#1212 Close Up on Michael Whittaker

Michael Whittaker was profiled by Close Up tonight, in a piece that followed him around New York Fashion Week; at home with his family; and on set at a Little Brother lookbook shoot. I’ve known Michael for a little over a year now. We’ve hung out in London, Milan, Paris, New York and Auckland, and I’ve kept a close eye on his developing career. I’ve seen him at the high points – booking Dior Homme in Paris; and the lows – running around a foreign city to castings all day long and getting the phone call that he’s been dropped from a show.

He’s changed a lot over the last year – in his looks and personality – he’s grown up a huge amount. Living alone in New York at 18 years of age will do that to a guy. When I met him, he was a little teen-aged prankster on his own in London. Now he’s a guy whose advice I’ll listen to any day of the week.

Here’s what he had to say for himself.

On the last year:
“I feel like a lot of the time I’ve been living someone else’s life… I’ve lived in New York, Paris, London, Milan, I’ve had an amazing adventure.”

On the casting experience:
“When you’re in a casting for a show and there are 400 of the best looking people which you’ve ever seen in your life, that’s a little bit intimidating.”

On working to your strengths:
“Something that’s really enabled me to handle it all is just the fact that I don’t take it personally. I’m not a Brazilian beach bod. You find your markets and you work to them. When you’re in Paris, the more emaciated and pale you are the better you’re going to work.”

On industry expectations:
“A lot of the time in this industry, people don’t want you to behave, they want you to misbehave.”

On the Dior Homme booking:
“I just did Dior Homme which is probably the highlight of the whole time I’ve been away. It’s probably like the most prestigious fashion brand in the world, once you have the seal of approval from a designer like that, it’s like, everyone else clamours to get on the band wagon.”

On his own beauty:
“Myself, do I think I’m beautiful? I don’t know, I think I’m alright.”

Watch this space.

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