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From Brighton to Milan, yet dreaming of being on a relaxing beach, rocking on a hammock somewhere warm and tropical: that’s what top model Laurie Harding is really thinking about. For an exclusive interview with TheCornerZine, we had the pleasure of talking with him. Learning about his beginnings in modeling and having a good laugh about a certain memory walking for the Gucci runway. We know you want to hear about it, so read on below for more!
Laurie, let’s begin with how’d your career in modeling start?
It all started with a random encounter, really...I was on my way back from work, when I was stopped in the street by the owner of London’s SUPA models. I came in a week or so later for a follow up. That same day I was sent to my first casting and the rest is history!
Walk me through your first memory with modeling. Was it all overwhelming and nerve-racking? Did you feel like you had no clue what you were doing?
From the moment I signed, I was immediately thrown into the deep end. There was only a couple of weeks between our first contract and my very first show in London. It was a little nerve-racking at first, but you just try to put that in the back of your mind and not let it show.
An extensive and impressive resume you have! Not to mention a massive following on Instagram of 54.6K. In five years, you’ve been able to build yourself as an extremely successful model. Was there ever a ‘wow, I made it!’ moment?
The first time I remember it really hitting me was seeing that first billboard up at the main entrance to my local shopping mall back home. That memory has always stuck with me. The pictures change twice a year, but I’ll always have that to remember.
Going off this, and I ask because I just had another ‘star struck’ experience last week. How about for you? Have you encountered any ‘star struck’ experiences with a designer or celebrity?
A few, but honestly my biggest was getting to meet Will Smith at the Louis Vuitton show a couple of years ago. I went to take a selfie with him and my phone died in my hand just as I raised my arm up. Sadly, I never did get my picture, next time!
Let’s go back and dive deeper on your resume. You’ve walked the catwalks of designers all over the world, such as Moncler Gamme Bleu, Lanvin, Neil Barrett, Gucci, Missoni, Louis Vuitton, Prada and so many more. With numerous times walking for Gucci. I’d love to hear all about some of those times! As I’m sure you have many to choose from, tell me about a couple.
The most memorable moments for me are the funny ones. After I had walked a few shows for Gucci in the same event space, I was pretty comfortable with the layout. However, the last show I did, they somehow changed the ground level and added stairs on the exit. Myself and about four other guys fell face first down the stairs in rehearsal and I remember them having to wipe my makeup off of the carpet before the main show. That’s why you have rehearsals, I guess! (Laughs, E.D.).
You’ve had the opportunity to wear some of the most beautiful clothes. However, I want to know the true personal style of Laurie. What’s your go-to outfit?
I’m not really into the street style hype. My closet mainly consists of casual suits and lots of jazzy shirts.
Would you say there’s one item you can’t live without and can’t be missing from your wardrobe?
Oh my, I’m too indecisive to answer that question, so I’ll have to pass.
How about any trends, right now, that you really enjoy? Any trends you’d wish didn’t resurface?
I’m loving that femininity is slowing coming back to menswear. However, I’ll definitely pass on the Supreme-wearing kids who look like ninja geography teachers, no thanks.
Being a model has its pros and cons requiring a lot of traveling and, unfortunately, it can be lonely. So tell me, how do you deal with the constant distance from your girlfriend, family and friends?
Before I started this job, I had never even left my own country, so it’s been a learning curve. That said, it’s just something you have to adjust to eventually, with it being part of the job.
Speaking of your girlfriend, Gilda Koral Flora, a couple of months ago you celebrated a two-year anniversary. You posted on instagram a truly passionate declaration of your love for her, and it was so touching and beautiful! Anyway, I’d love to hear the love story of how you two met. And with Gilda being the founder of a PR agency, Koral Communication, how you two balance such busy schedules with each other?
That will make her day, I’ll tell her you said that! (Smiles, E.D.). We met almost seven years ago, in London at a bar, through mutual friends. Everything had been pretty friendly up until a few years ago when I came to live in Italy, The rest, I guess you know. It can be hard, but it is what it is. Imagine, how hard it would be maintaining a relationship before phones and Skype, but people still managed to find a way. Love will always find its way!
Another requirement of modeling is to stay healthy and fit. Tell me how you stay so active and keep a toned physique. Is there a certain fitness regimen you follow?
I wouldn’t say I had any kind of work out regime. I run a few times a week and try to keep it easy on the pizza. I’m a pretty healthy eater anyway, so it’s never been a real struggle to maintain it for me.
Would you say you’ve changed since modeling? And how or what has changed in the fashion industry that you’ve seen since starting?
I don’t think I’m much different of a person, but, then maybe I’m biased. The industry is always changing, so much, so it’s hard to keep up at times. However, I think a lot of what’s happening at the moment is, at the very least, a step in the right direction towards something new and more importantly sustainable.
Coming from an insanely picturesque seaside beach town, Brighton, and now living in the metropolitan city of Milan. Was it a difficult adjustment or did you instantly feel at ease in the city?
I had been frequenting in Italy for work for some time, so it wasn’t that much of an adjustment. Learning the language enough to have a larger vocabulary than an eight-year-old, however, is pretty hard as it turns out!
On that note, which do you prefer? The busy life of the big city or the more relaxed quaintness of a beach town?
Relaxation all the way. If it were up to me, I’d be speaking to you from a hammock in a sunset right now.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing?
Good question. If this experience has taught me anything, any guess I’d give you would almost definitely be wrong.
Who’s your biggest inspiration or role model? What about a fashion icon, do you have one?
My mum. Now, while I wouldn’t call her an icon per se, she can be a diva when she wants to be. Anyhow, she’s been there since day one.
Briefly imagine yourself in five years. What do you see, what do you envision for your future?
That’s a really hard question, and I guess there’s a lot to factor in. I’m going back to school to study this year, so who knows really. But as long as people are crazy enough to pay me to take my picture, I’ll happily be there to take their money for many years to come (Laughs, E.D.).
Double-breasted wool and leather coat
Printed cotton piqué polo shirt
Leather slippers with horsebit detail
Single-breasted cotton blazer
Suede ankle boots
Picturesque, dreamy, a total ‘surfer boy’. It’s London-born model Harry Goodwins.
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A casual but elegant look for French model Paul Hameline.
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