An Evening with the Fellowship

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The Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s annual Luncheon and Awards marks the start of the Christmas season for many in the industry, and while this year’s online alternative - An Evening with the Fellowship - may have looked a little different, it was still a suitably festive, fun-packed and celebratory occasion.

Working in collaboration with CS Media, who have helped to create the Fellowship’s incredible output of digital content throughout 2020, An Evening with the Fellowship was a dynamic and engaging live outside broadcast hosted by Fellowship President Ken Picton and Chancellor Ashleigh Hodges.

The seasonal – and safe – outside studio included separate sets for both Ken and Ashleigh, including a recreation of #MrPresident’s famous bar, which has been the setting for Drinks with the President throughout lockdown, the Fellowship Live Lounge for outdoor interviews, a live band to provide music throughout the broadcast and space for some very special socially-distanced guests to celebrate. Guests included past Presidents Errol Douglas MBE, Bruno Marc and Karine Jackson, as well as Fellowship Project Leaders – including the newly-announced leader for Project: X, Sam Burnett of Hare and Bone.

Usually around this time of year, our Fellowship members would be coming together in a fancy ballroom somewhere on Park Lane, drinking Champagne, winning awards and celebrating as a community. But with the ongoing challenges of social distancing, this year we’ve decided to bring the party to you instead!

We all know this has been a difficult year for our industry. From salon owners and our staff to session stylists, the list goes on. But what I’ve loved is how we’ve stayed strong as a community and come together more than ever. Out of difficult situations come fresh perspectives, new ideas and most importantly, creativity – which is exactly what we’re celebrating tonight. – Ken Picton

With Ken set up in his festive Fellowship cocktail bar and Ashleigh in a special Awards studio, it was time to celebrate the winners of the Fellowship awards, new Project members and Scholarship recipients. “With over 1,000 entries across our Image Award categories, they are growing each year,” said Ashleigh. “Providing our members with the opportunity to really showcase their creativity to the best of the best.”

Awards were handed out across all categories, including three new to 2020: the Lockdown Look, Colour Image and Men’s Image. Award winners joined the celebrations virtually to share the stories behind their images, with some of the special studio guest winners also joining Ashleigh on stage in the Live Lounge to celebrate their trophies. Awards were also handed out in the Salon category, recognising those individuals and businesses who have continued to thrive even in a challenging year. Finally, a new award for 2020 was also unveiled; the President’s Award.

“This award seeks to recognise those making a real difference,” explained Ashleigh. “It could be a charity cause, a sustainability project, an innovation, an initiative or a lifetime achievement. This year’s winner was chosen for their ongoing communication over the last year, keeping us in the loop and feeling secure.” The winner was the National Hair and Beauty Federation, the NHBF.

The evening also included highlights from this year’s incredible digital broadcast schedule, including #THEKNOWLEDGE, Drinks with the President and the recent Life Stories shows, with memorable and moving moments from interviews with Trevor Sorbie, Errol Douglas MBE and Sally Brooks hosted by Andrew Barton and Maria Weijers. Ashleigh and Ken were also joined by Sam Grocutt, President of the Hair & Beauty Charity, who shared how the charity had been helping those in need throughout the challenges of 2020, and their plans for ensuring ongoing support to those in the industry who need it most.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a speech from the Queen – the queen of the Fellowship, that is; a special video from Ann Herman was a surprise treat for everyone, as she shared a positive and supportive message for the industry:

I more than most will be glad to see the back of 2020. To say we have been tasked with trying circumstances is an understatement and I have sincerely missed seeing you all… I applaud our sponsors and our members and take my hat off to my colleagues at the Fellowship who fast tracked a digital program to ensure we not only stayed in touch, but continuously ignited the creative passion that we’ve come to expect from the Fellowship.

Finally, it was time to celebrate the biggest award of the night: Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year, which was awarded to Hooker & Young. “This is awarded to a Fellowship member that has contributed to the industry in an exceptional way,” explained Ashleigh. “And this year’s recipients are a creative powerhouse with a salon empire, who are always there to support the Fellowship wherever possible.”

A visibly emotional Gary and Michael were in the studio to accept their award, with Michael commenting: “We love the Fellowship, it’s part of who we are. This award is completely unexpected and we are both totally humbled by it. It’s the best end to what has been a crap year.”

Gary added: “We just love what we do and we love the industry. The way everyone has pulled together this year and the support given has been amazing, and we’ve hopefully helped people too. We’re all going to come through this and be even better people next year.”

With a sprinkling of faux-snow across the studio, the virtual after party got started – and the Fellowship rounded out what has been a truly exceptional year.

The 2020 Award winners are:
  • Fellow with Honours: Cos Sakkas, Karoliina Saunders, Clive Silver and Anne Veck
  • Fellow with Distinction: Jo Martin
  • Step Up and Shine Scholarship: Anita Patkos, Farah Naz Hairdressing
  • Sassoon Scholarship: Kim Nicole Jones
  • Member of the Year: Kay Binnersley
  • Snapshot Image of the Year: Nestor Sanchez, HOB Academy
  • Lockdown Look: Sylvestre Finold, Metropolis
  • Men’s Image of the Year: Robert Masciave, Metropolis
  • Colour Image of the Year: Francesco Fontana, TONI&GUY
  • Fellowship Image of the Year: Errol Douglas MBE
  • Individual Salon of the Year: Melissa Salons
  • Group Salon of the Year: TONI&GUY
  • President’s Award: National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF)
  • Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year: Hooker & Young

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