At age 19, Poland-born Tomek Szalanski (Nevs, Soul Artist Management, Tomorrow and Bananas Models, among quite a few others) started off very strong from his very first season, Fall/Winter 2012, walking exclusively for Jil Sander in Milan and Viktor & Rolf, Mugler and Miharayashiro in Paris. Now age 21, he has since walked for General Idea, John Galliano, Dior Homme, Wooyoungmi, J.W. Anderson, Ermenegildo Zegna, and others, graced the pages of Interview Magazine, GQ Italia, Visual Tales Magazine, Ian Cole's Carbon Copy, and Vogue Hommes Japan, among many others, and starred in ad campaigns for Sergio Davila, Wittchen, and ASOS, among others. He talks to us about being discovered, model life, Dior Homme and more ...
The Fashion Law - How old are you and what's your nationality?
Tomek Szalanski - I am 21 years old, I come from Legnica, a small town in Poland.
The Fashion Law - Where were you scouted and what was the first big job you did?
Tomek Szalanski - I was scouted when walking on the street of my hometown. It was crazy. The first important job that I had was walking as an exclusive for Jil Sander during Milan Fashion Week.
The Fashion Law - How do you think you are different from other models?
Tomek Szalanski - Am I different from the other models? Hahaha Just kidding. I do not really know what designers are looking for when they choose only 30 guys out of 1000 in auditions. I think the majority of us look alike. I guess it depends on the hair color, way of walking or the capacity of transmiting the message that the designers seek to transmit with their current collection.
The Fashion Law - What did you think of modeling before you got started?
Tomek Szalanski - I had no idea about fashion back then. I had never wondered how campaigns are shot. I did not even know that there was such things as a model agency! I used to be an athlete and, so, I had no interest in fashion whatsoever.
The Fashion Law - Is there a specific job so far that especially liked?
Tomek Szalanski - It would be really difficult to choose only a specific job I have had. Each season and each runway or shoot has it's own charm. And I am looking forward for more.
The Fashion Law - Do you think there are any downsides to modeling?
Tomek Szalanski - Model Life is full of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, we all love the life we lead, travelling, meeting new people, but on the other hand, it is very difficult. You cannot have stability. You never know when you'll get work or campaigns. You always have to have spared money for "black times" when you do not have the right amount of work in some months...
The Fashion Law - Is there a particular designer or design house that you absolutely want to work with?
Tomek Szalanski - Yes. My dream was to make a show for Dior Homme, Armani, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. This season I was able to walk for Dior. So, now I am waiting for the next season!
The Fashion Law - What do you like to do when you're not traveling/working?
Tomek Szalanski - The problem is that I am STILL ON TOUR. When I have free time I love to play computer games. This helps me "turn off" from the world and relax. I love to spend my evenings by the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Duomo in Milan with my friends. Those are moments I will never forget. I can say that modelling has taught me about life. I have really grown up in this world.
The Fashion Law - What have you learned about the business of fashion so far from your work?
Tomek Szalanski - I can say that fashion is a tough industry. It has taught me to be responsible and realize that the most important thing that life can give us are the relationships we develop.
The Fashion Law - Where do you see yourself in the next several years?
Tomek Szalanski - I am not thinking about it. I do not like over-planning. I love spontaneity. That's what I do, I try to do my best and be the best version of me. We never know!
The Fashion Law - What are you obsessed with right now?
Tomek Szalanski - My obsession is my girlfriend.