City Kid

6 March 2019
We are constantly being told that we can achieve anything that we put our minds too. It’s hammered into our brains like a good old, classic tune. Everyone needs a burst of aspiration from time to time, because no-one wants to be a plain Jane, when there’s so much more to be accomplished.
Playing that tune over and over. It’s on repeat like your favourite cheesy sitcom series. You’re binge playing, just trying to get it perfect. It’s not natural, it doesn’t flow, but boy do you wish it did. The night puts you in that inbetweenhaze of being half asleep, picture yourself playing that instrument to a live audience. As the sound of people chanting your name starts to fade, the sound of your alarm clock brings you back to reality.
Vivien Lawson at Premier Model Management has exactly that, a dream to play bass. However with the unfortunately lack of musical ability he can only paint an imaginary picture of what it could be like. With his edgy, yet vulnerable look, he’s got that thing. Mysterious. Boy with dreams. Still appreciating the simplest things in life. Raised around East of London, Vivien Lawson is your typical city kid, spending his time at his neighbourhood's courtyard and kicking around a football with the local boys. Moving from London to Manchester to study, he spends his time learning all about people's assumptions and thoughts…sometimes.
Vivienne is quite a feminine name?
Yes, people comment on it all the time. In English, Vivien is really feminine and in French it is more masculine. My sister is called Talulah, which is quite a strange name as well. Vivien works as a model name though, because it's memorable. At school it was a bit more annoying, because it's a girls name. Somehow I survived, haha.

Instant Analogue by Sophie Mayanne. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.

Did you grow up in East London?
Yes, I've been in the same flat since I was five years old. Well, until I moved to Manchester for university. It was a lot more different there when I was growing up, they've decided to build loads of office blocks around there now and it has started to get really trendy around Hoxton.
How would you describe kids growing up around that area?
There's quite a mix of people around there. I live near Old Street and there are a lot of council estates in the middle, surrounded by really expensive flats, so it's very mixed and multi-cultural. On the estate there was a football pitch where we would play when we were younger. When I was around ten years old, they built a playground to replace it, but before that it was just a courtyard.
How long have you been modelling for?
Since July last year. I was on my way back home from university for the summer holidays when I was scouted. I was in Manchester train station with all my suitcases and some guy came up to me, gave me his card and explained that he was from a modelling agency. It was quite weird at the time, but he took a picture of me and told me to email him.
How has your time as a model been?
It’s cool. I went to Paris in November for a photoshoot, which was fun. It was actually a week before the bombings happened, I still can't believe it happened. I’ve kind of brought the whole conversation down a bit haven’t I? This was my first show season. I missed the last one, because I had to go to Manchester for university. I got to walk for Alexander McQueen, Topman, Jil Sander and Neil Barrett, which was great.
Nice one. Why did you choose to study philosophy?
I studied it at A level and it just seemed so much more interesting compared to anything else. It was the only thing I could see myself doing for three years time. I like being able to use my brain, and I like that it makes you see things in a different way.
Do you have a favourite philosopher?
I like Bertrand Russell and the way that his thoughts come across. I find him easier to relate to, because he writes it in a way that's more widely understandable. It's refreshing when the books are more relatable.
Does understanding philosophy help you understand yourself?
I think it actually makes things more complicated. You think you know what's going on and how things work, but when you stop to think about it you start to realise a lot of things don’t really make much sense. Outside of philosophy I wish I could play bass, it seems like quite a cool thing to play and you can spin it round. I’ve got no musical ability what so ever though; it's so annoying, haha.

Interview by Cecilie Harris.
Words by Rebecca Jones-Clarkson.

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