CAN’T STOP THE BEAT. Androgynous-looking model Paul Corona sets himself apart from the rest of the modeling gang with his striking long hair and strong passion for music. DA MAN chats with the newcomer
Outfit by Versace
Long-haired, baby-faced Paul Corona has not been modeling for long, but he certainly aspires to get to the very top. His androgynous look gave him the golden ticket to fronting the Versace Jeans campaign last season his first breakthrough into the fashion industry and his eloquence hints at something more beyond his good looks. Having previously studied nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona, the New Yorker is now keen to work on projects with Karl Lagerfeld, as well as to channel his passion in music.
Outfit by Dsquared2
DA MAN: Hi Paul, how are you doing? What keeps you busy these days?
Paul Corona: I’m doing well, thanks! I’ve been busy dividing my time between modeling and personal training at Equinox; but I love to stay busy, honestly. I draw a lot of satisfaction from sticking to and killing a fulfilling routine.
Denim jacket by Calvin Klein Jeans
DA: How did you end up being scouted?
PC: After a few test shoots here and there I was asked to come to NYC for a casting session for Versace. Nolan Funk ended up booking that season’s campaign, but I still had the opportunity to meet with a few agencies. A few months later, I received a contract from New York Model Management (NYMM), signed it, and moved a week later.
“In the end I have my long hair not for the image it creates but because I like it”
DA: What would you consider your first breakthrough into the fashion industry?
PC: My first breakthrough into the fashion industry was definitely the day I booked the Versace Jeans campaign. I had already signed the contract with NYMM and was making arrangements to move to New York to start my new life, but booking the campaign really offered me that reassurance that I could work in New York City as a model.
DA: What made Versace Jeans campaign shoot memorable for you? And how did you manage to really embody the brand’s unique image?
PC: Shooting the Versace Jeans campaign was so awesome, especially after having only done test shoots up to that point. To begin with, we shot at Pier 59 Studios, which is an amazing space. I made sure I woke up extra early that day to eat a good breakfast and get some coffee only to show up finding that the studio had laid out a full breakfast and lunch buffet. I remember walking around in bathrobes and slippers with Max Schlesinger [the other model in the campaign], smoking cigarettes indoors … I thought, “I wonder if this is how Gianni felt when he was lounging around his Versace-emblazoned mansion in Miami.” I, indeed, felt like a baller and a shot-caller. The luxury of the space and amenities certainly aided in bolstering my confidence for the actual shoot. I just focused on trying to channel the über-cool and confident attitude that is so apparent in all of Versace’s ad campaigns.
DA: Are there any well-known photographers you are looking forward to working with?
PC: I’m relatively new to the fashion industry, so I’m not too familiar with many of the great contemporary photographers. That being said, I think shooting with Karl Lagerfeld would be a pretty sweet experience. He seems like a character straight out of “Zoolander” with his extremely high-fashion look and unwavering stance on using fur. He’s the kind of mogul that I think all aspiring models would expect to shoot with once they made it to the big leagues.
DA: Obviously your long hair gives you your signature look. Do you think this gives you a distinct advantage in the modeling industry?
PC: I think my hair definitely helps to set me apart from a lot of models in the industry as far as image is concerned, but I’ve also found that it limits the kind of work I can do. I have considered how cutting my hair might positively affect my ability to book more jobs, but I don’t really want to cut it. In the end I have my long hair not for the image it creates but because I like it. I also play drums and have a deep-seated desire to play drums professionally one day, so that’s another reason I like it. It makes me feel like the rock star I’ve yet to become.
DA: Is being a musician something you want to do in the long term?
PC: I enjoy modeling and all of the opportunities it affords me, such as meeting the many creative and interesting people or seeing parts of the world I wouldn’t normally see, but at the end of the day, my heart lies with music. I drive a lot of people crazy with my incessant finger-tapping to the music in my head, but I literally cannot stop even if I wanted to. Playing drums is one of the things I think about most throughout the day and sometimes even when I’m dreaming at night, so I imagine that one day I’ll be making music collaboratively in some shape or form.
DA: Who influences you the most in life?
PC: The people who influence me the most are my parents and my older brother, Jerris. My parents are both very loving people who did an amazing job of raising my brother and me to think for ourselves while still ensuring that we maintain the customs of common decency. My older brother, Jerris, is the coolest guy I know. I am learning from him all the time, whether it is learning to continually think for myself and form my own opinions, or him telling me about some awesome band or song I’ve never heard before.
DA: What do you do to have fun?
PC: When I’m not working, and when the Brooklyn sky isn’t hailing down ice and snow atop my head, I really enjoy being outside, surrounded by nature. Prospect Park, for instance, is one of my favorite places to go in the city. I’m really looking forward to more temperate weather, so I can get back to exploring it. And, of course, I also love banging on things for minutes on end, whether it is with my hands or a pair of drumsticks.
Denim trousers by Dsquared2