Danny Pato Wins Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year 2024

8 July 2024
By Sarah Murray

Meet the visionary behind the couture equivalent of hair styling.

Danny Pato, 2024 AHIA gala. Image: Supplied.

He’s certainly no stranger to winning, so it’s no surprise (to us at least!) that last week hair stylist Danny Pato from D&M received another award to add to his trophy cabinet at the Australian Hairdressing Industry Awards (AHIA) gala night. Scooping up the key award of Avant Garde Hairdresser of the Year 2024 with his collection called The Nomad Queens, the industry veteran says ‘the concept came from a vision of a future utopia, when a band of royal sisters rule the world in peace’. 

“Hair was inspired by a broad collection of cultural references: the lucky plant, a sunset, a peacock, a porcupine, coral, and the Pushkar Fair from Central India each served as specific inspiration for each shot.” Think ornate braiding, green tips, and sculptural masterpieces with extreme height all dressed in exquisitely regal ‘more is more’ ensembles.

Pato also received the very first Medal of Honour to recognise his three previous wins for AHIA New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year in 2023, 2022 and 2021, and he had the privilege of directing the hair for seven models for the opening show.

Of the win, Pato says it feels amazing.

“I’m not able to enter NZ Hairdresser of the Year category for two years because I’d broken the record of winning it so many times in a row, but I still felt the need to create something new. So I decided to enter the Avant Garde category, which I really love because it’s the couture side of hair fashion. I was competing against Australian hairdressers; there were eight finalists and I was the only Kiwi, so to win is a real honour.”

Looking ahead, Pato is preparing for the Davines World Wide Hair Tour in Berlin later this year, where he will do the opening show for the three day event. The 45-minute show will consist of Danny doing the models’ hair live on stage in front of Davines hairdressers from all over the world. And if his current collection is anything to go by, they’re sure in for a treat.

Explore the award-winning 'The Nomad Queens' gallery:

Words: Sarah Murray.
Photography: Supplied. 

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