The sun shines through the balcony windows into the busily buzzing Boys by Girls office. We all move our papers and laptops to make room for the cheerful Ben Jordan at AMCK Models. Self-described as ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’, he has walked exclusively for Calvin Klein and worked from New York, to Paris, to Pennsylvania (with his aspirations set to travel even further and wider).
Having once won the award for ‘Most Cheerful Person’ in school, Ben brings his bright smile and cheeky personality into our day. The boy likes life and we like Ben. He teaches us a few words of wisdom on having fun, not regretting things and working hard.
Tell us a little bit more about who Ben is.
Hi, I’m Ben Jordan, I’m 20 years old, 6’2 and I'm with AMCK Models. I’m from a small town in Norwich, where nothing really happens, except for festivals and the BBC Radio 1 big weekend is being held there this year.
Are you going?
Nah probably not. Well, I want to, I try and do festivals. Well I say I try and do festivals, but I’ve only been to three or four. Not even major ones either! It’s good to just get a big group of mates together with a couple of tents, then it’s a good time.
How did the modelling thing happen?
Well it started about a year and a half ago. I was going to go to London with my mate, but he got ill, so I ended up going with my dad. I got scouted while we were shopping, then when I told my mate what happened he was gutted, because he thought he may have got scouted too.
What’s been your highlight so far?
I walked exclusively for Calvin Klein for two seasons. I also went to New York for 10 weeks, which was incredible.
What’s your favourite thing about New York?
The places you see. You go to castings underneath Wall St. and there is a big sofa, glass windows, workout equipment, ping pong tables, it’s just another world.
What’s your favourite memory from New York?
Probably the parties, they were amazing. Ah God, New York at night time is incredible, I can’t wait to go back in summer. I’m going straight from New York to L.A, which I’m so excited about.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would you say?
In three words? That’s the hardest question.
No it’s not! Explain yourself!
Erm, Happy go lucky, I dunno. I’m cheerful, sometimes a little nervous?
How do you think your friends would describe you?
Mostly annoying, but also maybe funny... probably not. I just set out to wind them up all the time, it’s all banter though. If I get a new haircut they will send me loads of photos of me looking like Lloyd out of Dumb and Dumber. They all like what I do though, and push me to do what I want to do.
What are you passionate about?
Sports. Football is definitely my favourite. I grew up playing football. My dad managed the team and we went over to Sweden to play. I also love swimming and have been to Holland to compete. I basically love any sports I can do at school, like badminton and ping pong.
Is ping pong a sport?
Yeah! It’s in the Olympics so surely? Well it’s more of a hobby really.
Who do you support?
I grew up always supporting Manchester United, but that’s probably just because David Beckham played for them and he is my idol in football.
Is David Beckham still an idol?
Yeah definitely, he’s still one of the coolest people in the world.
If there is one place in the world you could go, where would it be?
One place? Hmm, I would love to visit Tokyo and see what it’s like. Or San Francisco which is completely different, but hey-ho. Travelling is what I want to do right now. Meeting so many different people and seeing different places.
What do you see as your biggest strength?
(a long pause) I don’t know! These questions! (another long pause). I guess not to take anything too seriously. I guess also hard work, anything I’ve ever done, I’ve always worked hard at it.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
A footballer. I would still be one now if I could; it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. After modelling though I can’t see myself going back to a normal 9-5 job at say, Tesco. It would be interesting to work in a different avenue of fashion.
Are there any elements in fashion that you have a special curiosity for?
The agencies. My bookers work so hard all the time, so I would love to give that a go.
If you were a model booker, what would be your model booker secret?
Hmm, I think say if I get 10 years experience in modelling I’ll know what’s going on and know what clients are looking for. Usually flaws that people dislike about themselves are actually what clients really like.
What is a piece of life advice you would give someone?
I read this quote once that said to never regret anything you wanted, because at the time it was all you ever wanted. You always end up regretting something though so that’s complete rubbish, but it’s what I try to live by.
It wouldn’t make sense if you didn't have at least on regret.
Well you regret it, but I just try and not think about it so much, because at the time it’s all you ever wanted.
If you had a superpower what would it be?
To be able to fly. I would fly anywhere and everywhere. I would be the new Hancock. Fighting crime, just as a day job though, I would chill at night.
If you were an animal what would you be?
A lion. They are just the ultimate animal in the world. They are top top top.
What were you like as a kid?
I was sporty, but kind of quiet. I was the happiest kid and really, really cheeky. I once won the award for being the most cheerful person at school. I was never depressed and always had a smile on my face, not so sure about that now, but I try to.
What makes you happy?
I don’t know, it’s probably just a nervous thing. I smile when I’m nervous. Whenever my parents would tell me off I would just smile.
What makes you sad? Sorry to dampen the mood, it’s the other end of the spectrum.
The one thing that always melts my heart is animal abuse. It’s hard to talk about things that make me sad, I try not to think about sad things.
What’s your favourite song?
At the moment its ‘Earned it’ by The Weeknd.
What was the last song you listened to?
I think it was ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ by The Clash, or an Oasis song. I’ve got really random songs on my phone, from one spectrum to the other.
What’s the soundtrack to your life? Or like one genre of music to define your life? Classical, jazz?
Haha, Jazz hands. I actually listen to classical music when I exercise, because it keeps your heartbeat down. I guess a genre for me is alternative, stuff like The Weeknd, and I love The Kooks.
Any last words?
I’m never good at ending stuff? Haha.
Photography by Sophie Mayanne.
Words by Tim Sprague.