Sunday 5th November saw the most exceptional barbers and barber shop owners that this country has to offer awarded at Australia’s premium awards program for the male grooming industry, the Australian Modern Barber Award’s (AMBA’s). Held in Melbourne at the Plaza Ballroom the gala event was a celebration of these inspiring hair and beard creatives.
The evening saw some big winners across the 15 categories including Matt Clarke of Esq. Male Grooming for AMBA Australian Modern Barber of the Year, New York Barbers for AMBA Australian Modern Barber Business of the Year and the UK’s acclaimed George Smith who travelled Down Under to accept AMBA International Modern Barber of the Year.
Created by esteemed trade visionaries Mocha Group, owners of the Australian Hair Industry Awards and Australian Beauty Industry Awards, this awards initiative is revolutionising the way our local hair creatives engage with consumers and show off their diverse talents.
Launched in 2021 to provide men’s hairdressing and barbering trailblazers with a much needed and often requested benchmark of excellence the AMBA’s reflect the increasing impact of this industry. With men’s grooming a huge player in the global beauty market this is a timely marker of the industry’s importance with Innovius Research stating it is extrapolated to reach $534 million in 2026.
Guests were treated to entertainment inspired by the lavish grandeur of the Plaza Ballroom’s historical Spanish Rococo architecture. The classical musical greats were reimagined with an electro-pop, contemporary crossover, and fusion flavour. Performances featured live vocalists, plus a powerhouse female cast on the electro-acoustic harp, electro violin and electro cello. Aria Award winning DJ Peril, who has performed alongside Mariah Carey, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull and many more, kept the beats deep at the after party.
Highlights of the night also saw Mark Rabone of Esq. Male Grooming inducted into the AMBA Hall of Fame and Fraser Forsey take out the Nominated Special Recognition Award.
Mocha Group Owner/Publisher Linda Woodhead was thrilled to recognise these winners,
“The AMBA’s have yet again shone a spotlight on some of the most exciting global talent in the grooming world. The role of barbers and the barber shop is deep rooted in our cultural history and they remain an integral part of so many Australian men’s lives. These creatives are operating at a world class level and their talents completely wowed our judges.”
Each award submission was deliberated on by an independent panel of judges including media, PR and business specialists, international barbering icons and specialists in the barbering industry. The awards were proudly sponsored by Heiniger, American Barber, Babyliss Pro, American Crew, Andis, Depot, JRL, Shortcuts, Excellent Edges, Timely, Comfortel and Wahl.
2023 AMBA WINNERS
Best Men’s Styling Product of the Year- Sponsored by Barbershop Magazine
Styling Paste by Smash It
Best Men’s Collection – Junior- Sponsored by Depot
Gianni Sollazzo, Esq. Male Grooming
Best Men’s Collection - Freestyle- Sponsored by Andis
Costa Zacharia, Unoit Barber
Best Business Director/Owner of the Year- Sponsored by JRL
Aaron Chan, Kings Domain Barber Shop
Best Customer Care- Sponsored by Shortcuts
Best Men’s Collection – Classic- Sponsored by Babyliss Pro, Dateline Imports
Ryan Poole, Esq. Male Grooming
Best Men’s Educator of the Year Organisation- Sponsored by Excellent Edges
Barbery the Craft of a Barber Academy
Best Barbershop Design- Sponsored by Comfortel
The BarberBar – Broadbeach
Best Team Collection- Sponsored by American Crew
International Modern Barber of the Year- Sponsored by Timely
George Smith, UK
BTS Crew- Sponsored by mocha group
Leigh Winsor, Sophie Harris and Jose McManus with
Suzi O'Brien for her Australian Modern Barber of the Year Collection
Special Recognition Award- Sponsored by WAHL Professional
Hall of Fame- Sponsored by mocha group
Australian Modern Barber Business of the Year- Sponsored by American Barber, M&U Imports
New York Barbers
Australian Modern Barber of the Year- Sponsored by Heiniger
Matt Clarke, Esq. Male Grooming