Stylisme: Bryan Klasen
Photos: Paula Tizzard