New York-based Dylan River (Ford, Premium, Why Not, Models 1) signed with Ford Models in September 2012 and made his debut as a Prada exclusive in the Italian brand's F/W 2013 show. He has since gone on to walk for Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, Carven, Jil Sander, Zegna, Neil Barrett, Rag & Bone, Siki Im - just to name a few. He has also appeared in the lookbooks for DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs, and graced the pages of Hero, V MAN, Dazed & Confused, Visual Tales and Grit magazines, among others. We caught up with the model right after New York Fashion Week, who talked about his connection to Justin Beiber, what has surprised him about the fashion industry, what he's obsessed with right now and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old are you and where are you from?
Dylan River - I am 19, and prior to moving down to the city, I lived in the small town of Phoenicia, which is about a 20 minute drive from Woodstock.
The Fashion Law - Tell me about being discovered.
Dylan River - It was my good friend Rebecca Henderson that suggested it to me one night. I was flattered by the compliment but didn’t think too much of it until she got in touch with a friend of her’s who knew Mike Lerner, Justin Bieber’s personal photographer. I was given Mike’s contact information. I took some test shots with him which he sent over to Ford and two days later they called me down and signed me.
The Fashion Law - Prior to be discovered did you think you were "model material"?
Dylan River - Noo! I always assumed models to be your typical hunky American guy. Lots of muscle, not too many brains. When the idea was suggested to me I was just like, “Pshh, yeah right!”
The Fashion Law - Your first show was Prada and you were an exclusive, which is a really big deal in the industry, especially as Prada exclusives are instantly in everyone's radar. At the time, what were you thinking?
Dylan River - I was just like, "Hell yeah this is awesome!" It really seemed like all the hype about being a model was true. Flying to Milan, being fed great food, having my accommodation payed for. It was crazy. It was a great first experience.
The Fashion Law - What is the best part, in your opinion, about being a model? (Other than traveling – which is usually everyone’s first answer)
Dylan River - Ever since I was about 5 and I came to New York City for the first time I’ve been set on living here. For me that’s definitely second best after traveling. It’s like a dream come true, and it happened right after high school.
The Fashion Law - What has surprised you most about the fashion/modeling industries?
Dylan River - I come from a pretty rural upbringing where fashion was not the first thing on people’s minds. So, everything about the industry has been a surprise. The most surprising thing for me would have to be the sheer number of designers and fashion houses. So much fashion and so many castings!
The Fashion Law - Do you actually care about fashion? Do you have a designer or design house that you really like or want to work with?
Dylan River - Now that I’m a part of the fashion world I have begun to care more and more about fashion. I’ve yet to develop a preference to a certain brand. So, as of now, no, but I’m sure sooner or later I’ll find one.
The Fashion Law - There is a stereotype that models aren't smart (which I don't particularly agree with). What do you think?
Dylan River - There’re stereotypes about everything. I tend to not find this stereotype to be too insulting though because in my opinion its pretty stupid. Sure some of us aren’t too smart, but so is a good portion of the general public. I’d say the ratio of intelligent to not is probably the same as anywhere. People are jealous. Its not fair that we can be good looking and smart at the same time. ;)
The Fashion Law - How do you think you are different from other models?
Dylan River - Well from what I’ve come to understand, each model is meant have features that or somewhat unique. Along those lines I’d say that what makes me different is my profile. I think that my features are especially strong at that angle. On a more personal level I don’t let being a model define me. It’s never one of the first things I tell people about when I meet them. I try to have people get to know me as a person first before discovering I’m a model.
The Fashion Law - Do you think you're good looking?
Dylan River - I definitely hold my image in much higher esteem than I used to. It’s pretty validating, especially for a skinny kid from the boonies.
The Fashion Law - What are you obsessed with right now?
Dylan River - Right now I’d have to say I’m obsessed with the recent days of good weather that we’ve gotten here in New York. I’m not a big fan of winter and I really don’t like the cold. I’ve been making a point to get out and enjoy the good weather while we have it.