Modelling, Martians and Marshmallows

6 March 2019

365 days of sunshine, rainy days and a cloud or two have passed (this is a guess, not an entirely accurate fact) since Flint at Elite London graced the Boys by Girls office with his charming ways, jokes about Martians and love for Kittens. A year is a long old time to get up to all kinds of boyish mischief, travel around the world and enough hours to collect a dirty sock or two along the way.

With a sense of humour and a cheeky smile, Flint quickly fills us in on his antics and latest endeavours out in the big, wide world. Adventuring to Tokyo, France and China to shoot campaigns for the likes of Dior, each day is bringing a fresh perspective for the Amsterdam born and bred boy.

Having recently posed for our “Boys to Watch: Paris SS16” Flint sadly doesn’t own a pet monkey yet, but has plenty of stories to tell despite this. So get yourself updated on the world of Flint, and rest assured that yes, Martians really do come from Mars.

So you want to talk about cats, dogs and marshmallows?
Martians. Are Martians the aliens?

People that live on Mars are Martians…
Fair enough. I can see the link between the words now.

It’s been a year since we last saw you, how have you been spending your time?
Yeah, that was during my first fashion week in London and since then I’ve just been travelling between London, Paris and Milan. I also spent some time back in Amsterdam for a while. I recently went to Tokyo for two months and then got flown to China for the Dior job. Time goes so quickly. I’m nearly 20 now.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to Impossible.

What has been your highlight of the last year?
Tokyo was amazing, but I have to say that my highlight was going to China. Being flown in for the Dior show to be treated like a king, in a five star hotel, with a swimming pool on the 37th floor… yeah it was amazing. China was just such an experience, so intense, all crammed in to two days. It was amazing.

And then you had the Dior campaign recently.
Yeah I didn’t know at first, my agency said ‘you’ve got a job for Dior, it’s going to be in a magazine’. You know the shoots where you just wear the Dior clothes or something? And then suddenly it came out and I was like woah. It was really cool. I honestly didn’t know. It was very exciting.

For the last year you’ve been living the typical model life; what is that life like?
I think it’s different for everyone. A lot of people can’t deal with being alone for that length of time. I get many people who aren’t models who ask me if I get lonely. They say that they wouldn’t be able to stay alone for so long, but to be honest you’re never really alone for that long. Even in Tokyo, where I went on my own, you’re with an agency, so you meet lots of models who all speak English. In Tokyo there were five other guys and four of them were English, and we stayed in the same apartment complex. It's very weird, after two months, you build up a life there. You meet people, you develop a routine, you live on your own, and then after two months it’s suddenly over, you leave and it’s really weird that your life there just ceases. It’s the same in London, but not as heavy. I wanted to live here, but now it’s so expensive.

How would you address the myth of what models are like that can be the common perception?
I can’t speak for girl models, but the question I get asked the most is do you have to be on a diet? Sometimes they say ‘oh yeah you could lose some weight’, but it doesn’t matter that much for boys. There’s not a lot of competition going on, everyone likes each other. You don’t have to like someone, but you at least respect them. We don’t make that much money, that’s another thing. When I go back to Amsterdam, everyone says ‘Oh you can buy everybody’s drinks’ but actually, during jobs we have to pay for everything. It goes on our accounts, and then you do a job and you have to pay off your expenses first.

What would you say are the best and worst points of working in fashion?
I love that you get to travel, meet new people and go to amazing places. For me, the biggest advantage is the travelling. Also the free socks during fashion week; I haven’t bought my own socks for a long time. Apparently in America where I’ve never been you get a lot of free clothes, sometimes as part of the payment, but this doesn’t seem to happen in Europe that much. Sometimes you get a free T-shirt, and if you’re lucky you might get a pair of trousers, but mostly socks! They just don’t ask for them back, that’s why you get to keep them. Who would want sweaty socks back from a model anyway? See how exciting the model life is? haha That’s how we pay our agency, in free socks. I’ve only got right socks now, the left ones go to my agency.

The first time I was booked for my looks, it was amazing. Although if you actually look at many models, fashion is also about the weirdness or quirkiness of people, you don’t have to be pretty to be a model. If people say to me “oh you’re a model” it doesn’t mean that much actually. I’ve met some very talented models as well as some not so talented models. We’re just normal people, except we get work for the way we look.

Do you think modeling has changed you in any way?
Confidence. I was always the skinny weird kid. I’m still skinny and weird, but it gave me a confidence boost. You meet a lot of people so you get practice socializing. I also try to pick up the languages.

What about the worst aspects of fashion week?Definitely the hours during fashion week itself. You wake up at maybe 7 in the morning, have 15 castings to get to in the day and the last one can end late. My worst was 5am. That was for Raf Simons: that’s notorious for them. Afterwards you go back to bed, sleep an hour, then have to get up and start again. The casting weeks are the worst. You make so much effort to get to a casting and then they briefly look through your book and then send you away again, all in a second. A lot of people think it’s very easy, which in some ways it is, but in other ways it’s very exhausting for the mind, because you get a lot of rejection.

How do models deal with that?
Everyone deals with it differently. Maybe talking about it. Sometimes you feel really down, I know I do. On the other hand you also get a lot of praise, a lot of compliments, and in the end you are a model, it’s a good pick up line “hey, I’m a model.” Infact I met up with a girl once who only wanted a picture with me.

It must be difficult to maintain a long-term relationship when you’re a model, because you’re travelling so much.
I actually do know a lot of people who are in long-term relationships. A boy who went to China with us took his girlfriend with him. It can get lonely, you travel so much. I always miss my dog.

What about your personal highlights?
Well it’s kind of difficult, because this year has really been only modeling for me, so for my personal highlights, I would have to go back a long time, before modeling began. The acting castings were great, because it was complimentary for a real talent, not for just my looks. I like to tango, so when I tangoed that was really nice. I actually want to start tangoing again. I did Argentinean tango before, but because of the travelling I haven’t been able to for a while.

Shall we finish of this interview with some wise words?
Some wise words…Martians come from Mars? One tip, always pack light, you can always buy clothes somewhere else. It’s a very simple tip, but I’ve learnt from experience. If you have to run everywhere with a big heavy suitcase, it’s so annoying. And also to try to be social, make friends, it really helps you if you’re in a sticky situation.

Interview by Cecilie Harris.
Words by Sophie Michael.

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