DAMAN catches up with top English model John Halls and chats about life after the pandemic and his upcoming menswear brand.
Not a stranger to DA MAN, we’re so happy to welcome British model John Halls to the pages of this magazine once again. Never a dull moment and always sporting his signature beard and suave moves, Halls has a certain look that the brands love. His great work ethic formed during his former football days has driven his career as a professional model. We sat down with him for a quick chat as he updates us on his professional life.
DAMAN: Hi John, awesome to have you here with us again. How have you been?
John Halls: Hi. I’ve been great thanks, just had a lovely break over Christmas with family and friends. Now happy to be into 2023 and back to work!
DA: The last time we caught up with you was before the pandemic in 2019. So, can you tell us what you have been up to for these past three years?
JH: Well as you know the pandemicwas crazy and scary. Getting through that period while keeping everybody safe was a tough experience. There were stages of loads of work and also stages of no work at all so it was important to keep myself busy and my mind occupied. Staying in shape was a good way to keep the mind occupied as it was way too easy to be drinking gin every day before noon, especially in the lockdowns! After COVID it was great to get back to traveling again and I realized how much I missed it. 2022 was a good year towards the end, as I got to experience some amazing places with a special mention to Bali and Da Man magazine for taking me!
DA: What was the biggest surprise you experienced when you first started modeling?
JH: I think one of the first things I found weird and difficult was being on my own quite a lot, especially with the traveling. I came from a football background and from 14-30 years old I traveled with 20 players and staff everywhere and I was rarely on my own. This took a while to get used to and learning to like my own company was a big change as it can be quite a lonely job. Getting my hair and makeup done was always a little weird as well although being in front of a camera seemed natural as I had done modeling as a kid.
Also traveling abroad to do a job always seemed weird to me, I used to think ain’t they got any good looking fellas in that place already?
DA: When a brand approaches you to walk on their runway or star in their campaign, what is it that usually convinces you to take the offer? What do you usually look for in a collaboration?
JH: Money!! Nah at first I was just happy to work and trust in my agents that they were doing the best for me (which they have!) now I feel I have a bit more of a choice. I’d say I like to work with brands that I personally really love and align with my personal style.
DA: All in all, what would you say are the qualities that make a good model in this day and age?
JH: You have to have a good look but you need to have a good character as well, be fun on set and also not be shy in front of the camera. If everyone on set is having a good time you normally end up with some great pictures and getting the work done.
DA: In all your years in the modeling industry, what is the most unique piece of advice you’ve ever received?
JH: I wouldn’t say I’ve had a particular piece of advice that stands out but I would say I’ve worked with a lot of amazing people and through their experiences, my confidence has grown over the years. Watching so many talented people doing their job has taught me a lot more than one piece of advice ever could.
DA: We also heard that you’re preparing your fashion line for men. What can you tell us about this so far?
JH: Yes!! So I was close to doing it just before COVID struck but I put it on the back burner. Once we came out of COVID I started thinking and planning it again. I’m creating it with my good friend Dejan Obradovic, who is also a fellow model. We’re not revealing the name of the brand just yet but we will be launching the website and social media before the summer. We’re creating a menswear brand that’s more focused on outfits although we think each piece will still be special on its own.
DA: What was the inspiration for the line and the design process behind the first collection? What are the must-have items from your fashion line?
JH: Dejan and I were inspired to create the brand as we wanted to make the clothes we were always searching for and couldn’t find at an affordable price. Before shopping for clothes, I would always imagine the outfit I wanted to buy so it seemed natural to bring these outfits to life. Working for Armani & Brunello Cucinelli has been a massive inspiration over the years because of the simplicity and elegance of their collections.
Through our inspirations and a lot of sketches, we finally designed what we feel is a unique collection. Without sharing too much, as we’re not releasing until spring 2024, we are designing outfits that we believe everyone will want although we also feel each piece is independently strong. I’m particularly proud of the unstructured blazers we havedesigned.
“Watching so many talented people doing their job has taught me a lot more than one piece of advice ever could.”
DA: How much of your personal style goes into your fashion line?
JH: All of it! It’s basically everything me and my partner Dejan want to wear.
DA: Talking about personal style, what goes through your mind when you’re prepping yourself for a night on the town?
JH: Everything I wear these days has to be comfortable, so getting clothes that look smart but feel comfortable is my aim.
DA: What are the three most important styling tips that every man should know?
JH: I think styling tips have gone out the window these days. The vast array of styles and clothing worn now amazes me and I do love it. For me and my style, I’d say I like timeless clothes that are well-tailored.
DA: What are the top three fashion essentials that every man should have?
JH: I like to always have a nice white tee shirt and clean white trainers in the wardrobe, as they work with everything. A good bomber jacket can be paired with most things so I’ll throw that in as well.
DA: What’s your secret to staying in shape?
JH: I try and work out every day whether it’s in the gym or a hotel room. I’ve got two pals that go everyday day in my home town so it’s great to go with them whenever I’m home. I’ll definitely do sprints on the treadmill 3 or 4 times a week, which would be 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for 20 minutes. I feel these work for me. Also, I try and eat healthily Monday-Friday and save my treats for the weekend.
DA: Besides modelling and now making your fashion line, would you consider going into acting as well?
JH: It’s something that’s been in the back of my mind since I started modeling. I have a short film coming out early this year called “Anniversary” shot by the amazing Michael Salvino, directed by Molly Schenkenberger and written by Henry Bulkeley. I do find it fun and hopefully, I can do more but it’s I need to learn so I can become more comfortable and natural when doing it.
DA: If you ever dive into the acting world, what would you say your dream role would be?
JH: My dream role would be Ryan Gosling in Drive!
DA: What new milestones do you want to tackle next? Will we see you in other campaigns in the upcoming months?
JH: Yeah, this year hopefully I’ll be working with some more great brands but also continuing with the amazing brands I already have as clients is a main priority. I’m really excited about my brand and getting it ready to launch.
DA: Do you have any regrets career-wise? Missed opportunities or projects cancelled despite their potential?
JH: I’ve got really close to some big fragrance campaigns that I would’ve liked to have booked but other than that I can’t say I have any regrets in this industry.
DA: What is it that motivates you to do what you do and drives you to reach for new goals?
JH: I think no matter what career path you take, you should aim to be the best you can be in your job. I’m very competitive so seeing the success of others always motivates me to achieve more.
DA: Last question: What is your number one source of motivation?
JH: My motivation is working hard so I’ll be able to enjoy life with family and friends.
PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING RONALD LIEM
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