There are countless pieces of advice on how to become a professional model, but sometimes all it takes is authenticity and having a great amount of discipline.
In the series “5 Models Answer 5 Questions” we regularly ask a different professional model to share their experience and advice when it comes to working in the fashion industry. Today’s insight is from our model Jason Harderwijk.
Scouted on Instagram by the photographer John Paul Rietrus, Jason’s career took off almost instantly. He has worked alongside powerful fashion powerhouses such as Karl Lagerfeld and Marc Jacobs, and walked for today’s leading labels such as Off-White and Prada. In this interview we talk about his view on the fashion industry and advice he’d like to give to his younger self.
Traveling is beautiful, we cannot complain, but it’s very mental when you have to flight to NY, Seoul, Singapore, get jet-lagged and have to work with it the following days.
First of all, could you please tell us about yourself?
I’m Jason Harderwijk and I come from the French Guiana and my parents from Suriname, in South America. I am the oldest of two siblings and was raised by my aunt.
What were the key steps you took to become a professional model?
I always say you need to find a good agency, be aware, keep your values, and get some practice. I felt like my creativity helped me a lot to improve myself in this field.
What are the main do’s and don’ts when showcasing yourself to an agency?
It’s so easy. Just be yourself, show personality, be authentic and respectful, and everything will be fine!
How do you master the art of posing?
You know, in my culture we love to dance and to move. When I’m on set I feel free and higher. There is so much going on my mind that I cannot really explain. I’m not exactly thinking what pose I’m gonna be doing. Of course we have a mood board to follow, but when you show a little bit more of you, it changes everything. That’s what makes you look even better and creative.
I love posing. Since I started modelling I love to try new things and give the best of myself every single time.
When working as a professional model, what are some of the aspects attached that people do not always see?
I guess we all know people always think “Oh, they are living a glamorous life!”, that we travel a lot, have free stuff, etc… But it’s not always like that. You can see an amazing campaign of Anok Yai for Prada but before getting that picture she had to travel from NY to Milan, work many hours, do fittings, and then photoshoots and videos.
It’s hard work, but people can’t see it because for them you did Dior, Givenchy, Marni. They don’t know what the backstage looks like. Traveling is beautiful, we cannot complain, but it’s very mental when you have to flight to NY, Seoul, Singapore, get jet-lagged and have to work with it the following days.
What advice would you give to your younger self if you knew what you know today?
You know, the fashion industry is amazing and wonderful but nothing on Earth is perfect. Once you are in and you got the keys, for things to work out well you need to have patience. You can’t just snap your hands to have something.
Be positive and creative, it’s all about what your mind is telling you. Follow your instinct and find something that makes you feel joy and freedom. Life shouldn’t be about pressure, where you always have to be careful about what job you’re going to choose to make your parents and family happy. I wouldn’t say “Oh, you should get in the fashion industry because it’s amazing and sh***”, if it is what you want, then go for it.
We would like to thank Jason for this interview. To see more of his work, visit his Cherrydeck profile or his Instagram, here. To discover other models, check out the model search or our previous interviews with Mika, Tristan and Nicklas. ?