San Francisco-born, New York-based Nick Hinman (who is signed with Wilhelmina and Bananas Models) has done quite a bit since being discovered four years ago. He has walked for Patrik Ervell, Neil Barrett, Billy Reid, Band of Outsiders, and Timo Weiland, among others. He has also graced the pages of Visual Tales, FHM Collections Germany, SHK, and V magazines. Just in time for New York Fashion Week, we caught up with Hinman, who talked to us about working in China, Skate Brooklyn, getting scouted, and more ...
The Fashion Law – How old are you and what's your nationality?
Nick Hinman –I'm 24 years old and American.
The Fashion Law – When were you scouted and what was the first big job you did?
Nick Hinman – I was scouted in New York four years ago. I was skating past a restaurant with my friend and we stopped and started a conversation with this woman outside. We started talking about Oregon because I went to college there, and after a while she was like "Wait, have you ever thought about modeling?" I thought, whoa is she just hitting on me? But she sent me into Wilhelmina and they signed me on the spot. Less than a week later, I shot the cover of WWD, which comes out after a few days. So, it was pretty surreal to see myself on a magazine so fast.
The Fashion Law – How do you think you are different from other models?
Nick Hinman –I definitely don't flaunt it like other dudes do. Some guys and girls just love being models and are obsessed with the idea. But I think of it more as a fun job; an opportunity that isn't offered to everyone. So, you have to take advantage of it.
The Fashion Law – What did you think of modeling before you got started?
Nick Hinman – I didn't really have an opinion on it because it was pretty abrupt how I started, but I guess it looked like a somewhat lucrative and glamorous way to make money, which can be pretty far from the truth. Ha!
The Fashion Law – What has been the highlight of modeling for you so far? Is there a specific job you loved?
Nick Hinman – The traveling aspect of modeling is definitely a highlight for me. I remember a year and a half ago I was on my way to a bar with my friends at night and my agent called me and was like, "Hey dude you ready to go to Australia tomorrow? You just got booked for this campaign in Sydney." The spontaneity of it is pretty exhilarating. As for one particular job, not really. I shot the campaign for Original Penguin four seasons in a row and that was always a super fun team.
The Fashion Law– Do you think there are any downsides to modeling?
Nick Hinman – I think the spontaneity can be equally frustrating. It's a career where your life is pretty up in the air day-in and day-out, and sometimes that lack of regiment and organization can take it's toll on you.
The Fashion Law – Is there a particular designer or design house that you absolutely want to work with?
Nick Hinman – I have always wanted to work for Prada or Jil Sander because I really like their aesthetic, but I'm pretty easy.
The Fashion Law – What do you like to do when you're not traveling/working?
Nick Hinman – I've been taking acting classes at Stella Adler for the past year, which has been a lot of fun. Even if I never take it further than those classes, I think it's a good way to learn more about yourself. I'm also a big skateboarder. I ride for Skate Brooklyn - a skate shop in BK. I've been trying to film and put a video together for awhile now, but if I could skate every day for the rest of my life I'd be one happy dude. I grew up in San Francisco, and I've been skating since I was 7 or 8. So, it's a big part of who I am.
The Fashion Law – What have you learned about the business of fashion so far from your work?
Nick Hinman – Get used to rejection! And always add at least a month to whenever you're expecting to get paid. And try and remember everyone's name.
The Fashion Law – I didn't see you in any of the Spring 2014 menswear shows in Europe.
Nick Hinman – I was traveling on a contract in Hong Kong. So, I wasn't doing shows in Europe. There are some weird jobs in Hong Kong.
The Fashion Law – You have to tell me a bit more about China ...
Nick Hinman – China was a pretty funny place. It's obviously well-known for its knock-off merchandise and pirated DVDs, but I didn't realize that it extends to the fashion industry out there as well. I remember I was shooting some campaign for a recognized brand in Asia, and the set up was a complete copy of a D&G ad from a few seasons ago. Verbatim. They were holding up a photo of the ad during the shoot and making sure it was perfectly matching the D&G campaign, just the clothes and models were slightly different. It was pretty amusing.
The Fashion Law – Have you done any other cool jobs since you've been back?
Nick Hinman – I worked with Lanvin in NY for a presentation which was cool, and also have some good editorials coming out. I just got back from Nuremberg where I got to shoot in Germany for the first time, and now I'm headed down to LA to shoot a lookbook in the desert, which should be fun. Then back to NY for fashion week by the last week of August. What I'm really excited about though is I just got cast in an independent film/series about New York that's going to debut on a well-known streaming video site. I can't go into too much detail, but that'll start filming after fashion week. So, I'm looking forward to that!
The Fashion Law – Where do you see yourself in the next several years?
Nick Hinman – It is hard to say, but as long as I stay focused and positive, I don't think anywhere but up.
The Fashion Law – What are you obsessed with right now?
Nick Hinman – Same as always. Skateboarding and good vibes.