Sal Misseri's radiant talent has again landed him a nomination for the North American Hairstyling Awards.
Misseri, originally from Cleveland, began at the Brown Aveda Institute in Mentor, Ohio. His work's unique expression lead him to a career as the Creative Director for the institute, as well as director of Ladies & Gentlemen Salon and Spa locations in Chicago and Cleveland.
An eight-time finalist and winner of the 2012 NAHA Newcomer of the Year Award, his new collection entitled Rebel Love will stand up at the Professional Beauty Association's Beauty Week event in Las Vegas, Nevada this year. The event features a photographic beauty competition to further the careers of the most talented stylists in the industry.
In order to share more about the story behind Rebel Love, Sal Misseri offers a unique scoop on how his sense of vision, fashion, and photography all came together.
Where would you say your fashion inspiration comes from?
I think I get a lot of fashion inspiration from street style. Just walking through a city like Chicago you see so many different styles that it's hard not to be inspired. The other big place I find inspiration is LOVE magazine, they always have amazing fashion editorials.
How did your Chicago team play a role in the production of Rebel Love?
My team in Chicago is one of the best groups of people I've ever been around. They are all extremely talented and were hand picked because they each bring something different to the team. For all of the shoots I have a key group of stylists that work very closely with me while I plan the concept and start getting everything ready to come together.
The two Artistic team members that travel with me and work on everything I'm involved with are Sydney Malizia and Kerra Coticchia, they have worked with me for the past four years and they can read my mind while I'm working which is extremely valuable and rare to find. We are currently training two color specialists, Gabi Kutkut and Raina Kelly, who have been assisting with the color portions of shoots as well as getting a chance to create their own looks. Without the team I have, the shoots would not come together as beautifully and as smoothly as they do.
Were there any memorable experiences from the shoot that came from having a fresh but up-and-coming team?
I think the best thing about the shoot was that it was the most laid back and fun shoot we have ever had. We recently had a few changes with team members and it was great to see the new stylists that joined us rise up and work harder than I ever imagined. The team is very young but also very experienced, so it's easy to get caught up in the moment, but what I'm most proud of is they all stayed humble.
Did Brown Aveda Institute play a role in the shoot?
Brown Aveda is where most of the team has graduated from so we all have a strong connection to the institute. It helps support us in all our shoots, shows, and anything else we may need. Brown Aveda is a breeding ground for successful stylists.
What is the ultimate message you would like to convey with Rebel Love?
Rebel Love was all about breaking free and being yourself. I think today we're too often told who to be and criticized when we don't conform. I wanted this collection to stand out against that. I worked with a designer, Rosa Halpen, who designed all the garments with a Japanese street culture / rebel feel. Some people thought it was supposed to be a rebel gang, but I like to think of it as a rebel family that stands together but lets each member have their own individuality. Rosa's sister wrote a poem and it inspired me, stating that "blood cannot be broken, only drained."
How are you feeling about the upcoming competition in July?
I feel really good. I'm up against some amazing stylists so it's tough. I think this is my best work yet and I think it tells a story. I hope the judges like it, but if they don't I'll still never stop being me.
Do you have any advice for students entering the industry?
Work hard and then work harder. The moment you become complacent is the moment you become forgotten. Learn everything from everyone. Each person has a lesson to share, and sometimes it's what to do and sometimes it's exactly what not do to, and both are equally as valuable.