LIVING THE LIFE – British model Edward Wilding puts the “pro” in “professional model” and shares some insight into his world with DAMAN
How does one “make it” in the modeling world? For British model Edward Wilding, it was a combination of hard work and persistence (which, as a model, includes a readiness to go to casting after casting) plus a professional attitude and punctuality. To that list we could perhaps add the secret ingredient that is almost always present in the careers of so many top tier models: a good helping of luck. Or perhaps “being in the right place at the right time” would be a more accurate description.
Wilding was discovered in his home city of Manchester and in a short while—in early 2013—he walked in Versace’s fall/winter runway show and appeared in the brand’s spring/summer ad campaign. In the latter, he worked together with legendary photographer duo Mert and Marcus as well as supermodel Kate Moss, among others. In short order he was, as they say, “on the map.”
More runway shows and campaigns with Versace followed along with editorial shoots with various publications. In fact, Versace would become a constant in Wilding’s career. Starting in 2014, he also started walking for Christopher Ræburn and Dolce & Gabbana while chalking up even more campaigns with the likes of Dior Homme. In the coming years this list would expand to include Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Balmain Homme Fragrance, Nautica and many more.
Despite his ever-busy schedule, however, Wilding has also managed to lead quite an active life off the runways and photo sets. He’s a devoted family man and proud father, an avid cyclist as well as a humanitarian activist. And on top of all that, he still manages to stay fit and in shape. All in all, Wilding’s story is definitely a tale of “living the life” in the best possible way.
DAMAN: One of the most recent campaigns we saw you in was Nautica’s. What was it like shooting for that one?
Edward Wilding: Nautica is a great client. It’s lovely to get out to the U.S. and work with the same team each time.
DA: How busy are you usually throughout a typical year? Are there any peak seasons where you’re especially busy?
EW: I’m lucky to be busy all year round and have lots of regular clients. I also try to balance being away with being at home too. I have young children and it’s great to be able to be around and watch them grow up.
DA: In general, what does it take for a professional male model these days to be successful?
EW: I think it depends entirely on the client. Some clients prefer the classic look and others go for a more editorial look. The only thing you can do as a model is be professional, turn up on time and take care of yourself—health wise. The rest is out of your control. [Laughs]
DA: How would you say does social media fit in all that? How important is having a strong online presence for your career?
EW: Social media, in my eyes, has become one of the key factors in the modelling industry these days. Also from the brands’ point of view, if you can reach a greater audience with your advertising then surely that must be a plus.
DA: On a lighter note, what do you see as the most enjoyable part of modeling?
EW: Travelling and seeing the world is definitely a great bonus in this industry.
DA: By the way, when you arrive on the set of a major photo shoot, how do you usually prepare yourself? How do you, as they say, “switch it on”?
EW: Normally with a double espresso and a quick look at the mood board to get an understanding of what the client has in their mind.
DA: Looking back a bit along your career, which photo shoot, campaign or show do you credit as the one that really put you on the map?
EW: The Versace campaign with Kate Moss, I think, was my first big break. The campaign had a great reach with the rest of the industry and helped a lot.
DA: Have you ever thought about what you’d be doing if modeling didn’t work out back then and you had to pick something else?
EW: I would have loved to go down a sport related job, possibly as a physiotherapist.
DA: So, we’ve seen you on the runways of big maisons, on the campaigns of big brands, but how do you usually dress when you’re not working? What’s your go to “off-duty model” look?
EW: Normally I’m in gym-wear, even when I’m not actually in the gym. [Laughs]
DA: Can you tell us some of your pet peeves when it comes to fashion and styling?
EW: I like to keep things matching, even matching my cycling clothing to my bike!
DA: Last couple of questions: What would be your number one piece of advice for aspiring models looking to make it big in the industry like you did?
EW: If you really think modelling is something you would like to do then the best thing would be to visit a few different agents and pick somebody to represent you that you are comfortable with. And be prepared for lots of castings at the start.
DA: Final question: What is your number one source of motivation?
EW: My wife and children. I am also very lucky to have a great team around me who I speak to daily and I think this is vital in any line of work in order to become successful.
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