Not Just A Pretty Face.... | Premier Model Management



Not Just A Pretty Face....

What does it take to be a really successful male model? “A proactive agent/team who believes in you, kindness and a good personality to match”, says Harley David, Director of Premier Men’s Division.

Personality is a key word, here. Because these guys have it in buckets, and talent, too, in unexpected places (break-dancing, anyone?) So what can we expect as the June shows approach? “We have some amazing, brand new faces that we will be launching this season along with boys who are going into their second and third successful seasons” says Harley. “It feels like a really exciting time for male models and men’s fashion.”
With this in mind, we profile Premier’s diverse line-up of new faces to find out how they were discovered, how modelling is treating them so far and what else keeps them busy outside of shooting or walking the runways…

1. Welcome back. We hear you just landed from China?
I did! I was in Seoul for two months working for an agency out there, and then went to Shanghai to do a show. It was the first time I’d been out of Europe and it was mental. Everything runs completely differently. But it was really interesting to see it and the people are really friendly.

2. What’s your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
I’m from Watford. Close enough to say you’re from London to someone from a different country but not close enough if you’re in London because a Londoner will call you out on it! I’m from a small villagey part of Watford. That’s the best thing about it - not being in the centre of the town. I like the suburbs because everybody knows everyone and it’s pretty chilled out.

3. How were you discovered?
I’d been shopping in the East End and I was at Euston station when Bunny, the scout from Premier Models, locked eyes with me. She told me that she was meant to go to Liverpool to do castings but she’d missed her train or something so she said: “Don’t let me go back to my agency empty handed!” I thought it was a bit shifty at first and that they’d ask me for money or something but it was legit. So yeah, I was literally picked up at Euston Station and went into the agency a couple of weeks later.

4. You are also a jewellery designer?
Yes I’m a jewellery designer and manufacturer. I was doing an apprenticeship with a workshop called The Diamond Shop, which I started after my A-Levels. Recently I’ve gone self-employed to start my own endeavour.

5. What kind of jewellery do you make?
It’s a mixture of bespoke orders and collection stuff. I’ve always liked antique jewellery. For me, early Victorian period jewellery is probably the best because that’s when the big design houses were starting out. If you look at any of Tiffany’s old stuff, or Cartier’s old stuff it’s unbelievable. The amount of craftsmanship that goes into one piece is ridiculous. The style I have is antique with a contemporary flare to it, I think.

6. What was your big break?
Fashion week in Paris, in January, was completely insane. I threw myself into it this year and did loads of shows, worked for some really cool people and made a lot of friends. The big ones were Y3, Issey Miyake, Guerlain, Off White, OMC and Jil Sander.

7. What do you like about doing the catwalk?
The energy. Obviously you get a massive rush from doing a show in front of people. It’s the same as being on stage. The thing that I have to ground myself with is they’re not there to see the models they’re there to see the clothes!

8. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
I did yoga with a swan, pretty much. I say yoga, it was more flailing around in front of this confused bird. Me and a friend went to Epping Forest for a photo shoot and I was standing on a log posing around and this swan just rocked up and started facing off with me.

9. What’s your ultimate ambition?
My ultimate ambition is be to be in a position where I can live comfortably from the product and service I’m producing. Jewellery is my passion and I’ve been blessed enough to do something day to day that I enjoy.

10. What’s the best thing about modelling?
That’s a two point answer: the travelling and the people you meet. Travelling is obviously a fantastic opportunity whether you’re doing it for work or leisure, but to be given the opportunity travel all over the world and be paid when you’re there, is pretty cool. I’ve been to Paris four or five times this year, I was in Korea for two months. You lift up your life and move to another country without the baggage of actually moving. Anyone who models would say the same thing. It’s the ability to move around without any strings. We’re all kind of wandering around and seeing what happens.

1. Where is your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
I live in a small town in the south of The Netherlands called Dembosch. I really like it - it’s very cosy and has a good atmosphere. It’s just a really nice town.

2. What do you like to do once you get home after a job?
It’s always nice to play piano again. I’ve played for nearly all my life so it’s hard when I go away because sometimes I can’t play for a couple of weeks.

3. How were you discovered?
I was going to Amsterdam - I’d just missed my train so I was on the wrong platform. Then a guy came up to me and asked me if I was a model and that he’d like to work with me. I thought, woah what just happened?! When I finally got on the right train I looked up the agency to make sure it wasn’t a scam and then I called my parents and explained what happened. We all thought it could be a nice opportunity.

4. What have been your modelling highlights so far?
My first real Men’s Fashion Week was in Paris last January. I did my debut show for Valentino. That was really cool. Then I did the show for Dior menswear a couple of days later. It was a crazy crazy fashion week for me. I also did a shoot for German GQ in London with some of the boys who also did the Dior show in January.

5. What kind of kid were you?
I was a very responsible child. I always wanted to do things in the right way and do my best. I took things quite seriously. I’ve relaxed a bit more now but as a child I was quite serious.

6. How old were you when you started playing piano?
I was six when I took my first lesson but both my parents are professional musicians so I really grew up with all the sounds of practicing and all kinds of music around me. When I started modelling, I realised the music and fashion industries are really quite similar. It wasn’t a big shock to become a model. As a pianist, I’d done some jobs, and doing the castings is a bit like doing piano auditions and getting concerts.

7. What did you want to be when you grew up?
For a while, when I was smaller, I wanted to be a concert pianist but when I started to get older I already knew that it wasn’t going to happen because you have to practice like six to eight hours a day to become a really good concert pianist. People in Russia, China and the US they do it but I had a life outside of piano.

8. Do you have a secret skill?
I always thought I didn't like travelling at all, and I avoided it if possible. The funny thing is that I really enjoy travelling now I have to and I'm always looking forward to my next journey. Now, I very much like arriving in new cities and finding my way there. To my surprise I appear to have a very good sense of direction and after a few days I know the city and feel at home there. So that's nice.

9. What’s the best thing about modelling?
All the new experiences. When you have a job you never know exactly what you’re going to do. You have a location of course, and a client, but then it’s always a surprise what’s going to happen and who you’re going to meet.

10. What is the geekiest thing about you?
I’m really into piano music and how it works. I think far too much about it!
From the1600s they started composing music for piano, well for harpsichord then. It’s really cool that you can play music from within a 500-year range.

1. Where’s your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
Prague. Cheap beer, nice girls, the vibes. I love Prague, it’s the best city for me. If I make some good money then maybe I’d like to live in LA – I’ve been dreaming about the sun and the sea.

2. How were you discovered?
I was scouted at 2am in the centre of Prague. I was drunk. This guy came up to me, speaking English, and said, “Hey man, you wanna be a model?” I said, “yeah man for sure”, not really taking him seriously. Then he wanted to take a picture but I refused that. I didn’t really trust him at first. I was a bartender at that time and hadn’t ever thought about being a model! He gave me his card and then it went from there. Changed my life.

3. What have been your modelling highlights so far?
I just got back from Tokyo where I did a few photo shoots for magazines. Then I did men’s fashion week in January. My favourite show was Prada, which was my first ever show. It was crazy because my legs have been super skinny my whole life and they put me in very short shorts. I was like, “damn”. Also my head is really small as well and they put this big winter hat on me. It looked okay in the end though. I was very happy. The euphoria from it, there’s nothing like that. I met Miucca Prada too, she’s a legend.

5. What kind of kid were you?
I never liked school. I remember one time my mum going to the principal’s office, and coming home with a message for me. She said the principal had said I had bad energy and everyone was scared of me. I was so young! I was never a bully or anything, just a quiet kid. I was a boy. That’s it.

6. When you were younger, what did you want to be?
When I was young I wanted to be a lawyer. But I don’t think I have the brains for it really. Then I wanted to be in the mafia!

7. What was your big break?
That had to be Prada. I had a test shoot in Czech Republic and after that I went to straight to fashion week. It was crazy. I didn’t really believe it. I told my friends three months before that I had this option for Prada and we didn’t really believe it. Then it happened and I was standing there in the line-up. I was crazy nervous.

8. Do you have a secret skill?
I can cut my nails really quick. It takes like 40 seconds max with the clippers. I’m very proud of that. Haha.

9. What’s the best thing about modelling?
Travelling and meeting cool people. I met [fellow Premier model] Honza by modelling and he is one of my best friends now. Tokyo is a whole different world. Big big place, loads of people. Everybody follows rules so strictly. I wasn’t ready for that. But it’s their lifestyle - I’m not gonna complain about that.

10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
I don’t know if I’d call it weird but it was definitely edgy. It was my first fashion week, I was at a Ludovic presentation. I was standing in front of 100 people for like 20 minutes in just leather underwear, with me weighing only 60 kilos!

1. What’s your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
I’m from a super small city called XXX in the Czech Republic, close to the Austrian border. But I’ve spent the last year or two in Prague most of the time. The best thing about it is friends and family. And I can get to nature quite easily. Other than that the city is really boring.

2. What do you like about nature?
I like hiking, sometimes I go cycling with my parents, and my Dad is a hunter for a hobby. Sometimes I go to our cabin in the forest with him for a few days. In the Czech Republic it’s a bit of a tradition. It’s nice to get away, just with my Dad and no signal on my phone. When you’ve been in a big city for a month or two I like to escape and calm down again.

3. How were you discovered?
It was my sister’s idea to send my pictures to the agency – she thought I had a face for modelling! After high school, I wanted to work straight away and I had a really good offer to work on cruise ships, working behind the bar or in the kitchen. But my parents pushed me to go to university. I was studying travel and tourism but I didn’t really enjoy it. My sister was telling me for a year to send my photos to an agency, so eventually I did and it started from there. It changed my life.

4. Who have you worked for recently?
Super recently, I was in Berlin doing an editorial shoot for XXX. I was in New York doing some of the women’s shows. Isabel Marant was a highlight because she is such a nice person. She was walking around back stage talking to everyone. In New York, I walked for Tom Ford. Right before the show, he did a speech for a few minutes and told us to have a great show. I was wearing a green puffer jacket with green pants and big glasses. It was a really sick look.

5. What was your big break?
I did a job in Florence and that was when I started to realise this was starting to become something. That job was Gucci Cruise and I realised this could actually go somewhere, I should really focus on it and get as much from it as possible.

6. We heard you love to break dance. How did you get into that?
My sister again. She was my big influence. We have a really great relationship. She’s five years older than me and she got to know this dance group and guys who were doing break-dancing. I started training with them when I was 12, and they were 20. I was dancing with them for like six years. I did a few competitions but for me it was more about being with those people, having a good time and learning something for myself.

7. What’s your best move?
There’s a move called the Windmill when you are on the floor and you spin from your hands to your back. When you’re as tall as me though you just have to make sure you find a big enough space.

8. What’s the best thing about modelling?
Getting to know many different places. Without modelling I wouldn’t be travelling at all. Amazing and interesting people and beautiful places I can visit.

9. What’s the best place you’ve visited?
Tokyo. It’s so different. New York is different as well, compared to Europe but Tokyo is out on its own. Personally, I love the culture of Japan, too. And the history. I like how they behave and their mindset, which is all about respect.

10. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
When I was shooting a David Bowie story for Men’s Uno in Paris. For one or two pictures I had to wear a women’s dress. I wasn’t sure about that. This was at the beginning, too, so I felt a bit shy.

1. What’s your home town and the best thing about it?
Heerhugowaard in the Netherlands. And nothing! It’s so boring! I would like to move to Amsterdam - I go almost every week and have a lot of friends there. The skate scene is so cool, and I like the parties. It’s only 30 minutes on the train.

2. Do you take your skateboard with you everywhere you go?
Every time I go away, I take my skateboard. I was skateboarding before I started modelling. I’ve been doing it for nine years. I do compete in competitions but not as much as I used to. I prefer to skate with my friends, and I use it to get places quicker!

3. How were you discovered?
Instagram. I liked a photo that my agency posted and then had a message from them within 30 seconds! I thought they would message me if I liked the photo and they did!

4. What jobs have you done recently?
I did the Paul Smith look book. I opened his show, too. He’s such a great guy - so funny. That was one of my best shows. It was my first season and I managed to open the show. I also did a Louis Vuitton campaign three weeks ago in LA. We were shooting in a ditch! It was my first time in LA and I loved it. I went skating in Venice Beach. It cost me $80 to get there in an Uber but it was worth it.

5. What kind of kid were you?
I was a problem kid - I had to go to a special school because I was flipping out all the time. My life changed when I started modelling – I had to grow up. Doing modelling meant I had to take more responsibility – for travel and learn how the airport works and stuff. I missed my flight to LA though because I was queuing for so long! Luckily they put me on another flight.

6. What was your big break?
The Louis Vuitton show in Paris last summer. My agent actually cried when I got that job. I was the first model from the agency to work for LV. I saw my favourite rapper Playboi Carti there and he talked to me. It was surreal. I didn’t speak English that well then so I didn’t know what to say!

7. What would you say is your best quality?
I’m always happy. People say that I’m fun.

8. What’s the best thing about modelling?
Walking shows. All the people that are looking at you, and the nice clothes. I don’t get nervous, I just feel super high.

9. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
I had a test shoot and they put me in a dress. I wasn’t into that. It was a clear pink dress.

10. What’s your ultimate ambition?
To go to the Met Gala. That’s my dream.

1. What’s your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
I'm from Greenwich in London and the best thing about it is definitely the people. I have a lot of inspiring friends who I’ve grown up with over the years.

2. How were you discovered?
At Wireless Festival. Funny thing about that is I was trying to sell my tickets that year and didn't want to go but with no-one to sell it too I decided to go enjoy myself and came home with a job.

3. What have been your modelling highlights so far?
I loved my first campaign for the shoe brand Filling Pieces, because I was already a huge fan. The team was great, they flew me out to Iceland to shoot, which is honestly one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, plus they sent me two pairs of shoes after the job which I cherish to this day. My first big magazine shoot was for Vogue Italia which was shot by Tim Walker and I was shooting with Adwoa Aboah which I think did really help me grow in the industry. At the time I had no idea who they were or their importance but they taught me to be myself and always try to enjoy my work.

4. You’ve become something of a muse to Virgil Abloh. What’s that like?
Working with Virgil has been a really cool and humbling experience because I remember when I first saw him I didn't even believe it was him and now I'm here working with him more than I see my mother! It’s definitely a learning curve for me becuase I also want to launch a clothing brand so this work has helped me understand how designers and brands approach the fashion world. One of the most important lessons I've learned from working with Virgil is if you believe and work hard enough anything is possible. One week he's 'joking' about creating a 50ft mannequin of me and the next it’s in stores world wide...

5. What would you say is your best quality?
I hope it’s my openness and approachability because this is a business full of many different kinds of people from every single background imaginable but I'm trying to be helpful and friendly to everyone I meet whether you’re head of Louis Vuitton or an intern for Primark. The way I was raised is to show everyone the same respect and love.

6. Do you have a secret skill?
I don't have any 'secret' skills but I have skills that I don't promote. I've always enjoyed being as creative as possible so I'm opening up a music studio to make music during my time off. I'm also a fashion freak who doesn't like spending money so I'm going to try and create a clothing label.

7. What’s the best thing about modelling?
The best thing about modelling has to be the pay and the people because I mean we’re all working to get paid, right? And the amount of friends I've made through this job is crazy. I love the friendship aspect because when I got scouted they spoke about the money and the travelling but the people was a nice surprise on top.

8. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
I’ve had to do A LOT of weird shit. I'm not going to tell you the worst things I've had to do but if you’re really interested you can check out my Instagram and understand the things I've been through!

9. What’s guaranteed to make you laugh?
There's a lot of kids in my family and all of them are hilarious so any time I get to spend with the kids is time I'm guaranteed to be laughing my ass off.

10. What’s been your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment so far?
Pinch me moments are happening all the time. Like the fact I get paid to be abroad, working with Virgil and meeting his friends, being invited to a club with Virgil…so much stuff that's out of the ordinary being a kid from where I grew up. But I gotta keep going and act like I'm used to this life!

Luard Fyson - Age: I’m 21. I have the same birthday as Bob Marley - I’m proud of that. 

1. What’s your hometown and what's the best thing about it?
I was born in Ipswich but the countryside in Suffolk is definitely more my home. It’s where I’ve always lived and where I went to school. I love how peaceful and how picturesque it is and I appreciated it a lot more once I moved to London.

2. How were you discovered?
I was stopped on my way in to a Rihanna concert... I’m not much of a Rihanna fan if I’m honest, my friend and I were taking our girlfriends at the time. We had just finished school.

3. What have been your modelling highlights so far?
I’ve walked for Valentino, which I guess was my first big show. I had Raf Simons a couple of hours after, so that was a big day for me and one I’ll always remember for sure. Shooting with Willy Vanderperre and Olivier Rizzo is definitely a highlight - fashion was already a huge interest of mine when I started modelling, so these were two big names to me. I’m a great admirer of what they do and working with a photographer and stylist of that calibre is really special.

4. You studied fashion journalism. What was that like? What do you like to write about?
I really enjoyed my course. It was tough juggling it alongside modelling at times but this also meant I got a first hand look at the industry I wouldn’t otherwise have had, so I was really lucky to have that. For my final major project I produced a menswear magazine called Byron, for which I was able to get some really special content and features which I wouldn’t have had access to without the contacts I’ve made through modelling. The magazine will be on show at Graduate Fashion Week!

5. What would you say has been your big break?
I couldn’t really say for sure but my first season in Paris recently is probably what got things going, I was lucky enough to do a couple of amazing shows for Valentino and Raf Simons. I also have Prada coming up at the beginning of June, which I’m really excited for.

6. What's your best quality?
I think being able to empathise with people is really important. That’s something my Mum instilled in me when I was growing up and probably what I value most about my character. My Dad has shown me how far it can get you to just be polite and well-mannered, even if this is something I found difficult to apply growing up. I’m sure it’s gotten me further than I think.

7. What's the best thing about modelling?
It would have to be the people you meet. Everyone probably says that but it’s true, you’re surrounded by so many different personalities that you’re bound to strike up good relationships. Closely followed by the travelling.

8. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
I guess I’ve been lucky and not really had to do anything that terrible but on one of my first test shoots I had to wear nothing but leather briefs and cowboy boots, which at the time wasn’t the most comfortable thing in the world... I’m happy they aren’t available for my friends to see.

9. What’s the geekiest thing about you?
Probably just how much I obsess over clothes, to be honest. I spend a lot of time just looking at them online, researching designers and watching footage of old shows.

10. What's been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
Doing the Raf Simons show was a pretty unforgettable feeling just because I admire him so much and it seemed like an idea that was almost too good to be true - having him want me in his show was a massive compliment.

1. Hometown and best thing about it?
I’m from Granada. The monuments, the culture, the Alhambra, the people... so many things!

2. How were you discovered?
I was in Barcelona camping to buy the Nike Sean W in a special sale and when I left the shop a scout from UNO Models saw me.

3. What have been some of your most memorable jobs so far?
Last week I did an editorial with Willy Vanderperre for Zara and since January I have been working for Prada, Boss... and Hermes several times!

4. What kind of kid were you?
I don’t have brothers or sisters so I was a curious one always looking for new adventures!

5. What was your big break?
I think my debut with Prada was the greatest way to start in this business. Also to open and close the Hermes show was awesome!

6. Tell us a fun fact about you…
Last week I was in Milano airport wearing my Off White belt and very big jeans and after the security check, I put my belt back on the wrong way and my pants felt down. Lol.

7. Do you have a secret skill?
My mum is polish so I can speak Polish perfectly.

8. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
To wear a dress and a pink crown in a shooting was pretty weird but, you know, if I’m working I don’t think about it.

9. What’s your ultimate ambition?
I would like to join an organization to collaborate against global warming. Looks like some people don’t realize yet that this is serious. There is not a Planet B.

10. What has been your biggest ‘pinch-me’ moment so far?
My first season in Milan and Paris walking for brands like Prada, Hermes, Loewe or Kenzo was a huge pinch-me moment.

1. What’s your home town and what’s the best thing about it?
Madrid. It’s very beautiful and all my friends and family are here. I’ve spent all my life in Madrid so I love the city and the people.

2. How were you discovered?
I was discovered through Instagram. I was having a normal day at school and then one day I had a message from Uno models in Madrid asking me to visit them at their offices and it went from there.

3. What have been your modelling highlights so far?
Versace was my first big job, for fashion week in January. I went to Paris to do the castings and after a week they told me I was confirmed for the show in Milan. Then, I went to Milan for the fittings and they told me I was going to open the show! I was so happy, but so nervous. I couldn’t sleep the night before. After Milan I went to Paris to do some castings and got confirmed for Raf Simons. Not bad for my first fashion week! Other highlights have been shooting Prada’s look book and I’m going to Shanghai in June for the Prada show.

4. You’re an actor, as well as a model. What roles have you played recently?
I’m on a TV show in Spain called Skam Spain. It’s about teenagers growing up. I’ve been in it for about a year. I play the cool guy of the school. It’s easy - I just play myself. Haha.

5. Is acting the thing you want to pursue?
I don’t know. I have to do one more season of the TV show to do and then next year I’m going to focus more on the modelling and then I’d quite like to go to London to study acting.

6. What kind of kid were you?
I was sporty. Before I was a model I wanted to be a professional golfer. I used to play golf every day. Also I did a lot of karate.

7. What’s your secret skill?
I can do very tall kicks with my legs. I have very long legs!

8. What’s the best thing about modelling?
Discovering new places I’ve never been before. I’ve also met a lot of people I never thought I’d meet. Like the first time I was in Milan, I was in the Versace house and I went into a room and Donatella was there. I got so nervous! I was with another model and she said to us: “Hello guys you are very very tall”.

9. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to do in the name of fashion?
One of my first jobs in Madrid was for Palomo Spain and they dressed me like a girl. It was very strange for me but it was funny.

10. Ultimate ambition?
To be happy. If I can be a top model, too, then that would be great.