Yuri Pleskun backstage at Paul Smith – Photo: Steve Wood
First up, because he says things like this: “It was… an honor to work with Juergen Teller, especially because he chose to shoot in my apartment. And, no [Marc Jacobs wasn’t there], I believe Marc Jacobs had more important things to do than getting robbed in the Bronx.”
And, secondly. New Zealand is quite an isolated country. We’re way down the bottom of the South Pacific Ocean, close to Australia and a couple of Pacific Islands, but pretty far away from the majority of the world. The closest we get to America and Europe comes from watching TV shows like Friends, The Simpsons and Coronation Street, and from music and films. Because most of our contact with (and knowledge of) Americans and Europeans comes from TV, film and music, I find that we often have quite typecast, stereotypical ideas of what people are going to be like.
Obviously I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m sure I’m not alone here.
For example – the snobby, moustache twirling French waiter; the surly Russian; the passionate Italian; the street smart New York kid.
The first time I met Yuri Pleskun, he exemplified the latter. He strutted into this bar La Perle in Paris, sat down next to a whole bunch of models and started talking in the most extreme Bronx accent you’ve ever heard. “Yo, what up kid?” I asked him where he was from. “I’m from Boogie-down Noo Yawk, son.” It was like sitting next to a cast member from Kids. Or Leonardo DiCaprio in The Basketball Diaries.
To his fellow Americans in attendance, this was probably no more exciting than going to clear the mailbox. But for me, it was literally like having a movie played out in front of my eyes. Hilarious and entertaining all at the same time.
And besides what he looks like, I’d say that’s one of the reasons for his success as a model. He epitomises this movie character stereotype that you very rarely encounter in real life.
Oh, and also because he says things like this: “It was like getting my teeth pulled out…through a straw.” In response to a question about how he enjoyed New York Fashion Week.
Watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean.
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