How did you start out in this Industry?
Well, going ALL the way back, I was seeing somebody while I was 17/18 who was a 'model'. She suggested I make a Model Mayhem account and see what I can start to do! At the time i had a few piercings in my face and with my floppy hair I’d definitely be classed as 'alternative'. I started work on a portfolio but would never call myself a model because I wasn't getting paid. Time passed and my commitment waned from having my picture taken as I had more pressing matters to attend, being a Media degree at Bradford University. I didn't end up passing my first year, and so then the next most obvious choice was to become a marine engineer! A friend got me the job and I traveled the world working on ships in dry docks. Although I had a decent job, I was highly unfulfilled and realized that my greatest asset was me as a person. So I went about picking up the pieces of my tattered modeling 'career'. I got a new look of a curly mustache and needed to start from scratch. I left my job and contacted a few modeling agencies, first Spirit Model Management and the Ugly Models and coupled with my presence in a band that was 'getting there', interest in myself soared and more clients were added to my conquests!
You're with Ugly Models? Aren't they the character modeling agency?
Yep you're right! They supply any and every type of person going. From fat bikers to record breakers like the worlds most tattooed man. All the way to conventional lookers that go on the 'Rage' side of the agency. When people ask me whether they should have a shot at modeling, I always point them to looking at what Ugly has achieved on their books. There is a market out there for everyone, you just need to play to your strengths and other people will pick up on how amazing you are!
How have you found getting to this level of notoriety within the industry?
I like it! It gets me jobs. When I was starting out I would think that I could have been involved with so much more, if only the right people would see you. I've been taking this industry very seriously for a while now and my hard work and determination has paid off. Some people get a break and make it big almost immediately! I've had offers for representation in Milan, Berlin and the USA. But I'm yet to decide on where my interests would be best suited.
What would you say was the highlight of your Modeling career then?
The highlight of my career was probably being in London Fashion Week and shooting for Italian Vogue. Either that or being involved on one of my favorite TV shows on BBC. 'Nevermind the Buzzcocks', a music game show where i was stood in a lineup of people and celebrities had to guess who was the Nirvana baby, from the Nevermind album cover, now he was all grown up. Just getting to see how it's all made and meeting people like Mark Hoppus from Blink 182 and Great British Olympic Gold Medalists made it mega enjoyable.
I see you were involved in LFW. How was that experience for you?
Amazing! I felt at that moment that I was really achieving something in my career and going places. The concept of my show was 'Models behaving badly' and it was based in a bar on top of a hotel on the prestigious Strand in London. The designer, called Gunsmoke & Lavender, makes high fashion male clothing designed to look edgy and dark, looking in place with a rock music scene. We all had to pretend to have a scrap in front of everybody and chased each other around the bar (In an intimidating way! Not as if we were 5 years old. Although that is how it turned out ha.)
Some very different moments there! What would you say was the least favorite part of your modeling career?
The first job I got sent for in my 'career' was for a TV commercial for KFC. I had casting, call back and wardrobe fitting. I was over the moon with how it all was going! I had made plans for the money I was going to make and had everything set. On the day I was meant to be traveling I hadn't been sent a call sheet, so I rang my agency four hours before my train to London, only to be informed that they didn't want to use me anymore. I was devastated. I realized the harsh reality of the industry almost immediately.
Facial hair is back in fashion we're back in the Wild West! Do you think this attributes anything to your success?
Most definitely! If it wasn't for my nosey neighbor I don't think I’d have nearly as much interest in what I’m doing. I started growing this thing two and a half years ago, just before each westernized nation decided that they wanted to be obsessed with mustaches. There are an increasing amount of male models with beards that are doing very well, Ricki Hall for instance. And I am working hard to be the 'go-to' chap for a gracious handlebar mustache. Somebody needs to fill this void of handsome squire with a belting lip brow and I reckon I'm pretty much there. My look is very much 'in' at the moment and I’m getting tons of requests for work all over, clients are really clambering to capitalize on my appearance. It's quite a versatile look I've come to realize, the curled aspect of my face furniture, in my opinions, romanticizes my appearance. Taking the person looking at my picture, back to an age where chivalry wasn't dead and you weren't a man until you fought in a war, civil or otherwise.
Any plans for jobs soon?
Yes, actually I'm being shipped out to the continent for a hair show on the 23rd of November. I recently did a shoot for Label M, the company that supplied all the hair products for London Fashion Week, and some Belgium clients and they want to use me in a follow up hair show in Antwerp, Netherlands, Sofie en Bobby Hairdressing. I see this opportunity as the start of the next stage of my career, international interest. I've also been working with a vintage recycler in England called Get Sneaky. They reuse and incorporate any and all bits of clothing and items they can get their hands on to make some of the most magnificent shoes I've ever seen. I mean, as a straight male i appreciate these shoes.
And lastly, when you started taking this industry seriously, did you think that you would be where you are now?
Not particularly! I'm well established now and to be honest I'm chuffed that I've got to where I am in such a relatively short amount of time of agency activity. I have adopted a mantra that my dad told me, which is "If you want something enough, you can get it. If you don't get what you want, you don't want it enough". I think he worded it in a far more gracious way, but I say it like that. He also told me to "Let the saw work for you." when sawing wood, and neither of those bits of advice have let me down.