STANDING TALL – An all too short chat with model Jason Anthony about walking for Dolce & Gabbana, meeting Will Smith backstage after a show and working with Karl Lagerfeld
How long does it take for a model to enter the big leagues in the business? Sometimes years, sometimes just one. That’s basically Jason Anthony’s story. One day he signed up as a model, and less than a year later he was walking for Dolce & Gabbana’s fall/winter 2014 show. Then came a show with Salvatore Ferragamo, a campaign for Dior (shot by none other than the late, great Karl Lagerfeld) and so on and so forth. In short, Anthony’s career is the kind that aspiring models only dream of. So, we certainly relished the opportunity to get to know more about his story, his views and experience in the business and his future goals.
DAMAN: Hi, Jason; thank you for making the time for us today. What are you busy with these days?
Jason Anthony: Mostly I’m travelling a lot; so the answer to that question depends on the city I find myself in. Currently, I’m in Sydney, so naturally I find myself on the beach a lot of the time. The coastal walks here are absolutely beautiful! On the average day if I’m not working you’ll find me doing something active, be it running, soccer, gym or even a hike. I also enjoy a lazy day of Netflix now and again.
DAMAN: As the story goes, you were first scouted while you were still in high school, but you decided to wait until after you graduated. Looking back at that moment, do you still feel you made the right decision at that time?
Jason Anthony: Definitely! I feel if I had started before I had finished with school I’d never had graduated. My focus tends to be on one thing at a time
DAMAN: What was it about modeling that initially sparked your interest in it?
Jason Anthony: I loved the Idea of travelling the world for my job. I have also always said that I never wanted a job where I needed to be behind a desk, so it was pretty much a win-win for me. There’s also no better feeling than some well-fitted threads.
DAMAN: When you first started modeling professionally, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced?
Jason Anthony: Pretty soon after I started I went straight to living in Paris. I was about 19 at the time and it was difficult not being able to speak the language and not having too many friends. But most of all, I just missed my mother’s cooking!
DAMAN: On the flip side, what parts of the job did you enjoy the most?
Jason Anthony: Definitely the people that I have met along my journey. They come from all walks of life from all around the globe. It really opens up your mind. I’ve made some incredible friendships and had some amazing experiences. Travelling and seeing the world is what I’m most grateful for.
DAMAN: You’ve been modeling for quite a while now. What has been the biggest change in the world of modeling that you’ve witnessed so far?
Jason Anthony: In this industry I have found that the only thing that will never change is that it is always constantly changing! [Laughs] It’s keep up or get left behind.
DAMAN: In your opinion, what does it take for a model to be successful these days?
Jason Anthony I think everybody knows that these days it’s about having a strong social media following and there are a lot of mixed feelings about that. But I find just being myself works, kind and helpful on jobs makes it pleasant and fun for everyone.
DAMAN: Do you have a strong social media following?
Jason Anthony: That’s one thing my agent always nags me about because I don’t work on it enough.
DAMAN: If we could go back again to the start of your modeling career, you made your debut on the runways of Dolce & Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton and quite a few other top tier brands. What was it like to have worked for all those names in less than a year after having signed up?
Jason Anthony: It was all a bit of a whirlwind, really! It was an incredible experience being among the elite of the fashion world and seeing how everything works behind the scenes. I will never forget being star struck because Will Smith came back stage at Louis Vuitton and was just hanging out with us.
DAMAN: Did you get nervous before stepping onto the catwalk back then? If so, how did you deal with it?
Jason Anthony: My first show was Dolce & Gabbana. I remember having the craziest butterflies in my stomach from the anticipation and hearing the music getting louder and louder as the catwalk got closer. But once that was out of the way the nerves settled and I got into my groove. It was just fun from there.
DAMAN: Besides your first runway shows, what are some of the most memorable projects you’ve done so far?
Jason Anthony: I have to say working with Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in fashion. He photographed me for the Dior campaign. He was just the most professional person I’ve ever worked with and he knew everybody, including the assistants, by name! The man was a genius.
DAMAN: What do you want to accomplish next? Are there any particular brands, photographers, campaigns, etc. that you would really like to work with?
Jason Anthony: I’m sure every model will tell you a fragrance! [Laughs]
DAMAN: Have you ever thought of delving into other aspects of the business? Styling or maybe photography…
Jason Anthony: Photography but not in fashion world. I would love to do wildlife photography like they do at National Geographic. I love nature.
DAMAN: We’ve often heard about models going into acting since many of the skills you pick up on photo sets can be applied to movie sets. Is this something you’ve ever considered?
Jason Anthony: Yes! But it’s always easier said than done and definitely takes dedication and time. At the mean time, we will see what the future holds.
DAMAN: Outside of your work, what else are you passionate about? Hobbies, perhaps, or other fields that you’re really into at the moment…
Jason Anthony: Environmental issues. I think we need to take drastic action to help avoid some catastrophic things that could happen in the near future. So, I do what I can where help is needed, like cleaning beaches of plastic trash, for example.
DAMAN: On a somewhat related note, what’s your secret to stay in shape?
Jason Anthony: My hobbies require being active, so working out and staying fit isn’t a chore. Also dieting is massively important. I love food that’s wholesome and healthy—lots of fruit and greens.
DAMAN: Last question: What is your number one source of motivation?
Jason Anthony: To be a better version than I was yesterday. Learn something, have a new experience, etc.
Photography Tane Coffin
Styling Brad Homes
Grooming Madison Voloshin
Model Jason Anthony/Kult Australia
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