INSIDE STORY

FASHION XY

HISPANIC FIRE

JAVIER DE MIGUEL

 

&ldquoHispanic fire&rdquo I suppose, isn&rsquot exactly the way I&rsquod describe Javier de Miguel. As positive and natural as it is, he smiled and laughed throughout the whole shoot. He never tires. In between takes, as we sat in a corner of the studio sipping coffee, he answered every one of my questions with good humor. Every one. Javier, whose campaign with Gucci broke him onto the world fashion scene has proved every bit as worthy of his new found fame. The Spanish model, who will be the face for this season&rsquos Climber B.C. line, breaths an undeniably new flair into the season. The shoot to one side. Let&rsquos take this chance to get to know Javier up close and personal.

 

Interview: Kuzey Yıldız

 

So how did it all start? How did you get into modelling?

 

I started this job when I was 16. I was discovered in a club. I got by modelling for Spanish brands in the first few years. The jobs were mainly local, for department stores and chains. After I finished university, when I was about 21 I took a trip to Milan and was lucky enough to take part in a show for a giant like Gucci. I got approved by Gucci of all people &ndash just think. You could say that&rsquos where my career started, really. All eleven years ago.

The first shot is always unforgetable. How was yours?

 

It was a portrait shoot. My face was in all the papers for about three months. Of course, that was as big for me as it was for all my family and friends.

 

What makes a good fashion photographer in your opinion?

 

I can&rsquot give you a very clear answer to that. But I would only say that any photographer worth his or her salt is someone who can make you feel at ease. Someone who can make you feel at home for the whole shoot, for sure.

 

Do you have any conditions or unbreakable rules for yourself?

 

I can&rsquot arrive late for a shoot. This is the biggest rule I set myself. Of course, all shoot begin a little later than planned. That&rsquos the nature of the job. Another thing is that, whatever I might be feeling before the shoot, I have to stay positive throughout it. Sometimes the studio where the shoot is taking place is too hot or too cold, or it just goes on and on for ages. But it&rsquos not just me in the shoot is it, there is a whole team working there. If you keep this in mind, it makes you want to make sure everything runs smoothly for everyone involved. 

What do your friends say about you?

 

I guess they probably see me as a fun guy.

 

Are you a party animal at all?

 

I can&rsquot say no to a good party! But I don&rsquot drink. That way, you have a fun party, but you can also get up for work all fresh.

 

How would you describe your own thoughts on fashion?

 

Fashion has to go beyond the avant-garde. That&rsquos the only thing I can think of.

 

Do you think modelling is a luxury?

 

Yes, this industry really is a luxury. I&rsquom really lucky. In fact, I think most people working in this industry are very lucky to be able to do what they do. Our career is 95% related to how we look on the outside. That&rsquos just how we came into the world and it&rsquos an absolute blessing. 

How do you dress off the shoot?

 

I just like to dress plain and comfortably. Generally I don&rsquot go beyond the classic t-shirt, sneakers and jeans formula. Of course, sometimes I like to wear a nice jacket. But I don&rsquot obsess about brand names. I never wear big brand names at any time really. I think I only really did so every so often when I was younger. Basically, I kind of like to dress plainly, that&rsquos all.

 

Is there not a brand that you enjoy wearing particularly, then?

 

Not particularly. Of course, if I&rsquove previously worked with a brand before, then I guess I feel a sense of closeness to it. Etro, for example. It has a very characteristic style. There&rsquos a personality to the design. The colors and the prints complete it. I think, because I &lsquove worked with them so often now, I feel a real shared joy in wearing their product.

 

Why did you become a model?

 

Of course, when you start in this line of work, your first thoughts are of money and travelling. But at this point in my life, modelling has become a way of life. This is me. This is how I live and earn my keep. I&rsquove gotten to know many people around the world from different cultures in this line of work. This is now just the way I live.

 

Do you have any good secret beauty tips?

 

I can&rsquot say I have any secrets per say. But I&rsquoll confess this much for you I&rsquom someone who has a lot of skin problems. Trying to keep it smooth it difficult at times. If you have any secret like that please tell me! (Laughs)

So what do you do to keep fit?

 

I eat healthily and do a bit of exercise. I go to the gym three times a week. But the essence of keeping fit is simply to eat healthily.

 

How do you come across to people?

 

I think I&rsquom a pretty friendly sort. But also I think I kind of wish I was more approachable. I&rsquom a big fan of people like that. Always hugging, touching, and chatting away &ndash you know the sort. Yeah I think I&rsquom sort of one of those, but not too much.

 

Being a model is about oozing confidence everywhere you go right? Do you agree?

 

I&rsquove been working in this trade since I was very young indeed. But I was always full of confidence. But being surrounded by people who care about you is more important I&rsquod say. It could be your lover, your family, your friends &ndash it doesn&rsquot matter. If you recognize this need you can be stronger and more confident in yourself and your life.

Let&rsquos say you have a free day. No bookings, no mail, no phone calls. What would you do?

 

I love taking photos. Then I go and edit them on my computer. Apart from this, I love football. If I have a free day I absolutely love watching my favorite TV shows too. There&rsquos some American ones I&rsquom a hardcore follower of.

 

What do you do in foreign cities?

 

Well, it really depends how long I&rsquom planning on staying in the city. If I&rsquove got the time, I&rsquoll definitely hit the streets and explore.

 

Are there any people in the fashion world you&rsquore a fan of?

 

There are, of course, many models who I&rsquom a big fan of. Ones who have accomplished great things. Jon Kortajarena, is my friend at the same time, but he is one. Another is Sean O&rsquoPry.

 

How does being a model affect your life?

 

I can&rsquot say it&rsquos affected it so much, because I&rsquove always drawn a very clear line between my work and my private life. Yes I travel away from home a lot and the work takes up a lot of my time. But I make sure to make time to spend with my girlfriend at home. I&rsquove had two relationships in life so far, but they were very long term. It&rsquos very important for me to make time for my relationship. The same thing is true also for my friends and family. 

What are your future plans?

 

I want to get on TV. Not necessarily as an actor. I think being a presenter would be cool though.

 

You mean for talent contests?

 

Sure. It could be something like that, why not.

 

Today you are in Istanbul for the new Climber B.C. campaign. How do you find the line?

 

We began the shoot with some really sharp suits. Every single item presses the brand&rsquos image. The cuts are very nice and the design is comfortable and fits really well. I find the materials very light and comfy.

 

What could you say about the feel the items give you?

 

The collection has a really positive vibe because &ndash as I said &ndash the clothes really emphasize comfort. It has a distinctly European quiddity to it and I started to get into the style more and more as the photo went on. The jeans are pretty basic. That&rsquos my style anyway, so that&rsquos god. But I also love the jackets &ndash the material is very cozy.

 

Fashion Weeks must be tough. How were this season&rsquos for you?

 

Actually I haven&rsquot taken part in any big fashion shows for a couple of seasons now. 

So more campaigns, less catwalks. Is that a personal choice?

 

Actually, it&rsquos both a professional and a personal choice. In Paris and Milan, you tend to see a lot of new, fresh faces. I&rsquod already been doing those shows for nine years. I&rsquove worked many a season at them. So I find myself doing a lot more campaigns now. It just makes sense to take my career in that way now.

 

Do you have any advice for those fresh, young faces?

 

You need to know how to look after, and how to spend your money. Of course, in between jobs you will have a lot of free time, so use it wisely. Act professionally at all times. Work is work. You have to respect that at all times!

 

What are you planning to do once you leave Istanbul?

 

I have a few jobs to do in Madrid and Barselona. Also my best friend is getting married in October. I&rsquom really excited for that wedding. For Christmas I&rsquoll be in New York or Paris.