As Ivan Andreas, the owner of IAmELK agency said ‘’I like to discover the raw diamonds.’’, so we do. The next one to observe is Rian van Gend. The model and booker from IAmELK! Rian is also represented by Soul Artist Management (New York), Premium Models (Paris), Fashion (Milan) and SEEDS Management (Germany). With his charm and extraordinary look there is no surprise that he has been booked exclusively and walked shows for Saint Laurent, Walter van Beirendonck, Songizo, Lanvin and at the past Amsterdam Fashion Week we spotted him walking a show wearing the designs of Aziz Bekkoui. With a plenty experience in the fashion industry as a highly successful model he also started working as a booker for IAmELK in 2014. Rian is always the one helping us spot the great IAmELK boys but today he is the one that got spotted! Read what the blue-eyed boy shared with Spotted Style about his work and life and stay tuned for more! Rian van Gend in the spotlight!
Hi dear Rian! Thank you for agreeing to be on Spotted Style! Can you introduce yourself to our followers?
Absolutely. My name is Rian. I’m 28 years old and live in a lovely town called Houten.
As being part of IAmELK, can you tell us more about the agency and since when do you work as a booker?
IAmELK is a young boutique agency with a very personal and hands-on attitude focusing mainly on representing male models. We are well known for scouting models not just with stunning features, but also with great personalities. We focus on working all over the world including Paris, Milan, New York, London and many places in Asia.
I have been working as a booker since August 2014.
What kind of challenges do you face in your daily work and what do you love most about your job? Does your experience with modelling make working in the fashion industry easier?
I’m still learning new things about the industry every day. It’s a different world compared to my previous jobs. You never know what to expect walking in the office everyday, and that is both the most interesting and the most challenging thing about it. I also get to meet a lot of cool people and make amazing friends along the way.
All our models are scouted from the street and start their journey without any knowledge about the industry. Being a model myself gives me the opportunity to help them make their way and present themselves in the best possible way. I remember telling my booker back when I was doing fashion week in Paris to give my phone number to the new faces so they could ask for help should they need it. I hadn’t even entered the city when I was called with questions and I enjoyed helping them a lot. That’s when I knew I would love to become a booker some day.
How long ago did you start modelling and did it change your life in some way?
I started modeling roughly 3 years ago. I was scouted by IamELK at a nightclub in Amsterdam. Back then I had a full time job but decided to take a shot and go for it. A week later I was in Paris doing my first exclusive show. I never was one to travel and only left Europe once at that time. Thanks to modeling I got to travel a great deal and met many awesome people. I still keep in touch with many on a regular basis. It also helped me become more self confident.
Where have you travelled because of work and do you have a dream destination?
I have lived in Paris for a total of 8 months and been to Japan twice for 2 months. I also saw many cool places for direct jobs such as Stockholm, London and many Italian towns.
I would still love to go to New York some time. Visiting The Big Apple has been on my bucket-list for way too long. But my dream destination will probably always be Tokyo. I fell in love with Japan and their culture ever since I went there.
What is your biggest passion and for what we can wake you up at 3 in the morning?
My biggest passion is knowledge. Whenever there’s something happening that interests me I go out of my way to figure out what caused it, how it affects society and what it means to me personally. I can spend hours reading books and articles or watch documentaries and lectures about science, religion, economics, drugs, history, music, art, and so on. I find it exceptionally satisfying knowing certain facts about a broad spectrum of subjects. Just don’t wake me up at 3 am asking me about it, I’ll be unable to stop talking, ha-ha! Bring me a cheeseburger with loads of bacon instead.
Tell us a spicy fact that we may not know about you?
I’m pretty sure I suffer from some mild form of the ‘Peter-Pan Syndrome’. I have a deep rooted fear of growing up. If I had a few million dollars I’d probably end up living in a Michael Jackson-like theme park filled with tree-houses and arcade halls. But for now I’ll stick to my designer toy/action figure collection and an abnormal addiction for super hero movies and comic books.
3songs from your current playlist?
Ben Howard – Conrad
White Lies – Death
Childish Gambino – Sober
You have impressive tattoos. What is their expression and did you design them by yourself?
Thank you! My first two tattoos express my passion for art and b-boying (breakdance) which I practiced for over 14 years. Those two and the chest piece I designed myself. My arms carry a Guy Fawkes mask, a Piet Mondriaan painting and a selected part of a French painting about the revolution. All of them have an obvious meaning, but I selected and altered the images to my own personal values, which is secret to most people.
We heard you love pizza and horror movies. Where does the scary movie thing come from? What is your favorite one?
Ever since I was young (let’s go back to the times without internet and DVD’s) I was renting VHS horror movies almost every weekend. My parents were okay with it for some reason. I would curl up in a blanket with headphones and a bowl of popcorn just inches away from the screen watching people being haunted and slaughtered. That lead to a lifetime fascination for horror flicks.
My all time favorite is Martyrs, a French production. I’m not going to spoil it, all I can say is watch it and prepare for it to be stuck in your head for the next two weeks.
Define happiness. What makes you fly?
Being home alone with a bottle of Sambuca and ponder for a few hours. We live in a busy world constantly distracted by everything around us. People deny being alone these days and fill the gaps with useless entertainment and empty materialistic behavior, scared to face their fears and loneliness. I like to face facts head on and realize how crazy and utterly precious life really is. I know many people will not agree with this being ‘a definition of happiness’ but to me it is.
What is your greatest life lesson until now?
Embrace death as the ultimate goal in life. All a person really has in his life is time, everything else is neither owned nor earned. This thought process enables me to live each day to the fullest till the day I go 6 feet deep.
How do you see the future and what does it hold for you?
I am not one to make plans. If you would ask me what my schedule is next week I wouldn’t be able to give you an accurate answer. Planning makes me nervous, ha-ha. I’ve always been going with the flow, wherever it takes me and I’m not afraid to take a gamble and make a few mistakes along the way. It’s exciting not to know what life will throw in your lap.
If you have to give a name to this moment of your life, how this chapter will be called?
Big Brother is watching you…
If you could tell something to the whole world, what would it be?
I know it’s really cliché, but I would say: live every day as it is your last. You never know when it’s over.