When Travis Smith (Supa Models) walked into the Boys by Girls office, it was as if we’d been bathed in a cool tropical breeze and it’s safe to say that this Hawiian native is one of the most relaxed models we have ever met. With his breezy aura and cool pineapple t-shirt we sat back, relaxed and listened to what this top 50 model had to say.
Travis has certainly been working hard and playing hard. He has most recently shot with Boys by Girls Editor-in-Chief Cecilie Harris for “What Boys Don’t Know”, an editorial for Volt Magazine AND not to mention the latest Boys by Girls issue (preview of that coming up soon). To balance his hectic modeling career, Travis tells us how we has been surfing some of the biggest waves of his life in Mexico, and spending twelve hours a day fishing on lakes in Alaska! We’d say he has a pretty awesome life, and were thrilled when he popped into the office for a catch up and a cup of tea.
Hey Travis, long time no see! What have you been up to since we last saw you?
Last season went pretty well; I did Versace, Trussardi, Philipp Plein and John Richmond. Then I went back to Paris and did a few shows as well. It was exhausting, almost like five weeks and I can’t believe what the girls have to do! It’s even more intense for them because they’re seeing more clients and they’re going to New York as well so we’re pretty lucky I guess. Then I went to California and hung out with my family. It was the US open of surfing, which is a big event, almost like a festival. There’s like 100,000 people that go there and it’s on Huntington Beach. Then I went to Mexico and surfed some of the best waves of my life, they were massive and scary and there were no life guards around. It was so much fun. Not like the modern world, just this little fishing village in Mexico with no tourism. And then we went on a fishing trip to Alaska.
Polaroid by Cecilie Harris
Well, that sounds a little bit different!
Yeh! Totally different, it was cold and raining the whole time! We were there for four days and the days were so long because we were so far north. There were like fifteen or sixteen hours of daylight, so you took like two naps during the day. After four days of fishing it felt like it was two weeks. We were on the water for like twelve hours a day.
I love how you went from “I was surfing the waves in Mexico” to “I was fishing in Alaska”...
Yeh, well when I’m modeling and stuff it gets pretty busy and you have to stay in cities, but you don’t get to explore that much. And you don’t get to see what you’d normally like to. So I like to take some time off and take advantage of that.
So you’re a nature boy?
Yeh, definitely! So after that I went back to California, did New York Fashion Week, that was fun. There was a lot of craziness, a lot of tension because it’s the only time it’s women’s fashion week and men’s fashion week combined so you do some shows with some girls, which is cool because you get to see the different sides of the spectrum.
What shows did you do in New York?
Well my favourite one was Jeremy Scott, which is so cool.
And we think we should also mention your achievement of getting into the top 50!
Well I guess I was on the “Hot List”, but I didn’t really know what that meant. And then I also thought if you were on the top 50, you kinda work your way up. So like, start at 50 and work your way up from there. But I just woke up one morning and I had loads of tweets at me and I was like “what is this?” and I looked and I was 28 so I was pretty stoked! I don’t know how I’m there, but I’m pretty happy.
Maybe it’s your awesome Versace stuff?
Yeh maybe, I’m happy.
Well, that’s amazing, so I had to congratulate you on that. And that’s also a great time to mention that you’re in our magazine!
Yeh totally, happy to make the cut for Boys by Girls!
Yeh, let’s talk about that shoot, because that wasn’t even supposed to happen.
We had a little shoot for Volt that day, and after that we just came in here to the office and snapped a few more and then it made the mag!
So in our magazine it’s more about the simplicity. I kind of play with light and shadow and you kind of rocked that. It was one of those moment when you’re like “we just have to do this”.
Well, we should definitely shoot again some time.
My dream would be to shoot you at home, which would include some waves and some Hawaii!
Yeh that would be like the best editorial ever! We’d start with a coconut and then go on to the beach. One shot could be this cliff jump right next to my house which is like 70 feet. You don’t have to climb, you could just wait at the bottom and capture me in mid-air. And then if you need fashion involved I could be like wearing a suit.
Just casually jumping off a cliff in a suit.
Yeh! And then surfing is another one.
Surfing in Versace?
Yeh, and then chilling under a waterfall could be the finishing touch.
And we mustn’t forget the coconut and a shark thing. Maybe a sign rather than a real shark - that would be safer because I’m scared of sharks.
They’re doing crazy things with sharks these days, like swimming with them.
There is one thing that I have to ask you because I never really got the chance before. This issue is called “Lessons” and I want to ask what Lessons have you learnt through life that you think would be helpful to share with people?
I would say, don’t always stick to your original plan. Think outside the box. I just get tossed around from here to there to everywhere, and I’m always out of my comfort zone and it’s actually kind of nice after a while. You get to see different things and whatnot. And I’ve realised when I go back to somewhere like New York that I’m quite used to right now, I don’t always observe things like I do when I travel to new places. So observe more. Everyone is always in their own mind and not actually in the present, it’s crazy.
What other Travis updates to we need to catch up on whilst we have you here?
I dunno, my ModelFolio app has been doing pretty good.
Yes I love your app!
I know people like the hard copy books because they say it’s like a coffee table book, but I feel like you get more out of this and you learn more through this. And it’s just so much easier for us too. It’s half the weight and you can just carry your iPad around even if you aren’t going to a casting.
And it’s even better for photographers because our portfolios, well, I don’t know if you’ve felt the weight of those?
Yeh, your guys’ portfolios are definitely a lot bigger than a models. At the moment it’s just targeted at models, but we’re working on changing that so it’ll be totally usable to all, including photographers, hair and make-up and everyone.
Well thanks for popping by Travis, I’m going to buy your ModelFolio app now!
It’s been a pleasure, thanks for supporting!
You can find more info about Travis' ModelFolio app here.
Interview by Cecilie Harris
Words by Ama Samra