Years in Business
Alex has been an active member of the Master Judges Program since it's inception and a platinum member for the past ten years.
Alex is an award-winning stylist, salon owner, trainer, and educator. For forty one years he has owned Salon Alessandro in St.Catharines, Ontario with his brother Frank, a World Supreme winner. During this time, Salon Alessandro has won over 60 competition awards. More recently daughter Rachel entered the competition scene winning numerous provincial awards and representing Canada five times at the World Championships - most recently last Spring in Seoul, Korea which Alex attended.
For over twenty years Alex has been active in education teaching both the Hairstylist Apprentice Program in Ontario and a skill enhancement program for hairstylists.
Alex is passionate about all aspects of the hair industry, particularly competitions. He is thrilled that two of his daughters are active in hair competitions and have joined him in the Master Judge Program.
Rachel Fortino can’t remember a day that she wasn’t surrounded by hair. As a 3rd generation stylist, Rachel grew up in a life that revolved around the craft of hairdressing. The circumstances of her life initially drew her to the craft, where she fell in love and has worked tirelessly for over fifteen years to gain the reputation that she has.
When Rachel isn’t managing operations at her family’s salon, she is prepping tirelessly for a competition. Rachel trains for competitions with the same assertive nature that you would expect from an athlete. When a World Competition approaches, Rachel is practicing for up to four hours daily. Such practice comes with a payoff, though, as Rachel has brought home numerous awards. She won her first professional competition in 2006, which led her to represent Canada at the Hairworld competition in Moscow (2006). Since then, she has competed for Team Canada in Chicago (2008), Paris (2010), Frankfurt (2014) and Seoul (2016). Rachel also placed in the top 3 Allied Beauty Association competitions every year for the past decade and also was placed as a semi-finalist/finalist at the Wella Trend Vision.
Rachel is currently part of the ‘Master Judge’ program as encouraged by her father, Alex Fortino, who is a Canadian master judge that is now qualified to judge world championships. She’s worked on looks for the ‘Sebastian What’s Next Awards’ and recently helped Eden Sassoon (daughter of hair icon, Vidal Sassoon) with a social media campaign – #iamavisualartist- to help the craft of hairdressing be recognized as a visual art. Rachel is currently the General Manager of OMC Team Canada and was recently awarded the Achievement Award from OMC Hairworld
Involved in the hair industry for seven years, Alexa has been a licensed stylist for five years. She has entered numerous competitions such as Toronto ABA, the Sebastian What’s Next Awards, the Trend Vision Awards and even the Hair World 2016 competition in South Korea in which she received 2nd place Canadian in Technical/Creative. Alexa has been passionate about hair styling since a child where she was influenced and encouraged by her grandmother, who was a hair stylist. She would love to take more courses, enter more competitions and hopes to one day open a salon of her own.
Amber Riegle has been in the industry for over Ten years. She was a semi-finalist as well as a finalist in LA for the Sebastian What’s Next Awards. She placed top 3 in North America. Amber has entered the Wella Trend Vision competition as well as the ABA Men’s Pompadour. She would love in the future to use social media as a platform for growth as a stylist and to further promote herself in the industry. A personal goal of Amber’s is to compete and grow and place Top 3 at the ABA competition. She knew what she wanted to do for a career at a young age when she made clients out of her family, friends and even dolls. She loves making people look beautiful and therefore feel beautiful!
Vanessa Fortino was born into the hair world but started her official journey in 2007. She attended Niagara College for cosmetology and graduated in 2009. She has spent the last thirteen years furthering her skills by taking classes with Wella and Sassoon to keep up on the latest trends. She spent six weeks in Santa Monica, California to attend a Vidal Sassoon cutting class, has travelled across Europe and North America to attend seminars, shows and also works backstage with a Wella Professionals hair team at New York Fashion Week. Vanessa has entered many competitions placing her as a semi-finalist in the Sebastian What’s Next Awards and winning 2nd place in her Skills Canada competition while attending Niagara College. Vanessa's work made the cover of Panoram Magazine in 2018 and in 2019 she traveled to LA to compete as a finalist in the Wella Beauty Envision Awards placing top 3 in North America. She is currently a Brand Educator for Wella/ Nioxin and Sebastian and has been a team member since 2007. Vanessa is very passionate about her job and considers her co-workers her family!
Page Agostino has always been into the fashion and hair world and wanted to pursue a career in hairstyling at a young age. Page graduated from Niagara College in 2011 and has over 10 years of experience in the industry, from working behind the chair to modelling for competitors. Page is always up for a fun challenge. During the years Page’s passion has taken her worldwide to compete in multiple competitions. She attended OMC hair world championship in Paris,France and Seoul, South Korea. She has also competed in Ontario and Quebec at the ABA with multiple wins in the Woman’s cut category. In 2017 she was a top 10 semi finalist for Contessas. Page believes in continuing education where she has traveled to the United States and has attended TONI&GUY classes only to further her skill and passion. Page’s favourite thing to do behind the chair are sleek bobs and short haircuts.
Erin has been a member of our team for a year and a half. She has successfully completed two High School Cosmo programs. She has now graduated and is planning on attending Cappa School of Hairstyling to complete her formal education. Erin has always been into the arts but her passion for hair styling started after being a model for us in the Sebastian Whats Next Awards. She saw and appreciated the true art of the craft and wanted more! Erin aspires to travel to attend shows, as well as competing and one day plans to own her own salon.
All through high school Victoria took Cosmetology classes and volunteered her time doing make-up and hair for her dance team, which led her to the realization that she could make a career out of her creativity. Victoria went to Cappa School of Hairstyling and Aesthetics. She has a passion for art and music and loves to leave others with a smile. She believes that being a hairstylist doesn’t just allow her to have a creative outlet but to change the lives of others. Victoria’s goal is to always push herself to be the best that she can be and to never stop learning!
Passion, drive, and an awesome attitude? Join our team — contact us