Andrew Churchill: “Oh man, catwalks. Easily one of the most anxiety ridden parts of this job and I don’t even have to wear sky high heels doing it”
16 ago, 2015
Hey! Thanks so much for having me. Andrew here… my friends call me Andy or Panda; it’s a long story, haha. I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but grew up in the small town of Harrison, Maine, with a population of about 2,000 people. I never could completely appreciate or understand the real essence of Main. I think Alps inspired mountains, chilly lakes and rocky coast lines riddled with fresh lobster and craft beers, until I moved to the ultimate metropolis of NYC.
Before moving to New York City, I studied at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont, where I received a double major in Business Administration and Spanish. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to explore and take advantage of the vast wilderness that Vermont has to offer.
I am always excited and ready to jump on an opportunity for a trip to the beautiful northern state that will always be my real home.
Given the geography of my upbringing, my interests included but were not nearly limited to hiking, distance swims and mountain biking… In the ‘off’ season, as some fair weather tourists would call it, I enjoyed ski racing and cross country skiing on the frozen lake outside of my front door. In Maine, it’s crucial to stay active during the nose biting winter or else your mind and body would begin to develop a rather melancholy view of the hidden winter beauties.
During high school school, I also dabbled in the jazz band as a tenor saxophonist, an active member of the track team and as a volunteer that took me to an orphanage as far as ‘The warm heart of Africa’, Malawi, as well as South Africa and Zambia.
Modeling: how did all begin
It happened all pretty quickly. An agency in Boston asked me to come in for a meet and greet so my Mom and I jumped on a bus full of nerves and made our way down to ‘the big city’. We didn’t expect too much since this was all so foreign to us but I ended up walking out with a contract. We proceeded to jump up and down outside of the agency office, had a few glasses of wine by the Prudential center and then were off to enjoy the sweet, exciting ride home.
My first test shoot was really quite a mess. Thankfully, my now dear friend Peter who was the photographer helped me get over my insecurities of my skin and my general awkwardness. Of course, my Mom also came with me to meet with him in Rhode Island since she’s such a trooper and an amazing mother and friend. He offered us both a glass of Rosé once it was clear I was too tense to even take a somewhat decent high school graduation photo. All in all, I owe him a lot towards my confidence in the modeling industry.
After that, I really came into myself. I understood that the more comfortable that I could feel in front of the camera, the better my photos would be. I’ve really enjoyed working for Jimmy Choo, Cartier, Esquire Magazine, Esteé Lauder and Ralph Lauren, to name a few.
Posing to photographers
If I had it my way, I’d have a coffee and a croissant with every new photographer that I was planning on working with to break the ice and to get to know them a little bit. I think so often that models are thrown into shoots where there isn’t a comfortable social connection and the photos will often look overly posed or uncomfortable due to this. I would know, it’s happened to me.
Unfortunately, there usually is not time for the aforementioned café date. When I work with a photographer, I like when they are not afraid to be vocal during the shoot; after all, they are the ones who can see you and how you are being reflected through the lens.
It can be extremely beneficial for the photographer to tell you how to move so that the best lighting, movement and pose all end up in one amazing shot that you are both proud of.
Nudity is a no-go for me. Keep it professional and keep your personal values in tact.
One of the best backstage memories that I have was when I was shooting a commercial for Esteé Lauder with Kendall Jenner and some of the models and I almost missed our call for action because we were all too busy taking goofy prom themed photos backstage since we were all wearing tuxedos and gowns.
It wasn’t funny at the moment being yelled at by the crew but now we look back and laugh about how we almost ruined an entire commercial due to a silly high school moment.
The runway shows experiences
Oh man, catwalks. Easily one of the most anxiety ridden parts of this job and I don’t even have to wear sky high heels doing it! You’d think… walk down, do a little turn and walk back would be a piece of cake. I’ve quite literally never been so aware of how far my arms were swinging or how far apart I placed my feet or how angry/sexual/pensive my face looked.
It’s definitely an experience. I had a blast during one runway show that I did during fashion week for BET (Black Entertainment Television). I have blonde hair and blue eyes and skin that burns the moment it even senses sunlight. I’m pretty sure that I walked onto the runway and the entire crowd went ‘….Wait, what?’. I have a photo of it somewhere in here. In the end, I made some great friends during that show and look back on it with a smile.
Dumbest thing u´ve heard a model say
“Is fashion week a holiday, like, that everyone celebrates?”. Haha…. uh.
Male models x Female models: who rule this business
I think that it has definitely come to be a little less uneven with regards to female models and male models on the grand spectrum on who is more dominating in the industry (women).
I think it has become more socially normal and respectable to become a male model because it really demonstrates ones’ ability to stay in top physical form and to try and outwork the many new up and coming guys who have just as much drive and passion for it as you do.
My inspiration as a male model would have to be Lars Burmeister from my favorite campaign to this day: Acqua Di Gio cologne. He demonstrates everything that a male model wants to be seen as : masculine, confident and engaging. Check out the ad – it just goes to show you that even in such a complex, lavish industry, that sometimes the simpler, the better.
My favorite female model is definitely Claudia Schiffer for obvious reasons.
I’d call myself a comfort-ista. I’m all about looking good and feeling good in what I’m wearing. Most often, I’m sporting a soft black tee, some versatile tailored denim and either my black leather zip-up converse or an easy on/off sport slip on. When I’m not running around as a model, I like this kind of outfit because it can be both playful but also acceptable if you find yourself stumbling into an unexpected cocktail event.
Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowd
I’m not sure how many of you have seen the Disney movie, The Lizzie McGuire movie, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve probably seen it more than once… but there is a scene where this normal girl, Lizzie, is confused for a celebrity in a plaza in Italy and she just kind of goes white in the face and tries to act cool and nonchalant but fails somewhat miserably. In my head, I imagine the situation would go swimmingly for me, but in reality, I think I’d probably just pose awkwardly for photos and enjoy the spontaneity of the situation.
On show business
It’s one of the toughest out there. You have to outwork everybody.
Dating, Loving and Super powers
Dating style can be summed up in this phrase I found not too long ago : “always be honest… and if you can’t be honest, be really vague”… All in good humor.
My superpower would be getting an amazing workout while eating some fried Maine clams with a pint of beer. Logical?
Childhood nickname? To this day I laugh about that one. I went to a school where my vacations did not line up with my parents’ work schedules… So my mom landed me a ‘job’ working as a 9 year old ‘assistant’ in her best friends second grade class. The class was informed to address me as ‘Mr. Andy’ and it brightens my day whenever I think about it. How can I get Mr. Andy to catch on today??
Yourself in 10 years
In ten years, I’d love to still be modeling and exploring the world with someone by my side. If that should fall through, I think that since I’ve always been such an automobile fanatic, it would be a real dream to own a BMW or Aston Martin dealership.
An unforgettable moment
It was the day that I realized how blessed I was to be able to have such an amazing relationship with my parents. It was the day I moved to NYC and my mom and dad texted me “Make it safe?” and I felt like saying “It’s all because of you”.
Thanks so much for having me! It was a blast sharing some of my modeling / life encounters with you.
Height 6’1.5 Suit 40R Waist 31 Shoe 11
Bella Management http://www.bellamanagement.com.au/
Reinhard Model and Talent Agency http://www.reinhardagency.com/
Model Club Inc http://www.modelclubinc.com/mci-home
Interview by Ed, the Brazilian editor