Nigel Barker Interview: A peek inside the thoughts of America’s Next Top Model Judge

It’s Thursday Feb 7th with just one more day left of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York where only the strong are left standing in this crazed week full of fashion, media and celebrities. I’m in the tent awaiting the publicist for the talented man behind the lens, Mr. Nigel Barker.

America’s Next Top Model judge and photographer, Nigel Barker was born in London, England, and got his start in the fashion industry with an appearance on the televised U.K. model search, The Clothes Show in the mid-'80s. After traveling extensively around the globe on popular campaigns he made the move to the other side of the camera and established his own photo studio, Studio NB, which is located in Manhattan.

As I work my way through the intensely roaring crowd I finally come upon his publicist who is sporting a smile although in a bit of a rush. We shake hands and she ushers me into a secured lounge area where the interview is to take place. I saunter in prepared for the interview, I see Nigel chatting casually with group of ladies who seem to be excited by just being in his presence.

Once introduced, I can plainly see the humbleness Nigel exudes along with good spirits.


David:
How are you feeling?

Nigel:
I feel great. I am enjoying all the shows.

David:
I noticed you at the shows and realized that as soon as the first model walks out until the last model ends the show, your eyes light up like a light bulb and you give your undivided attention and really focus on each model. What are you thinking?

Nigel:
Well, I come to these shows by choice, because I want to be here. Out of respect for the designers and models, I give my full attention due to the fact I am very interested in seeing the designers’ new lines and to get inspiration. A lot of people come here to just meet celebrities or have an alternative motive. I am here because I love fashion and like to see all aspects of the show, from the lights and music, to the clothes, hair, make-up, and models.

David:
Do you get inspiration from watching the shows?

Nigel:
Absolutely, I get inspired in many different ways, for example just the way a certain model walks could inspire me.

David:
Do you think the pressure to be thin is the same for male models as it is for female models?

Nigel:
Yes, the pressure is the same, but a lot of it has to do with your genes.  For some models it may be tough to stay thin and they have to be on a constant diet. But, there are a lot of models out there that genetically have a difficult time putting on weight; you never really hear about that.

David:
You were a model before you became a photographer. Do you feel you are able to express yourself more as a photographer than a model?

Nigel:
Definitely, there is a lot more for me to work with as a photographer.

David:
Before you started modeling you had plans to study medicine, but your mom entered you into a modeling competition and from there your career took off.  It’s obvious that fame was in the cards for you. Do you ever think if you didn’t pursue modeling and stayed with your plans to study medicine, that you would have become a famous doctor that discovered some vaccine for a disease?

Nigel:
Life would have been very different for me if I (had) stayed with medicine. I don’t know what I would have become. I was 18 and just took the opportunity that was presented to me. I had a great time modeling. I got to travel the world and meet exciting people and kept my dream alive.

David:
Is there anything else that you want to do creatively?

Nigel:
There are a lot of things I have been thinking about doing and a lot of things I am doing. Right now, for example, I am the creator and executive consultant on new TV show called, The Shot, which airs on VH1.

Also, I’ve been working with David’s Bridal for a few years now shooting their ad campaigns and this year we decided to add to that and do something different.  I’ll be sharing my prom fashion expertise through red carpet tips for David’s Bridal Prom online.  We have even created a contest called, David’s Bridal “Glamour Girl” contest.  One lucky winner will get her “red carpet moment” and be in the lime light as the subject of a celebrity style photo shoot in New York City shot by me.  Check it out at, www.davidsprom.com

And, I have always considered it extremely important for people to stand up and make a difference. Canada’s commercial seal hunt is the largest slaughter of marine mammals on Earth.  In the past three years, more than one million seals have been killed for their pelts. I am committed to helping save the seals. Do something to stop the senseless slaughter, go to www.bansealtrade.org and sign the petition. In addition, my studio has designed a t-shirt that will also be available soon that really makes a “fashion statement” worthy of the red carpet.

David:
Have you ever thought about having your own clothing line?

Nigel:
Yes, I have thought about having my own clothing line. I am not sure yet, I’ll see how things go.

David:
Being in this industry, do you find it hard to make friends?

Nigel:
No, not really, I meet great people everyday.

David:
How do you like being a father?

Nigel:
It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.

David:
How many kids do you have?

Nigel:
I have a two year-old boy named Jack that I adore.

David:
You seem to be a very humble person that really isn’t caught up in celebrity frenzy. I would imagine that you come from a very humble family.

Nigel:
I do, I have a very normal down to earth family that I am close to and love.

David:  
Is there anything that you have never revealed and would like to share with the readers?

Nigel:                                                                                                                                   (with a smile) I have been waiting for Splash Magazine.

David:
You have great sense of humor. Thank you for your time.

Nigel:
It’s was my pleasure, thanks to all the readers.

My impression of Nigel was on point. Leading up to the interview, Nigel and I separately attended the same fashion shows and upon our brief encounter one can see he exudes a very pleasant and inviting vibe while embracing life and the people around him. Throughout the interview he had a smile on his face and when asked about his son I could see the apparent joy he brings him. It’s nice to know that this talented photographer is a loving caring husband and father in a world where most men are stifled in expressing their emotions and personal style. Nigel has great confidence and that makes it ok to be a man, husband, and father while enjoying fashion shows and everything that comes along with that: observing models, complementing hair, make-up and the designers clothes while not feeling it takes away from his masculinity. I would like to give a special thanks to his friendly publicist for making the interview possible.

I wish him continued success.







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