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It’s off to the ‘Big Apple’ for local hair stylist
Alicia Nickerson feels like she’s won the hair stylist’s lottery.
“Something like this is what every stylist dreams of,” Nickerson said of her opportunity to go and be a part of the Mercedes-Benz New York City Fashion Week. “This is the Holy Grail.”
Nickerson was one of three stylists from across the U.S. and Canada to be selected to attend the event and work on styling hair with the Moroccan Oil hair products styling team.
A panel of judges, including Moroccan Oil co-founder Carmen Tal and Moroccan Oil Artistic Director Antonio Corral-Calero, reviewed and selected the best submissions. Alicia was chosen to win a trip to New York and a spot on the Moroccan Oil Styling Team, working alongside Antonio Corral Calero during the Autumn/ Winter 2014 shows at New York Fashion Week in February 2014 according to Eileen Dautruche, associate social media manager for the company.
Nickerson entered the competition “sort of on a whim” hoping that she’d “win a bottle of shampoo or something.”
But the photographs of the hair style she created won her an all-expense-paid trip to New York City. She will be in New York for about two weeks and will take part in Fashion Week which runs from February 6 to 13.
Nickerson is the owner of Maxwell Salon in Silverdale, a business she opened in July of 2012. Moroccan Oil is one of several product lines she stocks in her salon.
“They had this contest called ‘The Road to the Runway,’” she said. “I entered a style I’d done for another fashion show, a benefit for a women’s shelter in Seattle called ‘Runway to Freedom.’”
She describes the style as a swirly “up-do” that lasted through three outfit changes.
“It’s a style that can look good in a formal and somewhat informal situation,” she said.
She will work in New York alongside a style team from Moroccan Oil. She thinks her actual contact with the runway models will probably be “helping out,” more than actually styling hair.
“I might just get to hold some hair for them,” she said. “But that’s OK. Just to work alongside them is enough for me. It’s a honor and a real opportunity.”
She hopes to get to meet and watch Moroccan Oil stylist Antonio Corral-Calero and possibly see designer Betsy Johnson at work. Johnson is known for her glittery, outrageous styles. The Moroccan Oil Styling Team helps create trend-setting and beautiful hair looks for major fashion designers at New York Fashion Week, such as Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Rachel Zoe, Carolina Herrera and Narciso Rodriguez, among many others, Dautruche said.
“And just to meet the other winners will be fun,” Nickerson said. “To see what they’re doing in their salons and compare notes will be educational.”
Nickerson has never been to New York City. She has attended a hair styling class in Baltimore and seen some of the East Coast.
“I hope to have some time to see the city and go site-seeing,” she said. Her husband, Brent, who works as an engineering technician at Keyport, hopes to be able to go with her on the trip.
As for possible encounters with star, she’d like to catch a glimpse of Beyonce, but doesn’t care to see any of the Kardashians.
She’s been a stylist for more than eight years and is a 2005 graduate of Central Kitsap High School. She attended the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute in Seattle.
She worked for a time at a salon in Poulsbo and then rented a chair in various salons, before deciding to open her own business.
“It’s important to me that everything is professional,” she said. “You can be the best, but if that person working next to you isn’t professional about how they work, it reflects poorly on you and can affect whether your customers come back.”
She knew the only way to have that control was to open her own place. Her location, at 10030 Silverdale Way NW, is tucked behind some other buildings and easily entered off Ridgetop Boulevard. She and her husband spent several months renovating the place before it opened.
“We’d both work our regular day jobs and then come here and work another four, five or six hours,” she said. “We knocked out a wall and built all the cabinets, laid the wood floors and painted.”
She was able to style hair at Salon 105 while her business was being built. During that time, she also interviewed and hired six stylists to work with her. She also employs a receptionist.
The past 18 months has been good, she said, and she’s happy with her salon.
“It was a big risk to open up a salon,” she said. “But I knew I wasn’t going to be happy until I had a place where I could oversee everything and make sure things were done the best way they could be.”
Last September, she and others from the salon took a salon services class taught by a Moroccan Oil stylist who came to her location to teach.
And that class was so exciting that she said she’s “super excited” for the New York experience.
“In the class we learned all the most recent styles,” she said. “I’m hoping to learn new things in New York and bring them back to share with the stylists here. I’m just very lucky to get to have this experience and to share it, because we’re a team.”