The Story Of Michael

25 May 2012

We recently got to meet Michael Knowles at FM Models during one of our Boys by Girls castings, and fell ever so appropriately in love with him. We simply HAD to get him in for a shoot.

While we wait for the editorial we shot with him to be featured, we wanted to get to know Michael a bit more. As we previously asked Conor, we crossed our fingers Michael wanted to share his story too. And so he did!

So have a read of his 16 year journey so far, where he talks about his passions and how he got into modelling. Portraits by Cecilie Harris (assistant Sophie Di Martino). Styling by Rachel Gold and grooming by Elizabeth Rita (sponsored by Dermalogic Skincare & Mac makeup).

Autobiographies are odd. You cannot really write a completed one, as you are writing it midway through living it, and therefore they are a bit like a novel without an ending. This autobiography will be no different. In fact it will be even more the case.

I am a 16-year-old Londoner, who never had any plans to model. Having said that, I have always known that I do not want a simple office job. Journalism for this reason has always been appealing to me; the idea of travelling to foreign countries to write on events as they are happening is fantastical in my eyes.

I have two real passions. The bigger of these two is my music. I am a self-taught guitarist, and I struggle to remember a day of recent times when I haven't played my guitar. I couldn't tell you where this passion came from. Neither of my parents was ever particularly musical. About four years ago, my brother began to take guitar lessons, and terminated them soon after. This was the point at which I picked up his already dusty and lonely guitar and started messing about on it, seeing what sounded nice. I added structure to my hobby with a poster I bought from HMV, which showed me how to play a couple of basic chords. Things escalated from there, with me starting one band and two bands later came my current project, Ermine Furs.

My other passion is slightly geekier. Coming from a fairly linguistic family (my mother is South African and speaks three languages. My father English but well-travelled and even works with languages, selling books in many different countries), I think I have always been keen to learn foreign languages. I speak French and Spanish, and my ambition is to be completely fluent in both. For me languages open doors to whole new experiences, and are essential in whatever walk of life you lead.

Scouted last summer, it would be fair to say modelling at first was not another passion. The idea of being a model had never really occurred to me, and I think that it all happened too fast for me to really stay on my feet: being scouted in Oxford Street; going in to the next day to meet with Cesar Perin who scouted me; shooting with Carlos Lumière the day after that. That shoot was the height of my indignation. I had turned down an invitation to go out with my friends for the shoot and I could think of nothing but that, completely blind to the opportunity I had been given. All thanks for me not giving up then must be shared between my mum and Cesar, who both encouraged me.

A few days later he put up a selection of pictures from the shoot on his website, and this instigated a complete u-turn in my attitude. I suddenly felt proud, and compelled to better these pictures and model again.

Then Cesar set up a meeting with FM model agency. They took me on, and set up a few tests, readying me for my 16th birthday in February of this year. I am now really enjoying modelling. I feel at home at FM, with people like Adam and Susie actively making me feel welcome whilst also furthering my career. This recent shoot for Cecilie Harris's "Boys by Girls" has only increased my desire to model more and more.

As I wrote to open, there is no way I can provide an ending to this story – I hope it is barely even a beginning. So instead I will outline what I would like the ending to be. I am preparing to take my GCSEs right now, which will finish on 25th June. Then I have a long summer holiday, in which I want to really kick-start my modelling career. In July I will travel to Paris with my band Ermine Furs to play some gigs, and whilst out there I would love to get an agency in Paris. After the summer I will continue with my schooling and my passion for languages, taking French, Spanish and English to A-Level. Then I have no idea. Here ends the beginning of my story.

Above: Michael wears Baracuta.


Thank for sharing your story with us and the Boys by Girls readers Michael. We wish you all the best with your modelling, and am very excited to share the fabulous editorial you did with us soon!

Michael Knowles_NS1
Michael Knowles_NS2
Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View It would have been in college. Dom was sat in English class and hated it, so we decided to start... View After discussing one of @larkinsband favourite films ‘The Lobster’, we turn the question to which animals they would want to... View View We ask @larkinsband to describe themselves: Josh: I’m the singer in the band. Extroverted-introverted. I don’t really know how to... View Do you want to be in our next print issue? We are looking for London based LGBTQ couples to take... View Jessica Mahaffey captures Manchester based band @larkinsband. With their single TV Dream already and a debut album on the way... View Blood brothers take a vow of dedication to reclaiming the Earth for the scorned. The alliance is forged in the... View When the going gets tough, the boys band together. An unbreakable bond formed in the fibres of trust and unbroken... View When the going gets tough, the boys band together. An unbreakable bond formed in the fibres of trust and unbroken... View Reaching forward and grasping for faith, the loss of humanity seems ever present. Who will save the empty souls lost... View Shot on both film and digital and produced by an all-female team, Emily Hlavac Green captures the boys beauty as... View Loyalty catches in throats as breaths are laboured in truth telling. Devotion threaded into the raspy voices of messengers supporting... View Exclusive commitment to the cause. Unknown numbers skulking in the streets. Out of sight, out of the line of fire... View Allegiances are budding in a rough and ready attack on the status quo. A subtle head nod gives the signal... View This week’s exclusive Instagram editorial is ‘The Alliance’ featuring models Ashton Smith and Pierve Abernathy at State Management. Emily Hlavac... View The late nights arrive too early, and the future continues to recede. But for Diego, the test of time is... View Opening the gates beyond our barricades leaves us susceptible to infiltrates; the walls between our fingerprint hold the secrets to... View Diego’s diffident introversion stands in matrimony with his majestic extraverted aesthetic. Stylist Nicole Oike pays homage to this, plating Diego... View The hounding haze of another late morning leaks between the cracks in the wilting wood shutters; washing sullen skin whilst... View Do you want to be in our next print issue? We are looking for LA based boys to take part...