Supermodel, sex symbol, style icon. After almost two decades shaping men’s fashion, Andres Velencoso is the most recognisable male model in the business on the mission to takeover the acting world.
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Andres sits down for an interview with our Editor Katarina Djoric to talk about his first big break, gender pay gap in the modeling industry and acting.
Read more after the jump:
Take us back to the beginning. How did you become a model? What was your big break?
I was studying in Barcelona and my sister and mother pushed me to start working as a model. They thought I had what it takes to become a model and I could do well. For me it was more about making some money on the side, instead of working at my father’s restaurant. As the modeling took off, I quit studying and started travelling around the world. My first big break was shooting with Inez and Vinoodh for French Vogue Magazine. I was probably the first male model appearing in a full editorial of Vogue Paris.
When you started your career did you expect that level of success?
I didn’t expect that level of success, of course not, nobody did. If you start a job with big expectations, you’re probably going to be let down.
I always knew I am a hard worker and versatile enough for the business.
Do you have any unfulfilled dreams when it comes to modeling?
I would love to work with Steven Klein, he is one of my favourite photographers, but I’ve never worked with him before.
If you could change one thing about the fashion and modeling industry what would it be?
I would definitely equalize the salaries of female and male models like they do now in sports, acting, journalism, and even politics. There is a big movement that deals with men and women making the same money now. There is still a huge difference between female and male models salaries, so it’s time to make a change.
Do you still enjoy modeling?
Yes, of course I do. It has been 20 years now. I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many great people. And it was also a pleasure working with MMSCENE magazine as well.
First big break in your career was the Louis Vuitton ad campaign, alongside Jennifer Lopez in 2003. Was it overwhelming seeing your face on the billboards for the first time?
True, it was a huge break for me. Also, it was a huge thing in Spain. Nobody knew who I was and suddenly they were seeing my face in New York’s 5th Avenue. It was the biggest pleasure for me – seeing my face in New York City.
With whom have you created loyal and lasting relationships in the industry?
I have a lot of model friends, Oriol Elcacho, David Guillo, and in New York, Tyson Ballou. And also photographers like Inez and Vinoodh, editors like Steven Gun. They helped me a lot in my career, and I consider them friends, also my agents around the world. You need friends to keep going in this industry, because it’s really hard to be alone. You need a bit of support.
How do you see the relationship between acting and fashion?
When you are modeling you become a different version of yourself: sexier, more serious, elegant…anything you can imagine. With acting, when you act, you play a character, you become someone else entirely and that’s what I always try to do, to make my personality disappear and become someone else. But yes, there are definitely similarities as well. You have to feel comfortable to act in front of the camera.
Who do you look up to when it comes to acting?
Acting wise, I don’t really look up to anyone in particular. Of course, we have huge actors in Spain, like Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas for example. I watched “The Joker” recently, with Joaquin Phoenix, and he did a tremendous job. I always try to find inspiration in the little parts, by watching movies; I try to read as much as I can, go to the theater. I try to absorb what they do, what it is what makes them tick, what they need. I love pictures, photography, and cinematography. “The Joker” has one of the most impressive cinematography I saw recently.
What makes you happy?
Acting makes me happy, doing movies, TV shows. Modeling as well. I also like to play golf. Photography is also a very big passion of mine. I’ve been doing photography for 15 years now, and I’m quite shy to show my work.
How would you define your personal style and has anything caught your eye for the upcoming season?
I guess it depends on where I am. In London, where I live now, it’s more classic; people like to wear tailored suits here. When I’m in New York, it is more casual. I wear T-shirts, I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt person, I like to wear comfy clothes. Especially when I travel, I like to travel comfortably.
How do you stay in shape?
I try to work out and eat well, that’s it. As simple as that.
Do you have a philosophy that you live by?
My philosophy is Carpe diem! [laughs]
What’s in the plans for 2020?
Well, it’s been a great year. But I hope that in 2020 I get to work more as an actor. Also, a few great campaigns are coming up. And of course – Stay healthy!
Keep up with Andres on Instagram @andresvelencoso
Photographer IGOR CVORO – @igorcvoro
Stylist STEFANO GUERRINI – @stefano_guerrini
Casting and Production KATARINA DJORIC – @katarina.djoric
Hair and Makeup BARBARA BERTUZZI at Freelancer – @barbarabertuzzi
Model: ANDRES VELENCOSO at I Love Models
Stylist assistants GRETA TEDESCHI and EMMA CANALETTO
Special thanks to PIETRO OPASICH!