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MMSCENE Exclusive Interview with Unai Bartra

Unai Bartra discusses the unique experiences and challenges of his career, and how his personal style and perspective on the industry have evolved over time

In this exclusive MMSCENE interview, we sit down with Unai Bartra, an inspiring model who has made a significant mark in the fashion industry, walking for prestigious brands such as Hermes, Giorgio Armani, and Jacquemus. His journey began in Bilbao, where he was scouted by the local agency SF40, leading to an incredible opportunity with UNO Models. From there, his career took off, taking him from his hometown to the fashion capitals of the world. In this interview, Unai shares insights into his experiences on and off the runway, the challenges he has faced, and the evolution of his personal style since entering the industry. His modeling career is not just about the glamour of walking high-profile runways or being the face of renowned campaigns like Givenchy and JOOP. It is also about the dedication, adaptability, and resilience required to succeed in such a competitive field. He discusses the nuances of transitioning from runway work to photo shoots, the support he has received from UNO Models in Barcelona, and the ways in which the industry is becoming more inclusive and diverse. 


Unai Bartra at Uno Models is captured by photographer Ferran Casanova, assisted by Lo Resa.  Styling is done by Cristian Betancurt, while skincare is by Arolab Organic. For this session, Unai is wearing selected pieces from Casablanca, Levi’s, Cos, Hed Mayner, Desigual, Adidas, YSL, Camper, and Boss.

Interview with Unai Bartra
Top CASABLANCA Pants LEVI’S / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE
Top CASABLANCA Pants LEVI’S / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

Can you share a bit about your journey into modeling?
I was scouted in Bilbao by a local agency called SF40. With them, I did some tests and an editorial. Those photos were seen by the scouters of UNO models, and they offered me to join them to start a career. From there, they recommended me to go to Milan to meet clients and get into the experience of doing face-to-face castings. As the first experience was good, and the feedback from the Milan agency and the clients were good, I decided to continue with my modelling career, and so far, I have been doing it until today.

Having walked for brands like Hermes, Giorgio Armani, and Jacquemus, could you describe what goes through your mind during a runway show?
What goes through my mind is not just one thing, but I always go through these 3 phases. When it comes to the preparation and line-up, I’m very calm because it’s an experience I’ve been through before and I’m confident that everything is going to be great. When my turn to go out is approaching, I start to feel the adrenaline, and when I’m walking, I’m calm again and very concentrated.

Top CASABLANCA Pants LEVI’S / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

Being the face of the new Givenchy and JOOP campaigns must be thrilling. How do these experiences differ from your runway work?
These jobs are different and very special because they are jobs where the shooting location was Ibiza and the Canary Islands. Besides, you don’t feel the adrenaline that you feel before going out on the catwalk.

How has being represented by Uno Models in Barcelona helped shape your career?
UNO models is an agency that not only cares about you as a model but also about you as an individual. With the experience they have, they always know what the next best move is to continue to grow as a model.

Shirt BOSS Jeans LEVI’S / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

How has your personal style evolved since entering the fashion industry?
Since entering the fashion industry, my personal style has evolved significantly for the better. However, what has changed the most is my perception of fashion. Now, I pay much more attention to the trends and style details around me. I find inspiration in places and situations I wouldn’t have considered before, from the street to social media. This new way of looking at fashion allows me to appreciate its presence everywhere and how it influences our daily lives.

What have been the most challenging aspects of modeling for you, and how have you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges in modelling for me has been facing the fear of entering an industry I didn’t know well. In the beginning, everything was very uncertain, and I didn’t know exactly what to expect. With time and experience, I got a better understanding of how it all worked and gained the confidence I needed to move forward. Another major challenge was having to move away from my hometown in order to grow professionally. Leaving behind my family, friends, and everything I knew was difficult, but I knew it was necessary to achieve my goals. To overcome these obstacles, I focused on keeping a positive attitude, making new connections, and finding support from people who understood and shared my dreams in this industry. To overcome these obstacles you always have to find someone to lean on, whether it’s a trusted booker or a friend you make on your travels.

photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

Can you share an interesting or unexpected story from behind the scenes at a fashion show or photo shoot?
A funny anecdote is that every time we have a photo shoot at a pool, beach, or lake, I always take the opportunity to go for a swim, no matter how cold the water is. I can’t resist a dip after work; it’s a fun way to relax and have a bit of fun.

From your perspective, how is the modeling industry changing?
The modelling industry is changing a lot lately. It is becoming more inclusive and diverse. We now see a greater variety of body types, ages, and ethnicities. Also, with technology and social media, models can interact directly with brands and the public. They have a platform to show their personality and connect with their followers in a new way.

Pants YSL Shoes CAMPER / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

When you’re not modeling, what are your passions or hobbies? How do you balance your personal life with your professional demands?
When I’m not modelling, I love to visit new places, play football, and try different foods. Whenever I can get to a game, I join in – it’s a great way to stay active and release stress. Also, this job gives me the opportunity to travel a lot, which allows me to explore new places and try all kinds of different foods. It’s one of the best parts of this job, as it fills me with energy and keeps me motivated.

Looking forward, what are some goals or dreams you have in your modeling career?
Looking ahead, one of my goals in my modelling career is to travel to New York. It would be exciting to have the opportunity to work in one of the most important fashion capitals in the world.

Shirt COS Pants HED MAYNER x DESIGUAL Shoes ADIDAS / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

What advice would you give to young models who aspire to become models, especially in today’s competitive environment?
If you’re looking to get into modelling, be aware that you’re always going to be judged on how you look. But don’t take it personally, it’s part of the job. You’ll hear ‘no’ more times than you’d like at castings, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes. The trick is to keep your head up, learn from every experience, and move forward with determination. Take rejection as an opportunity to grow and improve. This road can be tough, but with the right attitude and some thick skin to deal with criticism, you can go far.

Shirt COS Pants HED MAYNER x DESIGUAL Shoes ADIDAS / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE
Pants YSL Shoes CAMPER / photography © Ferran Casanova for MMSCENE

Photographer Ferran Casanova @ferran_casanova
Style – Cristian Betancurt @the_man_in_beta
Skincare – Arolab Organic @arolaborganic
Photo assistant – Lo Resa @bohynekocka
Model Unai Bartra @unai.bartra at Uno Models @unomodels

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