The Talented Mr. Cini

src=”×444.jpg” alt=”” width=”420″ height=”311″ />Salon Magazine Mar. 2000

“1999 was an amazing year, but I’m constantly stepping back, taking stock and giving thanks for what I’ve achieved,” Frank reveals to me over lunch at an ultra-hip Yorkville Bistro. “I never lose sight of things- in order to do great things, you have to take it slowly and remember your small goals, too.”

A third generation hairstylist¬† (his grandfather, father, plus three uncles are barbers), Frank has only been in the industry 10 years, but has already made a lasting impression. A graduate of Toronto’s Avola College of Hairstyling and Esthetics, he credits his formative years working with Michael Volpe, as the foundation for his success.

“I first saw Michael on stage at the Toronto ABA and I was blown away,” Frank remembers. “He was at the top of his game and was doing so many exciting things. I had just become licensed and I wanted to be a part of what he was doing.”

He landed a job with Volpe at Private Lines and quickly found himself on set as much as he was behind the chair. “Michael introduced me to photo shoots and hooked me up with Babak, my photographer,” Frank explains. “The two of us have been working together ever since.”

After five years at Private Lines, frank moved to another Toronto style institution: Capucci Salon Spa. Working with Johnny Cupello, Gino Mazzei and Greg Silvaggio, he was able to indulge his creative mind and learn about the business end of the industry. With upwards of 50 employees, Frank credits Capucci as a phenomenal learning environment. “With so many people, it was easy to pick up new techniques and share them with others.”

After four years with Capucci, Frank decided to use his business knowledge as a salon owner. In September 1999, he, along with partners Carlos Costa, Daniel Naumovski and girlfriend Carol Brodzinski (the pair met at Avola College and have been together, personally and professionally, ever since), opened Taz Hair Co. in Toronto’s tony Yorkville area. Though the salon team and the space are small, the philosophy at Taz is quality over quantity.

“We have nine of us working in the salon right now and our goal is to build a tight-knit team,” Frank explains. “We’re all busy abd the energy between us is great because we all have our areas of expertise.”

Lighting up the reception desk are Frank’s two Contessa trophies- 2000 Ontario Hairstylist and 2000 Avant Garde Hairstylist of the Year. Since he won, Frank says the media exposure has been tremendous and the calls just keep coming in.

“Winning a Contessa gives you instant credibility,” Frank reports. “I’ve been interviewed by several newspapers, magazines and television shows in the city about upcoming trends and makeover advice. The response has been fantastic.”

The morning after a late Contessa night, Frank learned he was one of three finalists for 2000 North American Hairstylist of the Year. He says the prospect of taking the title is overwhelming, but he would love to win in honour of stylists across Canada.

“The quality of work in this country is phenomenal,” Frank smiles. “We’re not afraid to take chances and go the extra step to make a statement. I’ve heard this from so many people outside of Canada that I think we’ve become renown for this. I’m honoured to have a chance to represent our industry to the world.”

After lunch, we head back to the salon for Frank’s 2:00pm appointment, who he’s sure to treat with the same amount of charm and creativity he has shown me. Success definitely hasn’t spoiled this stylist.