Fame, recognition, prestige… a MWIT win can bring it all!

Phil Benton

Seriously. Winning a MWIT award can change your life – or at least, your career trajectory (but your career’s your life, right?)

Creative HEAD’s Most Wanted and The It List competitions provide an incredible platform both for accomplished, fast-ascending and fresh new talents – be they individuals, teams or salons – all doing incredible things in hairdressing. And a MWIT trophy is not only respected industry-wide, these coveted titles are recognised by the fashion and beauty press, leading artist management agencies and national broadcasters!

Need convincing? Here’s a handful of starry stories and magic moments (but we have plenty more where these came from…)

Airstream to airtime
The It List Entrepreneur winner in 2018, Phil Benton‘s refurbished American Airstream trailer might not be a traditional salon setting, but it’s given the Cambridge-born business innovator the freedom to pitch up wherever he likes – AND got him airtime on primetime television! ITV News caught wind of Phil’s win, sent a reporter and film crew to his pop-up salon concept, douce, and the interview aired days after the Grand Final.

Respect, recognition, retailers READY!
Not only did sisters and creators of hair accessory, the SCRUN, Abby and Karly Whittaker rate the follow-up support they got after scooping the Most Wanted Award for Innovation in 2017 as second to none, the accolade gave them a massive confidence boost and new openings with retail companies (who previously had turned down their product offering). One of the biggest doors to re-open to them being Boots!

“Since winning, everybody’s offering to help. We’ve been receiving parcels in the salon that we can give out. There’s stuff we can use while we’re working with the homeless, but also we can offer some gel or wax or dry shampoo… There are all sorts of ways people can help – it’s really opened the floodgates” – Stewart Roberts for Haircuts4Homeless, Most Wanted Award for Innovation 2018

The Creative HEAD stage is calling…
Over the years, a multitude of MWIT winners – including Dylan Bradshaw, Sophia Hilton, Angelo Vallillo, Richard Phillipart, Ky Wilson, George’s Hairdressing, Laundry, Ken Picton, Mark Woolley, Ruffians – and many more – have all graced the Salon Smart stage as a result of taking home a trophy. Meanwhile, fellow MWIT stars Jody Taylor,  Syd Hayes, Kim Rance, Anna Chapman, Jonathan De Francesco, Kim Rance, Rebecca Chang, Casey Coleman, Sam McKnight, Josh Wood – to name but a few – they’ve all earned their place in The Coterie hot seat.

Karly and Abby Whittaker

Stewart Roberts

Darcie Harvey

Leigh Keates

“Winning the award – in terms of publicity – was fantastic for us. Creative HEAD is very supportive throughout the whole year, it’s not just one moment where you get a bit of the limelight. We were in Evening Standard, Metro – Men’s Health [magazine] came to us and said we know you’re doing really well, you’re winning awards, and asked if we’d send one of our stylists in to come and shoot with them. Now we have more published work not only in the trade press but in the consumer press” – Andrew Cannon for Ruffians, Best Salon Experience 2014

Man on a mission
Winner of the Most Wanted Male Grooming Specialist award in 2017, Jonathan Andrew claims his win was easily the biggest achievement of his career to date and that the impact was huge. He went on to work with a number of brands – educating around the country and showcasing his work on many different stages at shows and events. And back at the salon, his male clientele got supercharged while existing clients felt even more special. Most recently, Jonathan was signed by Fudge as the brand’s global brand ambassador.

“Winning The Rising Star accolade has made it easier to get jobs at Fashion Week, plus models for my training. Also, I’ve been given incredible education days with Christopher Brooker and styling with Adam Reed – two of my hair idols!” – Darcie Harvey, The It List Rising Star 2017

The night everything changed…
Since winning two It List awards back in 2011 – One To Watch (now The It Guy/Girl) and The Fashionista – Leigh Keates‘s career has gone stellar. Quoted as saying he’d “been hairdressing unnoticed for almost a decade”, the session stylist – who went on to work with high-profile clients including Chloë Moretz, Jessica Chastain and Dakota Johnson and who’s work has been published all over the world in magazines including Elle, Vanity Fair and Vogue – vows his It List titles changed everything. Three major things to mention: 1 – he was spotted by Cloud Nine and soon became the brand’s global creative director; 2 – he caught Josh Wood’s attention and later joined The Atelier as part-time resident; and 3 – he was introduced to Premier Hair & Make-up, who signed him two years later. Boom!

Christopher Appleton and friends

Rebecca Chang

“I headed the Mulberry Trunk show S/S18 during Paris Fashion Week for the first time – Gary [Gill] believed that I could deliver to his standards and trusted me to lead the hair team” – Rebecca Chang, The It List It Girl 2017

From Leicester to LA! 
Hard-working and supremely talented, Christopher Appleton was one of our first ever It List winners back in 2010, accepting his trophy from comedian Jimmy Carr at royal palace Banqueting House. Back then, he was working at Most Wanted-winning salon George’s Hairdressing in Leicester. Today, he spends his days travelling the globe tending to the tresses of megastars including Kim Kardashian West, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Lopez – who all entrust him to switch up their looks, as seen by millions. Named by People Magazine as “the coolest hair stylist in Hollywood” he’s also worked with brand giants including Rimmel, Adidas, Chanel and Tom Ford.

… As we said, just a handful of terrific tales of triumph and glory. Join them! Be a MWIT19 winner! 🙂