FASHION: Exclusive Interview With Fashion Model - David Hand.

by - 12:12:00

"Meet David Hand - New York City Creative Director, Video Producer, Husband, and Dad. He Is Also A Brilliant Model, Scouted at Age 51 and Signed To Next Models. I find Him very inspiring, Read His full Interview and I hope you feel inspired by his wise words like I did".

Photo By-  Jason Mickle.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and what was life like growing up?
I grew up in a tony New England suburb that was frankly beyond the means of my parents. They both came from tough places. Mom was a war refugee from Blackhill, Glasgow and my father was an orphan from Brooklyn, New York. So I think they raised us in this ostensibly idyllic setting in order to give my brothers, sisters, and me what they never had. They worked hard and taught us to do the same. I got my first job at 12 and now, at 51, I don’t see an end in sight. My life is perpetual motion. I live between two states and travel on business frequently. I have a family. I am a career graphic designer, having endured relentless technological and platform revolutions, which means I’m in a constant state of learning. In 2012, I opened a corporate video production company with my best friend of thirty-five years. These are the things that keep the lights on, today. The modeling world has added at least half dozen new facets to this latest chapter of my time, here.

How were you discovered, and how has your journey been so far? 
A social media acquaintance asked if I’d be interested in appearing in a public service announcement campaign he was producing. He gave my personal Instagram account information to his photographer, Jason Mickle, who is also a partner in Renew-Faces, a model scout and development agency, here in New York City. Jason approached me separately and said he thought that, with training, I could go the distance. He put me through his rigorous paces, including having me pose while laying down in the Hudson River (the one in which Captain Sully landed Flight 1549, and in which the mafia often dumped bodies, back in the day) on my first day before a camera. Six months and many shoots later, he had developed my portfolio enough that I was ready for agency exposure, and I landed a contract with one of the big ones. That was only six months ago. Since then, I have been building a stronger portfolio every day, by collaborating on creative projects with stylists, makeup artists, photographers, and video producers from New York to Boston to Chicago. I’ve been building a strong, organic social media presence and have begun gracing the hallowed halls of YouTube, with fun and approachable content for men of all ages.

What is your biggest Motivation in Life?
Finding the perfect life balance, understanding that it is a shifting thing, all while providing for my family.

Have you always had a passion for Fashion and Modelling? 
As a career creative, I was always the one hiring the models and never thought much about being on the other side of the camera. I developed a great admiration for the art form, and how models transform themselves when the camera goes live. I’m a latecomer to fashion. Most of my life, I was more enthralled by automotive design. British luxury, in particular. But that’s not too far from fashion, isn’t it? Fabrics, leather, forms, and shiny accessories. I’m fortunate now to be surrounded by people who give me good advice, and when praised over a look in a given shoot, I’m thrilled sometimes to say, “I styled that one.”

Photo By - Corey Lynn Tucker
Since the start of your career, what is the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome?
To stop chasing dollars. It’s been a lifelong struggle to learn that they don’t make me happy. And I’ve only recently come to this understanding.

Who or What inspire you?
Who? My son, with his determination and open heart, and my partner, who sustains us through thick and thin, who is the bedrock of our life, and who endures the madness of my ways. What? Collaboration. When creative minds and giving spirits unite, fantastic things happen. It’s the generous and creative souls around me that uplift me. I hope in some way I do the same for them.

What are some of your latest and upcoming projects? 
Next month, I have an editorial feature appearing in “Volant” magazine. It was a collaboration with several people very dear to me, in which another model and I portrayed Jackson-Pollock-era painters, working in a Brooklyn artist’s studio. This summer, I spent a joyful day shooting in Red Hook, Brooklyn with the &Sons brand, a British denim company, sporting looks inspired by those of London factory workers from the 1950’s. And I recently spent the day with photographer Corey Lynn Tucker at a rustic cabin in the Connecticut hills, shooting a lifestyle piece that went from Namaste to “Game of Thrones” in the blink of an eye. Finally, I’m working on a personal project that will unite social media, editorial shoots, and short film, full of gritty underworld figures and stellar fashion.

Photo By - Tim Goodwin
What are your top 5 Health and Fitness Routines that keep you looking Youthful?
1. If you schedule workouts around work, you’re doing it backward.
2. Sugar is the devil. I’m not saying don’t dance with him. I mean… he’s a good time. Just do it as little as possible.
3. Even a bad workout is better than no workout. Find your motivation and GO, even if you only stay for ten minutes.
4. Be Spider-Man, not Superman.
5. Control your portions. Meals should be the size of your fist. Have frequent, healthy snacks.

What are the Pros of being a Model?
The first time a stranger shouts, “I love your work” as you cross 8th Avenue (and every time and place, thereafter). Knowing other up-and-comers who will drop everything to collaborate with you. And the very best is answering, with gratitude, every DM that says, “I watched your videos and they are really helping me!”

Photo By Jason Mickle
What advice would you give to male and female models trying to find their Niche in The Fashion Industry Today?
I’m only six months in and have much to learn, as I find my own way. All I can say is go out on limbs. Don’t compromise yourself or your principles. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally. As Jason Mickle said to me, “You are on that runway or in front of that camera for a reason. Someone believed in you enough to put you there.” But it’s you who has to believe in you, if you want to make it.

If you could change anything about the fashion industry, what would it be?
I’d turn every diva into an unpaid intern, and spend their fortunes to cover the rent for every other unpaid intern until there is nothing left.

Photography - Ean Nigel
Lol! Love this(I’d turn every diva into an unpaid intern)- David What is your Mantra?
These days I’m guided by this: “What can you do with what you already have?” A friend posted that on her profile and its many layers stuck with me. For me, this means giving new life to things once relegated to my attic, whether it’s my father’s camel coat or the biker jacket from my club days. But beyond the material, it means maintaining a constant mental inventory of what I have to give, and how those gifts can help those around me.

Who are some of your favourite Designers? 
Like everyone else, I’m awestruck by the billionaire brands, with their big-budget shows and top-tier talent, bought and paid for. But they don’t need my support. My admiration goes to the newcomer, showing in a garage with broken air conditioning under a train trestle, and serving art on a human platter so good that all you hear is jaws dropping and red plastic cups hitting the floor, before the crowd goes wild.

Photo By- Harry Ondoa
If you weren’t a Model, what would you be doing?
Other than Tyson Beckford, not many people can name many career male models (trust me, I’ve asked). At its best, it can be a lucrative sideline and the oil that greases the wheels of my other aspirations. So it’s less about what I would be doing and more about what I am and will be doing. With each shoot, I learn more skills in front of the camera. As I delve into video, I can feel my on-screen personality emerging. And it’s going to take me to new and exciting places, with the help of my friends. We will create greatness.

Photo By -Harry Ondoa
What Is it like - to be a Plus 50 Male Model?
Never having been any other kind, I have no basis for comparison. I’m very much just a dude. Today, I was that male model whose truck battery died in the parking lot. The one comparing barbecue sauce labels at the supermarket. The one who cut his finger moving an air conditioner. But I’m also the one being interviewed by a British fashion magazine. The one invited to a fancy SoHo party two nights from now. The one who had the privilege to answer two DMs today, from followers who were inspired by him. So being this 50-plus male model is pretty spectacular.

What is the biggest misconception about the Male Modelling Industry?
That we earn a king’s ransom. Remember “Zoolander”? Derek was a top model… who lived with three other guys. #Reality.

Photo By - Sean Howard
Anything else you would like to add…
I am thrilled to be a part of this sea change, in which people-of-a-certain-age have come of age. I am in great company with every other silver mane and seasoned face who works hard to change minds and attitudes about aging. The eternal truth is that agile minds and youthful spirits never go out of style.

Photo By -Jason Mickle
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