We introduce to you today Fashion / Fitness model fresh new face, Derek Richardson from Silver Model Management.
Derek Richardson is a new face in the New York fashion world and in his short time in the field Derek already creating a buzz in the fashion and fitness community.
Here are some basic facts about Derek Richardson:
Derek Richardson was born in 1982, Sidney , upstate NY USA. In High school Derek was a basketball star in tiny Afton, NY. when he finished school he Began working as a Corrections Officer in 2003 in upstate NY.
His main hobby was fighting MMA so he Began amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling in 2005 at 170lbs. winning two tournament championships with overall record of 25-5. Then Derek Approached by fitness photographer after a grappling tournament in Buffalo NY who recommended him to looking into modeling.
Derek did a Heard radio ad for Proscout in summer of 2009 and was top call back at Proscout Philadelphia in November of 2009. Derek worked with a few photographer since then. Derek was cast for the new Rufskin menswear campaign 2010 and he was featured in Vman magazine.
We set down with Derek Richardson for an exclusive interview for our blog.
Q: How did you become a model, and what was your first break?
A: I never really had any aspirations to model until maybe 16 months ago. At the time I had been competing in amateur Mixed Martial Arts and submission grappling, and after a match at a tournament I was approached by a photographer who asked if I had ever done any fitness modeling, and recommended that I look into it. Out of curiosity I did a small shoot with a local photographer for his personal web site and I took interest immediately. Shortly after I heard a radio ad for an open call for aspiring models/actors, so I went and was invited to a Proscout event in Philadelphia. Out of the 1,000 or so people I was the high call back and had the opportunity to sit down with 14 agency representatives. I weighed around 195lbs and was quite a bit larger at the time than I am now being that I was very focused on strength training. Most of the agencies were interested in me for athletics and fitness modeling only. I did go and visit a few agencies following Proscout. I wasn’t satisfied hearing that fitness modeling would be my only avenue, so rather than sign immediately with an agency I took a few months and changed my training and diet drastically so that I’d have a more versatile, slim/cut appearance. I then did my homework and researched photographers in NYC for a test shoot, and absolutely fell in love with Rick Day’s work. I booked a shoot with Rick in July of this year and it turned out better than I could have imagined. I would have to say my “break” came only about 2 days after my initial shoot when Rick’s assistant Steve Benisty called me and asked if I would be up for shooting a Rufskin campaign the following week. I jumped at the opportunity to work with them again, and I’ve shot with Rick numerous times since. Ads from the Rufskin campaign just began running in DNA and V-Man magazines.
Q: How do you keep fit, what is your training routine and menu?
A: Admittedly I’m a complete gym rat. To me there’s no better feeling then being active and getting in a great workout. I also compete in 5K runs whenever possible. I lift weights 5-6 times per week, but to keep from getting too “bulky” I also run 3-5 miles per day, this keeps my body looking cut and muscular but also thin and trim. My diet isn’t something that most people would stick to for very long, basically if it tastes good I’m not eating it! I eat a lot of fresh vegetables, egg whites, protein shakes and chicken. I’m not perfect, so every once in a while I have to give in and grab some Peanut Butter M&M’s, those awful little things!!
Q: How do you define your style and what is your favorite store to shop?
A: Oh wow, I think the only way to define my style would be to call it undefined. I do a little of everything, I guess it depends on the day! One day you might find me wearing a black hoodie and sweat pants from Armani Exchange, the next a v-neck sweater and ripped up jeans from Express, and the following day maybe some plaid shorts with a pink T-shirt and matching shoes from H&M… I’m serious.
Q: What are your main interests and hobbies?
A: Even though I don’t compete anymore, I still follow professional Mixed Martial Arts. Regardless of whether it’s the UFC, Strike force or a smaller regional promotion, I’m definitely a “fight geek.” I’m the guy who can’t sit down and watch a fight on TV without yelling out instructions to the fighters who can’t hear me anyway. I often think I’d like to compete again at some point, but realistically getting hit in the face, choked and slammed doesn’t really go hand in hand with modeling, so I guess I’m officially retired, for now…
Q: What is the fashion item that you can’t live without?
A: I’m not so sure I have a fashion item that I can’t do without. I will say I would rather not do without my sunglasses at any point, but it wouldn’t be the end of me if they got left behind for a short time. However if we’re talking accessories, I will admit that I probably couldn’t live without my iPhone, I know it’s sad but very true, and I even promised myself way back that I’d never become THAT guy!!
Q: What is your favorite place in New York?
A: I’ve lived in New York my entire life, but I’m from upstate New York, and in the minds of most New Yorkers, upstate New York isn’t really New York! Until just a few months ago I hadn’t even made more than 10 or so trips to NYC, so I can’t say as though I’ve frequented enough places to call my any a favorite. I do enjoy just walking around the city though and taking everything in, it can be pretty captivating.
Q: Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
A: Being that I’m still a pretty new to the fashion world, I can’t say that as if I know a great deal of models or designers, but I would have to say I like the edginess of designers like Christian Audigier and Marc Ecko, but also the more simplistic and clean styles like Ralph Lauren or Giorgio Armani. As far as models, I did get the chance to work with Christopher Fawcett on the Rufskin campaign, and I thought he was just awesome. Everything he did just seemed so effortless but came out so well, and his images are amazing and on point. He just seems to have a very clean, appealing look. I’d also have to mention Jeff Tomsik, not so much for his work necessarily because I don’t really follow other models too closely, but the story behind his transition from a garbage handler to a top model is awesome, if you can’t find some sort of inspiration in a story like that then you can’t be inspired!
Q: What fashion magazines do you like to read?
A: I can’t say that I sit down and read through too many magazines, but I do check online fashion blog sites from time to time just to keep up on what’s happening in the fashion world.
Q: Out of all the photos the photographer took of you, which was your favorite and why?
A: I’ve done so many shots with Rick Day, and for the record, I think they’re all amazing! But I would have to say my favorite shot would have to be one of the very first we did, we were on the roof at his studio in NYC, and Rick had just covered me with cold water so I was rather cold, but it was worth it!! I was wearing a pair of black Calvin underwear and had a white T-shirt around my neck, and I was also wearing a wrist band in memory of a friend I had lost to cancer just a week and a half prior to the shoot, a friend who really pushed me and encouraged me to follow through and chase down my aspirations. That image was also the very first I saw when Rick e-mailed me some samples the day after the shoot. I could do a million more shots in my lifetime, but I’m not sure any will have the same meaning as that one in particular.
Q: What is fun and rewarding about modeling?
A: I’m still new to modeling, but I’d say so far the most rewarding part would be the recognition and respect people show when they really like something that you’ve done. When someone you’ve never met in your life tells you they saw a certain image and were inspired in some way, you can’t help but feel good about something like that.
Q: What do you dislike about modeling?
A: Again I haven’t been around long, but the one thing that I can point to and say that I don’t like is some of the negativity I’ve encountered. Don’t get me wrong, I get a ton of support and encouragement from all over, but for whatever reason there are just some people out there who feel as though they can label you just because they see your face out there. It’s almost as if you are expected to be arrogant or feel some sort of superiority just because you’re in front of the camera, and for me that’s just not the case at all.
Q: What advice do you have for other aspiring models?
A: Be prepared to have people tell you a million reasons why you can’t and won’t succeed. I come from a small town in upstate New York, and a lot of the people where I’m from are big on dreams but small on follow through. People who are afraid to chase their own dreams will always find a way to project their own frustrations on someone who actually pursues theirs. So I would say block out the negativity, and if you want it, go after it, and try not to wait til your 27 like I did lol.
Q: Who are some of your favorite fashion photographers?
A: Obviously Rick Day above anyone else, not just because I love his style and amazing work, but he’s helped me so much in so many other aspects, and I consider him a good friend as well. I would love to shoot with Tony Duran some day, his work is unlike any other, and I also like the edginess of Carlos Arias.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
A: Fashion to me is an expression of a person’s creativity or individuality. It’s almost like an unspoken attitude or even a reflection of personality.
Q: What distinguishes a good model from a bad one?
A: I think effort and attitude is what really makes a good model. You can have a great body, a great face and all the physical attributes, but if you can’t stay focused, driven and humble, it’ll show through. It’s great to hear that you look great, but just as nice to hear someone say you’re easy and fun to work with, and that has more to do with personality than looks.
Q: How has modeling changed other aspects of your life?
A: Well honestly it’s changed just about every aspect. It takes a lot of time and travel, and I still have a “regular” job, so a lot of my free time I once had is now dedicated to my modeling pursuits. My e-mail is also constantly full, my phone blows up with texts daily, and everyone wants to be friends on Facebook!! But I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.
Q: What’s inspired you in life as a person?
A: It may sound cliché, but certainly my life has been inspired by my parents. My mother has had my back and has shown support in everything I’ve ever aspired to do, and continues to do so today. As a man I could never have asked for a better role model than my Dad. In his late 20’s he was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a form of arthritis which if left untreated can lead to spinal fusion. Unfortunately at the time little was known about the disease, and my dad fought through the pain and discomfort for years before new studies resulted in development of medication and treatment specifically for Ankylosing Spondylitis. Sometimes in life when people are faced with difficult circumstances, they tend to blame the world, but even throughout his struggles, my dad always put others first, and is probably the most considerate and selfless person I’ve ever met. He’s shown me even though things may never be perfect, there is no excuse for not living the right way, treating people with respect, and overcoming any obstacle in front of you.
Q: What’s the dream project you fantasize to do?
A: I don’t think I have a dream project in mind as much as I have a dream location. I would love to do some sort of shoot in Brazil. I’ve never been, but the country is breathtaking, so long-term that is my destination of choice for a shoot.
Q: Throughout your modeling career so far, what is the best memory you have?
A: Well my modeling “career” has been a short one so far, but really the best memory I have was seeing the images from my first test shoot brought up on screen at Rick Day’s studio. It was a moment where everything seemed to come together, it was like seeing all the effort and work I’ve put in payoff in front of my eyes. I guess I had questions in my own mind whether or not this was going to be for me, but once I saw the work we had just done, I felt like “yeah, we may have something here!”
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: Oh wow, 10 years from now sounds so far down the road, but hopefully I’ll be looking 10 years younger than I am!! But honestly, with all the changes that are taking place in my life currently, it’s hard to say what I’ll be doing in 10 years. My life is a bit of a whirlwind right now, so in time once the dust settles I’ll probably have a better idea of what direction I’m headed overall, so I’ll have to take a rain check and get back to you on this one!!
Derek is definitely on the right track for a full potential modeling carrier in the fitness and fashion world, watch out for some big projects that’s coming up his way. we will keep following is rising up carrier and bring you up to date with Derek Richardson continuing journey.
For more information on Derek Richardson visit:
Agency represent: Silver Model Management, Adam Silver: http://www.silvermodels.com
Personal day to day photos of Derek Richardson