It wasn't a Barbeque, unfortunately. Wouldn't that have been lovely? No roasted chickens or hot dogs, or anything of that kind. BBG, not BBQ.... It's an honest mis-spelling in an email from an agent to a poor model. As 19 year old Swedish boy Benjamin at IMG Models turns up to our door, being slightly confused on what his agency has sent him to, we catch onto this humourous event. We offer him a cup of tea though to make up for it.
Confident, driven and charismatic, laughter and confusion are quickly arife in the Boys by Girls office as Ben shares his story. After being let down gently that there was no BBQ'd meat on offer, just a fabulous magazine instead, Ben quickly engages in lively conversation. So whilst at BBG we don't offer Barbeques, we do offer insightly, humurous and unexpectedly real stories, and here is Ben's...
Where is your weird accent from?
I know, it's terribly messed up, all over the place, haha. I was born in Sweden, my dad is from London and I’ve been in the US for two years studying. Yeah, so I got a message from my agent saying to go see BBQ.
Go see Barbeque? BBG!
Oh, they must have been confused, haha! They said BBQ, look. I was expecting some roasted chickens.
Instant Analogue by Liz Ord and Molly Baker. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
No, unfortunately there isn’t a barbeque, but we’re Boys by Girls, which is just as exciting.
Oh yes of course, I know you! That makes much more sense.
Tell me a little bit more about your modeling journey?
It’s really been a roller coaster. I started out with a different agency in 2011 that didn’t really work out that well, but then the vice president of IMG Models International approached me and he more or less said IMG is ready for you when you are. This was in March. I had never spoken to him before, so it was very nice to get that message out of the blue and from there it just kicked off.
How long did you say you’ve been with IMG Models?
Since June, I'm very new. Unpublished, unworked, completely new face, not boring in any way, but completely new and completely inexperienced. How could I down-sell myself any more?
Are you based in London now?
I’m based in London until at least December. Then I might be heading to New York, might be staying here in London or I might go back to Stockholm. Bit of a cliffhanger really.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m very dedicated to everything I do. I have an extreme attention to detail; I come from a working family who do a lot of selling and product creation and creating brands. So as a kid, I’ve always been the guy who was taught to focus on the small details.
It sounds like you’d be a great salesperson. What do you normally do?
I worked in the summer as a bartender and cocktail waiter in Hampstead.
You’re very charismatic and so confident. Do you have any passions?
I played basketball for two years, so I’m passionate about basketball? I’m actually passionate about international relations and finding ways of developing long lasting solutions to international conflict. Something I very much did during my two years in America. Meeting and interacting with other people from all over the world and finding ways of understanding why people say what they say.
You really should be selling more than drinks. Did you go to business school?
My dad… If you met my dad you’d get it.
What are you enjoying most about modeling so far?
Well everyone has said that the real reason this industry is fantastic is because you can end up meeting like 35 new people each day. And if you can retain a bit of information about them all, you’re building relationships. And this really is what this industry is all about.
Interview by Liz Ord and Molly Rose Baker.
Words by Sophie Mayanne.