ON TOP OF THE GAME. With his strong character and impressive portfolio, Roch Barbot has become one of the few people in the modeling industry who’s still on top of his game after a decade-long career
Outfit and shoes by Vivienne Westwood
It would seem that even after a decade of modeling, Roch Barbot has no plans to put the brakes on his career. His portfolio is both comprehensive and impressive from several Dior fragrance campaigns to an exclusive contract with Prada, followed by a Lacoste seasonal campaign, just to name a few. The French model has also graced numerous editorials in a bevy of fashion-forward publications, thereby establishing himself as one of the industry’s favorite models who only get better with age. On top of it all, the Parisian manages to stay true to himself and never hesitates to speak his mind.
DA MAN: Hi Roch, how did your career in modeling start off?
Roch Barbot: I was in a party in Paris and I met a booker there. At first, I didn’t believe him when he said that he worked for a modeling agency, but one of my friends knew him and confirmed that it was true.
DA: You’ve then proceeded to do a number of campaigns for several brands. Which one is the most memorable for you?
RB: A memorable one would be the Dior Homme Eau Sauvage fragrance shoot in New York with Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin with Hedi Slimane when he was still at Dior Homme. I remember how at that time we first shot using Polaroids! And also when I modeled for Lacoste spring/summer ’14 campaign: It was so scary to shoot from the 45th floor of a building! I am glad that the photos turned out really nice.
“Italian style is the best when it comes to dapper dressing”
DA: Having worked with different photographers, do you have any favorites? Who do you want to work with in the future?
RB: I can’t name them all, but at the top of my list are Bruce Weber, Craig McDean, Alasdair McLellan, Mert & Marcus, Karim Sadli, Jacob Sutton, Paolo Roversi, Michelangelo di Battista, Laurent Humbert, Matthias Vriens, Satoshi Saikusa … I would also like to shoot with Terry Richardson but I am a little scared.
DA: How has the fashion industry as a whole changed if you compare how it is today with the time when you were just starting?
RB: For models, the industry’s preference always changes. Now it is all about good boys, but that’s not really my style. Photography-wise, when I was just starting, the photo-shoot process took longer because photographers still used film. Now everything is digital and a lot easier.
DA: In your opinion, what makes a good model?
RB: For me, having a strong character is the most important thing. But I would not let myself be tricked; I always know what I want.
DA: Who do you look up to in the fashion industry?
RB: I actually don’t look to other models. Modeling is not a competition, anyway, because we are all different and the clients can choose whose style and image they prefer.
Outfit and shoes by Vivienne Westwood
DA: How would you describe your personal style?
RB: I am 33 years old now so I need something classic and simple.
Outfit by Ermenegildo Zegna
DA: How do you spend your time when you are not working?
RB: I’d like to go to the market every day and cook something at home. Then, I will pass two hours at a spa to sauna and swim. I travel a lot so whenever
I am home, I just like to chill.
DA: What are your favorite fashion brands for now?
RB: Half of my wardrobe consists of Lacoste pieces, especially polo shirts. For denims I prefer going a bit low key with Levi’s, and for shoes I like Y-3 Yamamoto and Adidas do a great job in designing sporty shoes—because I like Japanese styles. My formal outfits are mostly Prada, Dior Homme and Armani; Italian style is the best when it comes to dapper dressing!