John Hein at Established Model Management dropped by recently, and we took the chance to sit down with him and hear his views on culture, food, comedy and his third parent - Seinfeld.
John started modeling in 2011 and his career has gone from strength to strength having walked for Valentino, Bottega, Tommy Hilfiger, Custo Barcelona, Belstaff and Versus Versace to name a few. His sense of humor sets him apart as a model, and is probably one of the many reasons why so many fashion houses are keen to have him represent their brands.
He burst into our offices like a ball of energy, and had has us in fits of laughter during our interview with him. He left us feeling like we had learnt so much from our short time together; we learned about sustainable food, what the best thing about New York is, where to go watch comedy in London and why being a villain would be more fun than being a superhero. Now we shall pass on this useful knowledge to you.
Shot here by Cecilie Harris, scroll down to learn a thing or two from the wise John Hein.
John, can you tell us about your model journey so far?
I can. After I graduated College at 22 I moved to L.A., because I got really bored. I then got scouted, met a designer and did a shoot. The photographer that liked me sent me around to loads of agencies and I got signed to Ford. After not having the beach body that Los Angeles requires I moved to New York about a year ago, and since then I’ve been there kinda half the time and then been traveling around Japan, Milan, Paris and now here.
When you went to L.A, what were you going to do there if you hadn’t been scouted?
So I went to school for sustainable food Environmental Science in Michigan, and its really big in L.A., so after graduation I had no plan and no money. I had one friend in L.A. and I’d never been there, but I just thought I would be fine. Figure something out. I then found a room mate online, found an apartment, signed the lease and ended up working at a vegan ice-cream shop for about 6 months until I moved to New York.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Best moment. I cant say. But Japan! I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo, I just think it’s such a cool place. Having seen movies like "Lost in Translation", and I just love the idea of Japan. Such a crazy culture. So isolated. So I spent 10 weeks there this year and it was incredible.
Was it all you hoped it would be?
Ahh it was so nice. I can’t wait to go back. I worked like crazy. Got to sightsee. I love the people. I think American’s could learn a lot from the Japanese. There are pro’s and con’s to both. Now living in New York, I love New York
What do you love about New York?
You can get whatever you want at whatever time. If you want it, you can go get it. Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese food - it’s all there 24/7. If you want to go smoke a cigar in the basement of a speak easy you can go. Whatever you wanna do, you can do it.
How do you think London matches up to New York?
London is the most similar to New York out of the cities I’ve been too, having been in Paris and Milan for a month before this. Everybody speaks English, but nobody speaks sarcasm. So coming to London it was like return to civilisation for me. It’s nice to be around people who are joking around the whole time. In that way it’s the most similar to New York.
So do you think you would want to spend more time here?
Totally. I could live here.
Where about’s are you staying?
I’m staying in Brixton right now, which I like. I spent the whole day at the market there on Saturday, which had loads of really cool cafes and restaurants, so I was sampling all of that.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
In three words?
Yeah just three.
Well this isn’t really describing myself but I think that, I love Sienfeld. It is the greatest TV program of all time. My whole family grew up on watching it together. It was like my third parent, I grew up on it. There is this one scene where George is eating a slice of pizza on the sofa, and Jerry says something to him and he says ‘Naahh I don’t care” and that little blip, is how I would describe myself. So ‘I don’t care’ would be my three words. I don’t take myself too seriously.
Apart from modeling what are you passionate about? Other than Sienfeld.
haha Sorry if I came off harsh. But I do recommend it.
Yeah, the idea of, well American’s have a really bad habit of putting whatever we think is food into our bodies and then getting sick from it. So I’m into the idea of going back to the roots of where food is from. I’m like domestically vegan. So in America I’m vegan but in Japan I’ll eat sushi, because its fresh, and in France I’ll have brie. I take food pretty seriously.
If you were having Boys by Girls around for dinner what would you cook us?
Tofu broccoli with Thai peanut sauce. It’s pretty good. I like making curries and a lot of Asian food. The other thing I really like, I grew up playing in punk bands, that and stand up comedy I’m really into.
Have you ever performed?
No no, but I have so much respect for the guys that do it.
Whats your ultimate dream - we’re imagining some kind of comedic chief maybe?
Haha No. Ok so can this be fantastical or?
As fantastical as you like.
Maybe I won't even go down that route. All my life I’ve been trying to figure out how to be the most successful or have the least hassle by doing as little as possible. Modeling is great, and I wouldn’t get to do all the traveling if I wasn’t doing this. It’s fun to meet a lot of cool people, and the travel is great.
If you were a Super Hero what would your name be?
I don’t think i would want to be a super hero - it seems like a lot of work.
Are you more of a villain type?
No, I wouldn’t want to be a villain. Although it’s probably be more fun, like you can be creative and kind of crazy. Super heros just have to react.
If you had a super power what would you want?
I think teleportation would be amazing. I have fear of missing out..
Yeah I have fomo, I have fomo real bad. I always want to go do a thousand things. If I don’t do something on a Friday night I feel miserable, I wanna do so much.
Ok if you could leave us with any life advise - what would it be?
I’m a big Injure WK fan, his slogan is "party hard". But it doesn't mean party in the normal sense, it’s like whatever you want to do, whatever makes you happy - do it all the time and do it a lot. So that's what I live by, if I enjoy something I do it all the time.
Cheers John for teaching us a thing or two about New York, Villains, Food and just life in general. We have taken all your wise words on board.
Words by Annie Ounstead.