By Nadine Kam
Photos courtesy Hudson Taylor
Hudson appeared in a series of photos for Emporio Armani. In 2011, we’ll also see him in “One Kine Day,” and in the film “You May Not Kiss the Bride,” playing Tia Carrere’s boyfriend.
At a recent Escada event, I ran into model Hudson Taylor, back to finish school after six months of modeling in New York and Europe. We started talking about his experiences and thought it might be a good idea to compare notes and share some of his insights with any other models with national or international ambitions.
First, from my perspective as a sometime stylist, you’ve got to be realistic. Pore through magazines and look in the mirror. If you are a reasonable facsimile of what you see in magazines, develop a tough skin anyway because there will probably be more rejection than approval. If you have the height and looks, keep trying. Editors, photographers, visual directors are all looking for one particular look that will bring their imagined worlds to life. Your look may not be needed for one campaign or illustration, but may be perfect for the next.
You’ll also want to start young. Many of the models on runways and ads are teenagers, which is why they have those lanky, gamine bodies and dewy skin. It’s not easy to maintain that designer’s ideal, even in one’s early 20s, when most women’s bodies begin to fill out and get curvier. Commercial models can be curvy and real-ish, but fashion’s ideal is as close to a stick figure as a human can be. Reality doesn’t do much to stoke desire.
Hawaii’s male models are more bulked up than the New York ideal, and as lean and fit as he is, Hudson went through the experience of losing weight in order to work, though in his first week in New York, he was flown out to Paris to walk the runway for Givenchy’s Spring 2011 menswear collection.
“I’m 6-foot-2 and when I got to New York, I was 195 pounds. They showed me pictures of another guy who is 6-foot-2 and 135 pounds and said that is the ideal weight that they wanted me to get down to. They told me not to work out because then my chest would be too big. They said if you’re gonna do anything, you gotta run.
“By the time I left, I was down to 175 pounds,” he said.
On most days in New York, his breakfasts consisted of eggs and quinoa, he’d have a sandwich for lunch, and for dinner, have a chicken breast with vegetables. He also drank a lot of coffee, which acts as a diuretic. “It thins out your face because they don’t like to see a lot of water weight.”
You have to go into the job with money, because it can take a while to land your first job. There’s a lot to think about before making the leap.