“Although I think the internet has certainly democratised fashion, I do not think it has tilted the shift away from it being a female-dominant industry”
01 fev, 2018
Hey guys! Well, its a bit of a long story, but m y father is English and my mother brazillian. I was born in Tokyo and lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, and the UK. I think the place I feel most at home is probably Brazil, as most of my closest friends are there, and I’ve developed a strong relationship with the tropical rainforest which I always miss so much when I am away.
My life plan is to build a sustainable agriculture project in Brazil and to work with food, cooking, brewing, and the production of artisanal food products. The goal is to encourage a self-sustaining lifestyle which prioritizes well-being and seeks to foster a symbiotic relationship with the natural world, working alongside the processes of nature to fulfill all of our needs.
Modeling: how did all begin
-My first introduction to modelling was with 40° Models in Rio de Janeiro when I was very young, but I didn’t begin working consistently in the industry until I moved to London. My sister who had worked with Models1 in the past introduced me to them and I began modelling on my year off between school and university. I was modelling throughout my time at university, and have continued working since I graduated, alongside my pursuits as a chef and aspiring agroforester.
Posing to photographers
I enjoy working with photographers who have a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve. It makes it much easier to work when the artist can convey to you the mood they are trying to capture, constantly giving you feedback and working with you to achieve when they are aiming towards.
I am comfortable with tasteful nudity, depending on the circumstance. I was once asked during a shoot with a fairly intimate shot whether I would be able to, uhm, ‘keep myself under control’ on account of the beautiful girl with whom I was asked to pose in a nude embrace. I assured them it would be fine, (which it was), though it was still a funny situation.
The runway shows
I have done various catwalks for brands like Etro, Bottega Veneta, Givenchy, Yohji Yamamoto, Philipp Plein, Missoni, Marcelo Burlon, John Richmond, Margaret Howell, Kay Kwok, Costume National and Topman. They are occasionally great fun, and you get to meet people from all over the world, from very different lifestyles and realities.
The opportunity to meet different kinds of people and to travel and discover new cities are the two greatest things modelling has provided me.
I am not sure about the stupidest thing I have heard someone say, but it is not uncommon for me to find myself engaging in quite interesting philosophical and political debates with the models in line at a casting or waiting at a job. We always found it hilarious to notice people’s shock that models could be sitting around having intelligent conversations, but many of these people are actually very capable and intelligent, with talents and interest in other fields.
I think it’s important to note that the idea that models are stupid is a way to further alienate and dehumanize people working in an industry where their looks and bodies are already commodified and their personalities are therefore often marginal to their work. I find it much more interesting to discover and focus on their talents and interests.
Male models x Female models
Although I think the internet has certainly democratised fashion, I do not think it has tilted the shift away from it being a female-dominant industry. That said, the girls have it much harder than we do, their job is much more demanding, and from my experience working within female and male fashion environments, female fashion is much less friendly and less laid-back.
This reflects the higher wages and increased competitiveness in the female fashion industry, but I think a lot of work can be done to provide better care for the psychological health of models in these more competitive fields – something I think is too often overlooked.
Konnan, a “fashionista”?
I would not consider myself a fashionista, no, haha. Though I do have a particular style I suppose. When I am not half naked in the rain forest, you’ll normally find me in dark colours, black jeans, leather shoes, and if its anywhere near cold enough for a scarf, I’ll likely be wearing one of my extensive collection. (I love scarfs)
Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowded!
If there was any chance of convincing this crowd that it is surely a confusion of values to treat me specially purely for being a model, I would try. Short of that I’d probably run and hide!
On show business
- It’s an industry that is central to encouraging and maintaining unspoken values in society. I would love to see popular culture and the entertainment industry promoting values that are compatible with human psychological well-being, rather than encouraging, as they often do, the worst parts of the human psyche.
Elevating selfishness, greed and violence and promoting an anti-intellectual culture which ends up being counterproductive for the goals of empowering marginalized peoples so that they may have a chance at holding power to account.
Food and Music
It is so hard to pick my favourite food. I have a very special place in my heart for italian food. Though there is also some fantastic brazillian food which I could not go without. Growing up around Asia until I was 9 years old also gave me a taste of the local cuisines, and to this day I cannot live without thai, japanese and chinese food.
I grew up listening to lots of Thrash Metal, as well as bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Nowadays, I mostly listen to early american blues, folk and classical music. I see great potential for music as a medium for sharing revolutionary thought, and so I have great respect for artists across all genres who use their art as a medium for speaking truth to power and spreading ideas which are subversive to cultural norms and expectations.
Superpowers and Superheroes
If I could have a superpower, it would be to speed up the rate at which plants grow, so that I could produce fruit and food and materials and everything I could possibly need in a matter of seconds, without having to wait 10 years for a mango tree to give fruit!! It would probably look super cool to see a tree growing in real time too, so I’d also have a pretty cool party trick.
Apart from my modelling work, I am currently working in London with brewing and cooking, and am always studying plants and sustainable agriculture. My ultimate project is to buy a degraded piece of deforested land in Brazil and reforest it with various species of edible plants with a technique called Agroforestry.
This technique has the potential to turn degraded areas into highly productive agricultural environments, capable of producing a variety of quality ingredients. My plan is for this to serve as the foundation for my work as a chef. The final goal and outcome of using this technique is the recovery of deforested areas back into mature rain forests filled with edible species and with the capacity to permanently sustain both human and animal life.
Follow me on instagram @konanhanbury
Thank you so much for having me on here guys. and for the opportunity to share a bit about my life beyond modelling.
All the best,
Interview by Ed, the brazilian editor