Top model William Los is not perfect

Text by Natasha Tombeng

Photography Fred Homage

I saw him walking in the studio and I immediate noticed his amazing bone-structure and quirky haircut. I was a little overwhelmed by his beautiful appearance and secretly felt a bit insecure, like almost any human would be standing next to an international model. But his comfy Acne Studios hoody made me realize he’s also just a 24-year old doing his job. While dressing him up I noticed many tattoos: on his hand, his chest, his arms but the most impressing piece was definitely on his back. It was a piece created by monks and after it was tattooed, it was purified with a piece of gold leaf. I asked him if he considered himself a Buddhist but he told me he is an Atheist.   

William Los, A 24-year old model living in Amsterdam and managed by his mother-agency called The Troopers and many more international  agencies like Wilhelmina New York and Elite Paris. reported him as one of the best new faces in 2016 and he has come a long way since then. Starring in campaigns like Dsquared2, Yves Saint Laurent and Versace, and walking on the runway of Emporio Armani’s latest Men’s show makes William certainly one of the leading models in the world. We got the amazing opportunity to shoot and interview the Dutch model where he opened up on his secrets for his success and how he stays in great shape.

Turtleneck Dior, Jacket Gucci

Before you started your career as a fashion model, you were working as a sales-manager right?

Yeah, it was more like promotion work but I also worked at a construction market. When I worked at the construction market, I got scouted for the very first time and I kindly refused the offer back then. At that moment, the idea of me being a model didn’t fit in my head.

What was your representation of the fashion industry before you came a model?

I think I didn’t really thought about the industry. When I was scouted at first, I didn’t knew much so I had to do a lot of research.

During the shoot, you mentioned you bought a house the very first year of your modelling-career. What are the biggest changes in your life, besides earning a lot of money, since you are a model?

From working full-time for 40 hours a week to spending 40 hours a week on a plane is probably one of the biggest change, it’s really different. Modeling has a huge impact on my life in general. It really changed me as a person, I’ve learned so many new stuff, I’ve experienced a lot of new things. Like being on a plane 10 hours a week became really normal to me. So normal now that I feel like I’ve grown out the life that most people live. My best friends from my home-town still live in the same village as where I grew up but I’ve changed so much, in a good way, maybe also in a bad way? But my friends still live in the same environment and I’ve noticed that our common interests have changed since I’m a model.

Coat Hugo Boss, Shirt Vintage, Trousers Armani

Your girlfriend also works in the fashion industry as a stylist right? How do you maintain your relationship while traveling so much?

As model I am self-employed, just like my girlfriend, that works really well together. I can be 4 days from home and 1 day at home but also 3 days at home and 2 days from home. She can have the same working-schedule or not, either way we try to spend as much time together to maintain our relationship. The good thing is that we miss each other a lot. When you have a full-time job at the office, you come home every night to your partner, that’s really different. It’s like a circle where you go to work and then come home to your partner for the rest of your week. With us, it’s like work work work and then spending time together but we can also have 4 days together in a row, it changes a lot and I like that. It’s like carpe diem every day, with her and with my job.

Suit Maison Margiela

“Dutch models are in general really easy-going”

So as you mentioned during the shoot, you were not so familiar with your Dutch predecessors like Marcus Schenkerberg, Mark van der Loo and Andre van Noord. But do you think that Dutch male-models in general distinct themselves from other male-models?

I am familiar with Andre van Noord because his son is a friend of mine. But like I said before, I never really thought about fashion before I started my career and I also don’t have something like an idol. But I think that Dutch models are down-to-earth and I think they distinct themselves with their personalities because Dutch models are in general really easy-going and relaxed during shoots but also in life itself, as the Dutch phrase always says ‘they don’t walk next to their shoes’ at least, that is how I see my friends.

In the era of the supermodel, well known as the 90’s, male supermodels had a little longer hair and a little more well-defined physiques, which beauty standards do you see nowadays?

I never really thought about it, but that’s a good question. I think that designers like new kind of faces. That’s why they like my short haircut I think, because it’s not mainstream. A couple of years ago, classic faces were more the standard for models. But nowadays you see a lot of new faces on the runway.

Suit Maison Margiela

There seems to be a shift to fashion being more gender-neutral. Like A$AP Rocky wearing headscarves, Kanye West in a blouse from Cèline, Ezra Miller in a black dress from Moncler, Jaden Smith wearing skirt,  what do you think about this shift?

I think it’s really dope, it’s a good shift. I think it’s stupid that we expect women to wear make-up and when a man wears make-up we find it weird? Standards becoming more equal, more unisex clothes, I think it’s a positive change.

If you should give any advice to starting male-models, what would it be?

Stay true to yourself. People will like you the most if you stay yourself. If you have a crazy personality, just be crazy on set, people think that’s awesome and they will like working with you more. You don’t have to prove yourself towards the people you are working with or whom you living with in a model-apartment. If they don’t like you or you don’t like them, so be it, not everybody have to like you.

This is a question I am very curious about myself, how do you define your own style?

Simple. Yeah really simple. Since I’m with my girlfriend, who also works in fashion, I noticed I lean more towards high-fashion clothes. But I still remain simple, white shoes, black sweat, white t-shirt. It’s very convenient, not over the top, just simple.

Which kind of brands do you wear in particular?

With jeans I love to wear Frame. It’s one of the best brands for jeans, a little pricey but I’m a big fan, the fitting is good. Besides that, I have some items from Acne Studios. But in general, it doesn’t really matter what I wear.

If you would look at your own personality, what jumps out the most?

I think that if I feel comfortable on set, I can act a little crazy, I start goofing around and I think people like that about me. Especially with E-commerce shoots, those people work 40 hours a week in a studio and they have to do the same every day and if they get a model that’s quiet, I can imagine that can be really boring. But if you joke and goof around, you also brighten up their day. It improves the work-ambiance and everybody becomes more relaxed and your day goes faster when you can act all fun and crazy.

Bikerjacket IKKS

And with your looks?

With my looks, my short hair jumps out the most. That really helped me in the industry. I think if I had longer hair, I wouldn’t be where I am today, my life would be different.

And also my cheekbones, but every model has cheekbones. I think it’s my whole face, I have a rugged face, with the short hair of course.  

And what is the secret to your success?

Working really hard and having Luck. You just have to have the right face for the right brand and you have to be lucky to get the right genes from your parents to become the right model. It is just a lot of luck.

So in an earlier interview in 2016 you mentioned that your ideal shoot would be with Calvin Klein, is that still your ideal shoot?

I would still really like to do a campaign for Calvin Klein, but I think that’s not going to happen. Calvin Klein uses a lot of skinny models, I’m not skinny in that way. Back in the days it was more classic, more muscled, more body. I think that Calvin Klein also doesn’t want to work with models that have tattoos. That’s doesn’t only count for Calvin Klein, a lot of brands don’t work with models with tattoos. It is starting to become more and more accepted to have tattoos as a model. But besides Calvin Klein, I would really love to do a campaign for Frame, that would be really dope because it is one of my favorite brands.

Trousers Gant

To maintain your muscles, I heard you do bouldering?

Yeah I climb, without a robe, armor or security. The maximum height is 4.5 meters and there is a thick mat beneath you so If you fall it won’t hurt.

Trousers Gant

But why do you like bouldering in specific?

It makes me stronger, you only use your own body-weight. But mainly, it occupies me. It can get boring in the gym and when it’s boring you start to think about things and you can’t really shake of any thoughts at that moment. If you boulder, it’s like a challenge. You need strength but you also need to figure out how to get up, which hand goes where and which foot goes where and which crazy movements do I have to make to get to a point. It starts easy for beginners but when you get better, the routes get harder and you will need to develop more strength, more techniques and more stamina.

I’m going to close this interview with the most cliché question but where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Eh that changes every month. Three years ago I mentioned in another interview I really wanted to be an personal trainer but that changed. I’m really searching in life. Maybe I meet someone on set who offers me the perfect job or meet someone on the street who comes with a great idea that I would like to try. I am really open for everything.

Jacket Hugo Boss, Turtleneck Dior

Creative Direction Steven Dahlberg @ Angelique Hoorn Mngt.

Styling Natasha Tombeng

Grooming Alexandra Leijs @ Angelique Hoorn Mngt.

Model William Los @ The Troopers