Our MMSCENE ISSUE 018 cover star CHAD WHITE sits down for an exclusive interview with MMSCENE Deputy Editor ANA MARKOVIC to talk about his beginnings, the legendary shoots he worked on as well as the challenges he faced in his career.
For more of our shoot in New York starring Chad White as well as our exclusive interview with the supermodel scroll down:
How did you start your modeling career? Do you remember your very first photo shoot?
I started my modeling career Back in 1999-2000 when I chaperoned a friend that wanted to model In Portland, Oregon to an agency named “mode models” When we arrived at the “open call” I was sitting there And they asked me if I too was interested in modeling…I said “no, I’m not interested, I’m only here in support of a friend” At that time I was only interested in playing baseball – I was a tall lanky kid that had diamond earrings or hoops in both ears and XL Baggy clothes that didn’t come close to fitting… Fast forward a week or two from that day, my friend convinced me to go back in and try the modeling and that is when it started.
My first photo shoot was a test that I had to pay 500$ to do. That was a lot of money for me back then, so I was very hesitant to do it… The photo shoot location was at the Oregon Coast so I was not excited for that… the shoot was around high noon, so It was so bright I could hardly open my eyes, and the make up artist caked so much Blush on my cheeks that I looked like a clown. The photos were so bad when I see them today and just start laughing every time. [laughs]
What do you enjoy most about modeling? And what do you dislike?
I enjoy so many things about this industry. The traveling to exotic locations is of course, awesome, and I really feel blessed that a big part of my job is to go to the gym everyday and get as fit as I possibly can. But what I love most is the giant fashion family that I am a part of. I walk down a runway and I cant help but smile because most of the people sitting in those chairs I now call friends. Most of the time they are making faces or yelling out trying to make me smile and laugh down the runway. I love my agents too, they go beyond the call of duty to make “home away from home” for me. Lastly, as corny as it sounds, to hear my mom and friends reactions when I pop up randomly on their t.v’s or in their magazine’s is priceless… to hear them laugh is everything.
What I dislike about modeling… I don’t like being away from my family 11 months a year, that is the most difficult part for me. I don’t like how much the industry has changed… I miss when it was all about magazines and advertisements. I could go on about this but I’m going to bite my tongue here.
What are the highs and lows of being one of the sexiest male models?
Am I one of the sexiest?? That’s news to me lol
How do u deal with the success?
I remember where I come from and that keeps me grounded. If I ever got a big ego my father would definitely give me a quick reality check haha I feel lucky everyday to do what I do.
So, do you mind being in a spotlight?
The spotlight is fun if you roll with it. I don’t mind it because I don’t take myself too serious.
Even we got emails from girls asking about you…
I’m single now…what girls were asking about me? [laughs]
Your most memorable shoot?
This is such a difficult question for me…there have been so many moments that were unbelievable… working with Steven Klein was and always will be one of my greatest honors of my career. But also, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Mert & Marcus again I could go on and on here. I’ve just been so lucky.
What was the most challenging thing you had to do for a shoot?
I think the most challenging thing was when I first had to go semi-nude. I didn’t know how my family and friends would react. Would they disown me?… Would they support me?… I called my dad that night and he said “No matter what we love and support you son. As long as you’re happy we are happy for you. And your true friends will also love and support you the same on your journey or they aren’t your friends.” That helped me through all my years of modeling, as I was often faced with similar challenges.
What was the most exciting project you’ve been part of?
I can’t narrow this down to one job that was the “most exciting” I remember when My Agent Jason Kanner called me freaking out that we just booked the cover and entire L’UOMO Vogue shooting with Steven Klein. The days leading up to that, I was definitely stuck on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Besides the shoots any other projects are you most proud of?
I’m always really proud to be part of charities. Giving my time and helping others fills me with a lot of joy.
You worked with many fantastic designers and photographers. Is there anyone that you didn’t work with but would really love to?
Yes of course! Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Alexander Mcqueen, Versace, Gucci haha I have a long list. I have been lucky and worn all their clothes at one time or another but to really be part of their brand would be a great honor. A few dream photographers Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, David LaChapelle, Andy Warhol and many others
You are no stranger to fashion spreads that had over 40 pages, and even had entire issues dedicated to you, but name for us one of your favorite photographs from your career, and who shot it.
One of my favorite shots was photographed by Steven Klein in the Beverly hills hotel…I was draped across two chairs…it was just one of those moments when time seemed to stand still and I didn’t want it to end. Everything just seemed to click perfectly from the lighting, the set and me and Steven. That day was particularly incredible because Nancy Reagan was possibly going to be in the photo with me so my heart was racing.
How often do you check your social media accounts?
This is a touchy subject..I actually try to leave my phone away from me so I don’t constantly check social media [laughs]. I was riding the train into Manhattan a few months back, and I looked down the train car and NOT ONE SINGLE person was talking… they ALL had their faces in their phones… from that day on I’ve made it a point to put my phone away and try to connect with people.
Do you read comments?
Do I read comments?… sometimes. Most people are really nice but a few have been pretty nasty so it left a bad taste.
How would you describe your personal style? What styling rules you always follow?
Classic and simple. I like to be comfortable. Fitted jeans and a nice t-shirt… after years of being around stylists I follow too many rules that they abide by haha.
How do you stay in such fantastic shape?
I train as if the Zombie Apocalypse is coming tomorrow and I have to save everybody.
What’s your favorite fragrance?
I love a musky, woody, deep scent like Tom Ford’s “oud wood” fragrance. But I can’t say my very favorite… its my date and special occasion scent, and it wouldn’t be as special if too many people started wearing it haha.
As someone who has a long career, what advice do you have for new models?
Stay humble and be grateful. We are lucky to do what we do, so don’t take it for granted. Try not to get lost in the partying and appreciate all the hard work your agents do for you. They never stop working day and night.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“A wise youth makes hay while the sun shines, but what a shame to see a lad sleep away his hour of opportunity” – I fell asleep during class, and when I woke up I found this quote on a little yellow sticky note on my desk… It has never left my wallet.
If you hadn’t become a model, what would you be doing instead?
I would have been in the military. I was going to be a navy seal and then if I made it out I planned on being a fireman.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to male supermodels?
That Male models are mean or they are like in the movie Zoolander. Most of the models I know are the nicest guys that were going pro for a sport or passed up on scholarships to pursue modeling.
What we’d be surprised to find in your fridge?
Probably the amount of ice cream in my freezer! [Laughs]
What makes you happy?
My dog, my family, my friends, cute old people in love, random acts of kindness, genuine greetings & smiles walking down streets, fresh baked cookies, a margarita on the beach, sports, cardio, roller coasters and so much more…
Use three words to describe yourself.
DREAMER, LOVER, FIGHTER
Keep up with Chad on his insta @chadwhite21
Photo Kosmas Pavlos @kosmaspavlos
Fashion Editor Katarina Djoric @katarina.djoric
Stylist Airik Henderson
Grooming Timothy Aylward at Artlist using Dermalogica skincare & Bumble and Bumble hair
Model Chad White at Soul Artist Management – www.soulartistmanagement.com
Digital Imaging Alexandra Heindl – dienachbarin.at
Location SLIC Studio NYC – slicstudios.com
Special thanks to Jason Kanner at Soul Artist Management