The Boy Who Loved Books

25 August 2015

Herbie has always been the boy who loved his books, so when it comes to model castings he knows exactly where to sit. Not with the skater kids in the corner who are busy comparing boards or with the kids in the middle who laugh and shout about last nights antics. He reaches straight for the worn pages of his old book and joins the ‘reading crew’, comfortably slouching back into his chair and feeling at one with his chosen model clique. This is model casting 101.

We chat to Herbie Rhodes at Models1 about model casting cliques, his brother's pet snake and why he has eight hours of Beyonce on his ipod. It’s a perfect kind of morning in the BBG Office where the sun is hitting the floor through the clouds and the team are busy typing away with a synchronized bus. Herbie relaxes back into his seat as the conversation starts to flow. Art galleries, architecture and his days out are just a few things you should learn about Herbie.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am eighteen and study architecture in South East London. I’m currently on a gap year to model full time. I’ve got a lot of travelling lined up too. I’ll hopefully be going to Aspen for a month soon and then South Korea for two months.

To live there for two months would be incredible. What made you want to do that?
It was actually my agency's decision. I need to build up my book more and I also get a visa for it if I go to New York next year. I’ve actually had a bit of a mad week; I got signed to four different agencies.

Instant Analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.

How are you feeling about travelling so much?
I’m the kind of person who loves home so a part of me really wants to do it and part of me thinks I’m going to get really homesick, but I feel that I should just go for it.

What music do you like?
I’m half way through updating my iPod at the moment. I’ve basically got around eight hours of Beyonce at the moment. Half by accident, though. It's only so i can dance to it.

Are you close to your parents?
Definitely, my parents have done a lot for me growing up. I’m really close with my mum, we have a really good relationship. Sometimes we do city trips together to places in Europe, Berlin. We do lots of lovely mother and son things, haha. We take the piss out of each other a little bit, but in a friendly way. We have that kind of relationship.

What made you want to study architecture?
I was sat on it for years before I started doing it. I am very interested in how buildings are built. It's half the mechanical side of it and half the creative side. I’ve always been quite artsy. When I was younger I was drawing all the time, and was interested in drawing angles and structures. I can't really draw faces very well, haha. I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to drawing. I’m not a perfectionist in all things, but my Mum does tell me I have OCD. It's not like everything has to be super tidy, but I like everything to be in it's place. I’m quite a messy person, but I know where everything is.

What is it like going to castings?
At the bigger castings it is normally between thirty and sixty people to a casting and you'll sit there a few hours usually! More often than not it is a big open room so you'll either sit with the people that you know or on your own. It is led in cliques. The group I usually sit with are the ones who read. There is usually a group of models in the corner who don't really talk to each other, they will just talk about what they are reading. Book out, glasses on, read. Then there is the group of popular models who all know each other. They sit in the middle and talk really loudly about stuff like parties they have just gone to. The rest is sort of made up of people who skate board or groups of people from mutual countries, as you get a lot of people who speak different languages, so they tend to group.

Do you find it easy to make friends in that kind of situation?
Sometimes it is, but there have been times where I’ve turned up and everyone is sat in a group and I don't know anyone. It is easy to make friends most of the time though, as there are a lot of people there who are in the same situation as you. As it is my first season I tended to make friends with other first season people. In terms of people who are easy to chat to there is a difference between the ones who study and model part time and the ones who have modelled full time since they were sixteen. I often make friends with the ones who model and study.

Why do you think that is?
I can't speak on behalf of all of them, but because I am a first season boy sometimes they don't really want to talk to me as I haven't really done anything.

They think your not well seasoned enough?
Yeah haha. Like a pizza.

What were you like at school?
I definitely wasn't one of the popular kids at school. My friends still take the piss out of me for how I used to look. My hair is longer than it used to be then but I used to have full fringe. It was very in at the time, but looking back.. haha. I wasn't super popular at school, but I was really happy with my friendship group.

What are you passionate about?
It is probably really cliche, but I’m really passionate about art. I really enjoy going to art galleries. I’m really annoyed I didn't get to visit the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition. I had tickets for me and my mum as it was one of our days out, but I had to shoot and I didn't know until two days before so my mum went and said it was really good.

Tell me a weird fact about yourself.
I don't know. I don't have any pets weird pets or anything, but my brother has a snake. I don't mind the snake when it is in the tank, but he is being fed frozen rats at the moment, which really grosses me out.

Do you get on with your brother?
Yeah we do, but we didn't used to. We used to argue like crazy, but we get on really well now. It is actually his birthday today, he is 19.

Words by Katy Thomas.
Interview by India Opie-Meres.

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