Arriving early Sam Alexander
at Established Models breezed into the Boys By Girls office with a calm and collected aura. With 90s boyband hair and a striking resemblance to River Phoenix, Sam is the kind of guy that makes you think to yourself "I wish I was that kind of cool". We quickly earnt our winning spot in Sam's good books with cups of tea and a biscuit or two.
Sam was first spotted in the midst of the RA Museum, whilst taking a few shameless selfies inbetween illustrating his surroundings. With guitar playing and illustration on his list of things he loves to do, he could be described as one of those guys with 'many a trick up his sleeves'. With an endearing personaility and a somewhat boyish charm about his beauty (and not to forget a love of bicycles), we are certain we'll be seeing a lot more of Sam!
Despite only being scouted a few months ago, Sam walked for J.W Anderson and Kent & Curwen in his debut fashion week this January, with his artistic streak even catching the eye of the designers themselves.
Hi Sam, tell us a little bit more about yourself.
My name is Sam Alexander, I'm with Established Models and I live in Kingston. I'm currently studying illustration, which I really love!
What is your favourite thing to draw?
Old men and business men. I particularly love drawing business men, because of the repetition in what they do and who they are; the same suits and briefcases and travelling to work everyday. I can be found sitting in coffee shops just watching them. I also love drawing bicycles.
Polaroid by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to Impossible.
Tell me a bit more about your love of bicycles?
I have been a bike builder and mechanic in Devon for about five years now. I built up a really good connection with my boss, and he lets me run the shop when I want to, so although it's his shop it feels a lot like it's mine too. There is a cafe next to it and everyone would call it 'Sam's bike shop'. I have a vision of making my own bike shop one day building bikes for people. There is something really nice about the personal touch people have with their bikes - like how you build them and chose the colour. I've never been on a Boris Bike though, they look terrifying! I was reading an article about them as I used to ride BMX, so I always follow BMX Blogs and articles. I used to run down the stairs and do all these bad things with mine. It's how the Boris bikes all line up too, just waiting for you to jump on them. There's something a bit sinister about it.
Tell us a little more about how you got into illustration?
When I left school I did a national diploma in art. I didn't feel like I was old enough to go to Uni, so I did a foundation diploma afterwards. I've done about three years so far of illustration. During that time is where I really found the style I wanted to work with. I want to be a children's illustrator, so some of my drawings are quite naive and based around children's stories. Before that I used to draw grotesque people. I mostly draw with watercolour - there's something really raw about using watercolour. It's organic, and the lines on the paper you make them yourself, as opposed to it being pixels that someone else can replicate. They can't be erased, and you can't duplicate it because it's your brush stroke. I usually draw with light colours, inspired by a painter called Aris who does loads of large scale pieces on buildings. His colour palette is amazing, because it's really pastelly colours which are really beautiful.
What shows did you walk for this season?
I did the J.W Anderson AW14 show, which was my debut show. That was interesting, mainly because of the shoes! I also did two looks and was really worried, because I had to do the walk twice in big heels. It was really good though, as I got taken to Paris for the show and it ended up in Vogue and everything. I also did the Kent and Curwen show and a presentation, which was really nice.
What's been your favourite part of modelling so far?
I think it's all the shoots and the people you meet. You go to all these shoots not knowing who anyone is, and then you do a little bit of research and you're like 'Oh wow, it's this designer!'. I was working with Gary Barlow's stylist and was really tempted to just hum a Take That song whilst he was dressing me or something, it would have been so funny. I think it's very much the spontanuity and not knowing what you're doing from day to day.
What do you love about London?
I love the atmosphere, diversity and culture. There's always something to do and something happening - like the tube strikes. I get a lot of inspiration from people in London, everyone is so different, which is awesome.
If there was one place in the world you could go to, where would it be?
If there was one place I'd go, it would be St.Lucia. I remember in primary school there was a poem about this wonderful place called St. Lucia. I made this vision of it being a really beautiful place.
If there was person in the world you could meet, who would it be?
It would have to be Peter Pan! I have a wierd phobia of growing up, I really want to get a Lost Boy tattoo or something. I call myself a lost boy on twitter. There has to be more lost boys out there too, but I just haven't found them yet. I'd also love to meet Marie Sindek as well, mainly because of her connection with Russia and how she incorporates religion and architecture in her work.
What inspires you the most?
My younger brothers, because I'm the oldest with four younger brothers. I think it's nice to have that sort of responsibility as a role model. The oldest is 15, and the youngest is under one years old. The smallest is so cute, he just loves food and eating yoghurt. It's always lively when I'm at home - there is always someone causing trouble, haha! Harrison who is 15 has just hit his youth kind of age, where he's just trying really hard to impress his friends, so he's always got something to say.
Tell us three random facts about yourself.
I like marmite. It's one of those things where you tell your Mum you like something, and she buys you all the merchandise for it.
Have you got a marmite t-shirt?
I've got more than just a marmite T-shirt; I've got two marmite cups, a marmite biscuit jar and a marmite cycling jersey.
Did you ever try the marmite crisps?
Yeah! And marmite chocolate, although I wouldn't advise that one haha, it's two things that shouldn't be mixed together. Another fact is that I never got a Blue Peter Badge! I used to submit work every single week to go into the gallery, I remember there was a competition where you had to design a toothbrush, and I designed a really cool rocketship one and didn't get a Blue Peter Badge. It was the same with Art Attack as well. I remember I went to a 90s party and I made my own Blue peter badges, all stuck onto my backwards flat peak cap. And the third one, this is a cool fact, I have a pet snail. It's called Gustalf.
What do you do with a pet snail?
Just look at it really. It doesn't really do much, but it's cool. It's one of the great African land snails, so it's huge. Everytime I go home it has grown a bit, it's just going to end up being a giant snail. I'm going to bring him to my house next year when I move out of halls. It'll be the best thing, you can even hear him eating his lettuce. He sort of just slimes around in his own little world.
How do you think your friends would describe you?
Really quiet, probably. I'm not the shoutiest person, I'm a bit of a dark horse lurking in the shadows being creepy, haha! I think a bit mysterious too.
What is your favourite song?
"I Fought Piranhas" by The White Stripes, because of the riff he makes. I watched the video of him making his own guitar out of just a piece of wood and a metal string, it was so bluesy and raw. I play guitar too, but I haven't been for long. I used to play acoustic melody, which I loved.
Do you have any life advice that you'd like to give our readers?
It would be to never grow up! The younger you feel, the more happy you'll be.
Words by Sophie Mayanne.
Special thanks to Impossible.