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!