OLD-SCHOOL IS COOL. Danny Beauchamp shares his story of being an old-school model in the age of Instagram with DAMAN’s Editor-in-Chief Ronald Liem
Outfit and necklace by Louis Vuitton
Modeling is an ever evolving game; a game which, today, is increasingly being played on social media by self-starters adept in the art of self-marketing. Still, nothing really comes close to being in the presence of a top-of-the-line pro male model who has been in the biz for years. Enter Danny Beauchamp.
Quintessentially British, smoldering on set and hilariously honest when the camera stops rolling, Beauchamp represents a generation of models who made it big before phones had cameras on them. For the past 15 years— longevity is another trait Beauchamp is known for—the British model has appeared in campaigns for Cerruti, Calvin Klein, Dunhill and a host of other fashion brands. It’s on the runways, however, where he really shines. He’s walked for Ermenegildo Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana, Dsquared2 and Hugo Boss, and he’s frequently opened the shows of Burberry.
So, it’s definitely refreshing to hear this veteran talk about his journey to the top, how he stays there and the current state of male modeling.
T-shirt by Jil Sander, tank top by Hanes, boxers by Zimmerli
DAMAN: How is 2018 shaping up for you? Do you have anything planned for the next few months ahead?
Danny Beauchamp: So far just a bit of work here and there. Nothing major planned. In lifestyle, there’s not much. There are a few weddings going on, which is depressingly good, I suppose. Workwise, I’m just knocking out jobs here and there.
DA: You’ve been in the business for 15 years. Tell us about your journey. How did you get started?
Danny Beauchamp: I was about 16 or 17; I just finished my GCSE which is like high school and I was spending the summer holidays. I guess I was having a good summer holiday because I got scouted a few times by agencies. At first I kind of ignored it because I certainly never thought about modeling before. It happened a few times, so I had a brief chat with my mom about it. She wasn’t keen on me doing it but then I was eventually scouted by a photographer called Mariano Vivanco outside Chapel Market in North London. He gave me his card and said I should really contact Select [Model Management].
So, I went back, had a chat with my mom, told her it happened again and she said: “Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what this opportunity is.” I went into select, met boss lady Tandy [Anderson] and the rest is history.
DAMAN: What do you think has been the most important change in the modeling industry in your 15 years?
Danny Beauchamp: Well, when I started there was no social media. And now there is this big nasty thing that people can’t look stop looking at. That has definitely affected the game. Clients can contact you easier but you can advertise yourself.
There’s a lot of self-promotion and you get a lot of Instagram models. Social media has massively changed the game and I think it has been bothgood and bad.
Outfit by Dior Homme
DAMAN: You haven’t been really active on social media yourself. Why is that?
Danny Beauchamp: When I was living in London I couldn’t care less. But it was during the second time I moved to New York when my boss asked me what my Instagram name was. I told him Ididn’t have one and he nearly had a heart attack. Now I’m one of them. I’m trying not to post selfies, I’m trying to post nice pictures of my travels and stuff like that. But you have to play the game a little bit, I suppose, and social media is a part of that game now.
DAMAN: You mentioned Instagram celebrities who go into modeling. Do you see them as a threat to more traditional models?
Danny Beauchamp: They should leave it to the professionals. [Laughs] I’m only joking. I don’t want to hate on anyone and good luck to them. But, I mean, yeah, you’re right: There are a lot of people who have started their career through Instagram. It’s hard for me to speak on it because when I first came up in the game, it was about doing the shows. That was the way to get yourself recognized in Milan, in Paris. And working with certain photographers.
Now, it seems that if you post 50 selfies and you got a six-pack and you’re showing it off all day, you know there’s work for you out there and there are people who are going to attach themselves to that. And, you know, the masses love flesh, sex sells. I don’t know if it has affected me negatively or maybe even positively. With all that’s out there maybe people want a bit more quality instead of quantity. But, I mean, if someone can make a modeling career through their Instagram then good luck to them, because you got to make money and pay bills.
DAMAN: What kind of work do you do these days?
Danny Beauchamp: People love sticking me in a suit. If I had to say something was my bread and butter, I would say suits—that classic kind of style. But when you’re a model, you have cycles, especially if you’ve been doing it as long as I have. There are times where I need to do editorials; there’ll be a time when I haven’t got my face enough out there, so I need to do some editorials and some really good fashion stories. In 15 years I’ve been around the block a few times, so I can get a little bit of work here and there. I stopped doing shows a long time ago. I did, like, 18 seasons in a row and I don’t think I’d ever want to go back to Milan unless there’s a lot of cash on the table.
“And, you know, the masses love flesh, sex sells”
DAMAN: What is it like to be in Fashion Week in Milan or Paris or London?
Danny Beauchamp: Well, I can only speak on what it was like when I first started, and that was 15 years ago. I think that was before the recession. Put it this way: There were a lot of champagne bottles being popped backstage when I first started. Now, there are a lot of selfies being taken backstage. I first went there when I was 16 or 17, a raw kid straight out of North London. And I had a lot of good times: I did a lot of shows, I partied a lot, I met a lot of cool people from all over the world. I made lifelong friends during my show seasons. If I have to be honest, it was a lot of fun. And, you know, did some prestigious shows that went on to get me some good work elsewhere. So, I loved it back in the day. But after 17-18 seasons, the game has changed a lot. Milan and Paris aren’t the same as they were. Even if I go there for appointments and speak to the designers, when they put on the shows they are not looking forward to it like they used to. My era was a bit different and I was always a bit wild, especially at 17 years old.
Jacket and trousers by Saint Laurent, tank top by Hanes, boxers by Zimmerli
DAMAN: What was the most memorable show you’ve walked in?
Danny Beauchamp: Maybe the most memorable was the one that I missed. [Laughs] But, no, I’m only kidding. That never happened. I used to work for Burberry a lot, and they used to have me start their show. That was amazing. Dolce & Gabbana always had really cool shows and good times. I really liked doing Moschino. I remember once they had me as John Lennon from The Beatles kicking footballs up and down the catwalk. They always had really colorful and creative ideas to add to the show. But after doing it, it’s a blur to me. Sometimes people show me pictures of me when I was 17, 18 or 19 at the shows, but I could not tell you how old I was, I could not tell you what show that was. Once you’ve done over 150-200 shows in Milan and Paris, it’s all a blur. But, I always remember looking forward to Burberry because I got on really well with Christopher Bailey. I work with them a lot, I know a lot of people there and they really took care of me. And it was a lot of fun.
DAMAN: What was your first major fashion campaign?
Danny Beauchamp: My first fashion campaign that I saw around was for Pringle [of Scotland]. I didn’t know what Pringle was at the time but my agency said: “You’re working for Pringle, this is a good brand. You’re doing the campaign and, you know, campaigns are a big deal.’ So, I shot the first one. I had to fly in from Tokyo and I went from the plane straight to the shoot in London. The first time I recognized that I’m actually making some money out of this and a bit of prestige was when I went to Selfridges and I went to the Pringle counter, and there was a massive picture of just my head behind the guy serving at the till. So I asked him, as a joke, if I could get a discount. He kind of looked at me up and down and was like: “What is this kid talking about?” And then I told him that that was me behind him and he looked and saw this massive 10-foot Danny Beauchamp’s face behind him. He didn’t know what to say and went, “let me get my manager.” Then his manager came out and he said: “Sorry, we can’t give you a discount. You need confirmation from someone within the building. Although, that is a nice picture.” So, that kind of rose me up and then shot me down and brought me back down to reality all in the same go. That was one of the first ones. And it was on busses as well. So, I’d get my mates calling me up saying, “I just seen your ugly mug on a bus in Trafalgar Square.” That was the first job I saw around town.
Outfit by Givenchy
DAMAN: What do you think is the secret to your continued success?
Danny Beauchamp: I would say keeping yourself fit and healthy and not drinking too much … but I can’t say that because I never did that. That would be a lie. Seriously, though, I think I’m actually quite versatile as a model. So, even if certain looks are in or certain looks are out, I can always get a bit of work here or there. I think my versatility is one of my strongest points as a model. Some people might say I’m pretty easy to work with, I have a lot of energy on set—some people might say too much. When I started, I was 17 and I looked 14. Now I’m 32 and I probably still look a few years younger than my age, which is fortunate. I can probably thank my mom for that skin. Maybe it would be my versatility if I had to pick something that’s given me longevity. And my beautiful, amazing skin.
DAMAN: What’s your exercise regimen? How do you keep in shape?
Danny Beauchamp: Basically, I go to the gym two or three times a week, and do boxing once a week. That’s about it. That’s the be all and end all. I used to go swimming a lot and I really enjoyed it, but I’ve stopped in the last few years. I go boxing once a week with a mate of mine, which is a great workout and I’m very passionate about that sport. He’s an actor and a model, I’m a model—we spar, but we only do body sparring. So, we only punch to the body. Although I have accidentally hit him a few times in the face, if you know what I mean.
DAMAN: Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
Danny Beauchamp: Actually, my number one passion outside of my job is boxing. I followed it for a long, long time. I remember my mom bought me either Muhammad Ali’s autobiography or maybe it was the DVD of “The Four Kings.” But, yeah, from a young age it has always appealed to me. I used to be into football big time, still one big Arsenal fan, but nowhere near as passionate as I am [for boxing]. Where I grew up it was sport, sport, sport. I’m also very passionate about wildlife. I’ve probably watched every David Attenborough BBC documentary ever made. I get that from my mom, because my mom is ridiculously passionate about animals and she’s s definitely passed that down straight to me. I used to sit there with her and watch these BBC Documentaries, the “Blue Planet” [series] and all that stuff.
And something that has really taken up my brain activity at the minute is this book that I’m trying to write. Slowly writing, I should say. It’s actually a fictional novel, like “The Lords of the Rings.” The reason I’m doing that is because on my travels, wherever I am, it’s really good to use your brain. I think that is my little release and escapism.
“There were a lot of champagne bottles being popped backstage when I first started. Now, there are a lot of selfies being taken backstage”
DAMAN: Looking ahead, what’s in the cards for you? Do you have any plans to, say branch out from modeling?
Danny Beauchamp: There are a few things in my head, but I don’t want to put it out there until I’m doing it. I don’t want to be a talker; I’d rather be a bit more of a doer. And right now the modeling career is doing just fine. But, I definitely got a few ideas. The book project is definitely something that can evolve into something else. You know, after you’ve been modeling as long as me, you have to start thinking about the next move, because, you know, it doesn’t last forever.
Outfit by Michael Kors, hat by Maison Michel
DAMAN: One final question, what is your number one source of motivation? What drives you to wake up each and every day?
Danny Beauchamp: Man, that’s a hard question. But, for 2018 I said to myself: Healthy body, healthy mind. Modeling is a very funny job where you have no routine. So, sometimes you can be crazy busy, and then you can have two weeks of not doing much. I’m 32 now, so there are certain things I want to happen in the next few years. But my New Year’s resolution is just to sort of be the best version of myself for one whole calendar year. I think if you’re really feeling good about yourself, good things can happen and follow on from that. But, what really motivates me? In the morning when I have to wake up? A good ol’ English breakfast.
Outfit by Ermenegildo Zegna
Outfit by Hermès
Outfit by Kenzo La Collection Momento
Outfit by Alexander McQueen
T-shirt and shorts by Gucci, boxers by Zimmerli
Outfit by Dries Van Noten
Shirt by Prada