American-born, English-raised Sebastian Sauvé had major reservations about becoming a model. But with a nudge from his girlfriend, he decided to give it a go, and now the 24-year-old's career is on a fast track. Sauvé had quite the impact on the editorial world last year, booking the fall cover of German L'Officiel Hommes, along with spreads for Italian GQ and i-D magazines. And this past June, he walked for the spring 2012 Versace, Calvin Klein, John Galliano, and Givenchy shows in Milan and Paris. We met with the rising face (who will also be doing a Model Diary for us this coming New York Fashion Week) to talk about his guiltiest pleasures and why aspiring models should rethink their goals in life.
What were your thoughts on modeling before you started?
I have to be honest; I thought it was kind of stupid. I always thought all the models looked the same, like skinny, pasty, and ill 16-year-old children who appeared completely depressed in all their pictures. If I saw a healthy-looking guy wearing a suit with a smile on his face instead, I'd be more likely to buy that suit.
What were some of the criticisms you heard when you first started modeling?
That I was too tall. I'm six-foot-three. Also, I've been told my real-life face is shit, but my camera face is really good. Apparently, people need to see me through a lens to see I'm a model. That was an issue as well, because no one had any proof I could model by just looking at me.
What's your idea of happiness?
Training monkeys to race dogs, and then watching them race dogs. And taking bets. I could do that forever.
Tell us something random and totally weird.
I have four nipples. [Laughs.] Actually, that's not true. But I have 24 hairs around my four nipples and one of them is two-and-a-half inches long.
Do you think male models have more of a sense of humor about the industry, in comparison to their female counterparts?
We're laid-back. Also, I started when I was 22, so I had already developed as a person and had a life. Once, I met a 14-year-old girl who started when she was 12; someone hiked up a mountain, found her, gave her parents 100 quid, and told them they'd make her a star. When I tried to talk to her about normal things, she didn't have any interests or a favorite subject in school; she was so vacant. A lot of these female models get told what to say in interviews — it's like a beauty pageant for them. I also think male models recognize that our career can end at any point in time, any second. It's important to have fun because our jobs can get pretty stressful.
You're about to be stranded on an island and you're allowed to bring one person and one thing. What would you bring?
I'd probably go for Will Ferrell as Buddy in Elf, because he would entertain me forever. And I'd bring my hacky sack with me; it's good pastime activity.
What have you been reading lately?
A massive series of books called The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. There are fourteen total, a thousand pages each, and I just finished the thirteenth one. Basically, it's the fantasy series that all other fantasy series are based off of. It's the ultimate, it makes J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings look like it was written by a 13-year-old.
What's your diet and fitness routine like?
I'm not a very good example of the typical model diet. I eat as often as possible, and I eat pretty much everything. I actually carry sandwich bags around with me for when I'm hungry. On my flight over to New York, I asked for extra meals, so I ate three total. I do eat a lot of greens, though. When I was younger, my mom was very forceful about "finishing your peas before you leave the table." Fitness-wise, I don't do much. I've always had a job, though, and that's almost like a workout. Even now I still work at a bar just for the sake of it.
What's your favorite and least favorite feature about yourself?
I enjoy being tall because I can see forever. And when I'm at a concert everyone else is sweating their tits off, while I have a nice, cool breeze in my face. Least favorite is also being tall, because you get back problems.
Wait, are you saying you have back problems at your age?
Yeah, when you're standing up for too long you have to sleep on the floor or put a pillow under your back. Let me tell you, though, I used to be small, so fucking tiny, but when I hit 16 I grew about a foot in a year. And that growth spurt really hurt. So I went from the smallest to the tallest in about six months, then I beat up all those kids who used to push me around when I was little.
Pick my nose? Sleeping all day? Scratch my nuts? Everyone does it.
So, do you have any male-model beauty secrets?
No, none. But everyone thinks I pluck my eyebrows, when I don’t.
If not modeling, what would you be doing?
I'd love to do marketing; professional bullshitting, basically. I want to go up to anyone I want and make them buy whatever I want and make them believe that product is actually useful.
Any advice for young, aspiring male models?
Don't do it! [Laughs.] Don't do it until you've had a few years of life first. And no one should go up to a girl and tell her she could be a model until she's at least 18. I have a friend with a 13-year-old younger sister who heard she could model, but "had to lose weight," so now she's been in the hospital for four months because she almost killed herself from not eating. All because some asshole went up to her and told her she could model.
Model Profile: Sebastian Sauvé
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