Award-winning Mansfield hairdresser Mark Leeson 'thrilled' with international award nomination
Award-winning Mansfield hairdresser Mark Leeson says he is ‘thrilled’ to reach the final of yet another coveted international competition after a tough year for the industry.
The 53-year-old world-renowned stylist has made the shortlist for the prestigious ‘International Hairdresser of the Year’ in the 2021 Australian Hair Industry Awards.
He was among the industry’s movers and shakers gathered in salons around the world who were glued to their screens as finalists were announced live via Facebook and YouTube.
And after a difficult year for the industry due to the pandemic, Mark says it is a great boost to be named one of the eight finalists – all of whom are British based.
“I am thrilled to make the finals, which take place in June in Sydney, especially after the year we have had in the industry,” said Mark, who grew up in Tibshelf and owns salons on Regent Street in Mansfield and Chesterfield.
"Since we have reopened on April 12, we have been working 12 hour days, seven days a week to fit everyone in.
“So it’s great to get some recognition, especially with all eight finalists being from the UK – that’s great for our industry.”
Mark – whose salons have a 3,500-strong customer base – is no stranger to awards and was crowned ‘British Hairdresser of the Year in 2014.
And with two popular salons under his belt, the stylist also says he would ‘never say never’ about extending his brand into other towns.
But his key focus for the future is to continue as an ambassador for UK hairdressing by travelling the world and continuing to educate hairdressers of the future.
"I have really missed the travelling and showcasing our talent around the world,” he said.
"You really can’t get better than the UK for hairdressing talent – our education for hairdressing is second to none, and that’s why it’s so important to me to show the world how good our hairdressing heritage is.
"That’s what I want to get back to doing and then, who knows, if the right salon came along, I’d never say never, absolutely.”