How did you find yourself inmodelling?
What was the industry like?
D: We were both discovered by someone on the streets. I always loved modelling since I was a little child. I started
when I was 17. It was harsh, travelling alone, I didn’t know that side of fashion, and I struggled with my first few
years, which is not uncommon in fashion even now. It was a shock, and it took me a long time to learn.
O: I started when I was 20. I didn’t realise it was a job for men, even though it was in the early days of [veteran
Dutch model] Mark Vanderloo, but [men] weren’t out there like the women, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer, were.
That was our start, and you had to wonder how you’d be discovered when you see these people in major billboards — it
just seemed so far away.
Is it different now for young models starting in the industry?
D: Seventeen-year-olds now are very different to being 17 when I started, but you are still going into a room with
photographers, stylists and editors who are a lot older, and you become part of the world where you don’t feel
related to these people. But you want to be a part of it.
O: I think to some extent it may seem that our advice is from the Stone Age, but it’s not. The person who discovered
me gave me a copy of L’Uomo Vogue as a way to show me what men’s fashion was, as I had no
idea. I didn’t know what a campaign was, I didn’t know what editorial was, and what kind of look the guys in those
campaigns had. I could never see how a guy like me, from a small town, who was used to just playing basketball with
my friends, could be one of these people.
What are the challenges that come with staying the course?
O: Rejection. I had to learn that if they don’t like my pictures, it doesn’t mean they don’t like me as a person.
During fashion weeks you get a lot of no’s; you might get five shows out of 40 castings, and that may seem like not
a big success but it was at the time. I left some of the castings feeling like, That went really well, I think we
got on, but then I never got to work with them. I got to work with them many years later, when my persona and my
pictures were good enough — not whether ‘Oriol’ was good enough, I had to separate the two, and this is definitely
something I try to pass on.
What is essential for a model who wants to do well in the industry?
D: They have to have an inner world that can come out in a photoshoot. It’s absolutely not true that it is skin-deep;
each shoot is different and you have to adapt, but if you don’t bring your own experiences, it won’t work for
O: Yes, you have to have a sense of yourself. I always went into a shoot that was my own essential self and the
clients would see that anything they liked about me was natural in me and so I’d fit in with them. I was not the
edgy model or the muscle model, but I had an authenticity, which they liked.