French-born, Paris-based Florian DesBiendras (Major Paris, Elite Milan, Major NY and managed by Attitude Models) was scouted just about three years ago and in that time, he has become quite a regular on the runway, while studying drama in school in Paris. Since making his debut for Z. Zegna in June 2012, he has gone on to walk for John Galliano, Walter Van Beirendonck, John Varvatos, Etro, and Roberto Cavalli, among others. He has graced the pages of The Ones2Watch, Vanity Teen, Details, Hero, and Interview - just to name a few. He's even shot with our favorite model/photographer/creator Michael Elmquist. We chatted with DesBiendras about his first show, the best part about being a model, whether he thinks he's hot or not, and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old are you and where are you from?
Florian DesBiendras - I'll be 23 in a few months and from St. Valery Sur Somme, France.
The Fashion Law - What was your first big job?
Florian DesBiendras - My first big show was Z. Zegna back in June 2012. I was so exciting being part of a big show because the casting was huge, and the catwalk was so big. I remember the guy before me was so stressed, that he had difficultly breathing. I was not very comfortable, but then they said "go", and it was already done. We spent four hours backstage and a few seconds on the runway, and it was great!
The Fashion Law - Prior to being discovered, did you think you were "model material"?
Florian DesBiendras - No. Before modeling, I was in my design school in Lille, France, and the only castings I was doing were for films through my agent in Paris. Nothing related to fashion. I remember a guy, on Facebook, introduced me to a model agent, but he didn't sign me. So, I decided not to push anything, and if modeling was supposed to come into my life, then it would come naturally. I didn't want to think about it, but a few months later, on the day of my 20th birthday, I was been scouted by an English booker, while I was visiting Paris with my parents.
The Fashion Law - What is the best part, in your opinion, about being a model?
Florian DesBiendras - Modeling is an open door to the world. Traveling is definitely part of it. You have to handle yourself alone in every situation, learn how to build relationships, learn English, and feeling 1000 different emotions in one day (especially during Fashion Weeks). I think that opens your mind to so many different things, just by being around people and cultures all the time. I'm very thankful for this! And also, the food is always amazing!
The Fashion Law - What has surprised you the most about the fashion/modeling industries?
Florian DesBiendras - Fashion is a hard industry hidden behind the vision of beauty. As models, we are totally insecure with our work, because we are not controlling anything and we never make the decisions. We are just being part of a project that belongs to an artist. We correspond with the desires of the clients, and everything is based on seduction.
Most of the time, I'm surprised by the attention that people give us, especially the whole blogging thing. So many people coming after the shows for pictures, coming only for the models and not for the clothes. Do we deserve all of this? I don't know, but it's funny!!
The Fashion Law - How do you think you are different from other models?
Florian DesBiendras - Models are normal persons scouted for what they look like. So, we definitely come with different stories and this is the reason why everyone is special. We are young, and students, most of us. I don't feel more special than the other models, because I'm doing the same job, and we all look kind of a certain way. But I will say, as a model, it feels special to do a job based on your image, that allows you travel around the world and be around important people. To be appreciated for what you look like ... this is so weird. But I see all of the experiences that modeling brings into our lives, and it is amazing. I love it!
The Fashion Law - Do you think you're good looking?
Florian DesBiendras - As long as my lover desires me, then it doesn't matter so much what I think! [laughs]
The Fashion Law - Last one ... What are you obsessed with right now?
Florian DesBiendras - The books of my friend Arthur Dreyfus.