Name: Ethan James
Agencies: Ford NY, Traque Model Management
Birthdate: 14th February, 1990
From: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Still new to the world of modeling, 17 year old Ford NY prodigy, Ethan James has become a face to watch out for. His genuine love for modeling and the fashion world is a refreshing quality that you don't come across with most male models, who find the industry to just be a means of easy money. Even at such a young age, Ethan shows great professionalism and true personality that is vital for his survival in the fashion world. We at ADOMM just want to thank Ethan for being such a great interviewee!
Michigan isn’t really known to be a fashion capital, could you tell us more about it?
EJ: Grand Rapids is a small city, feels like nothing to New York. Guys my age are expected to wear shorts, an AE t-shirt, and hold a football. Guys like me who step out of the box are looked down upon. I’m actually thankful for it though. It has pushed me to prove everyone wrong, to be the best I can at what I want to do.
What were you doing prior to modeling?
EJ: Reading fashion magazines and studying the industry.
So then how did you get started in this business?
EJ: Some of my family and friends encouraged me to give modeling a try. I was discovered by TRAQUE in Detroit. My agent Lynn, at TRAQUE, brought me to meet with the top men’s agencies in NY and I signed with FORD.
Generally the modeling industry is surrounded with stereotypes, what were your first impressions of modeling before actually joining the industry?
EJ: I saw it as a straight forward industry, and that you either have it or you don't. I also saw it as an industry to meet a variety of people, and a great place to establish some friendships. Additionally, I saw the industry as a gate way into my other possible career choices (photography, fashion design, acting).
After signing with your mother agency, did your impressions change (if you had any at all)?
EJ: Nope, my impressions were quite true to how the industry actually is.
On to your actual career, what would be your first modeling assignment?
EJ: I haven’t had an actual assignment yet. Mainly I’ve been doing “go sees”. I have also met with various photographers and their assistants.
So on the edits and photoshoots that you have done, what are some of your favorite projects so far?
EJ: My favorite photoshoot was with Jeffery Booze, as I was able to shoot with my good friend Jesse.
What makes a photoshoot something to look forward to? Do you have a particular photographer you enjoyed working with most and why?
EJ: I love photoshoots, as they are a way for me to express my originality. I usually will skim through my favorite magazines to get ideas. I like to bring more to the table than just myself. I like to brainstorm with the photographer to get “the shot”. My favorite photographer that I have worked with is Scott Sprague, as we work well together.
In your experience, what would you consider the best aspect of your job as a model?
EJ: I love meeting people, and getting to see the creativity of the designers and photographers. The idea of getting to be part of the fashion world is AMAZING!
Then, what would be the most difficult and challenging aspects of modeling?
EJ: Waiting is hard. I’ve been put on hold for different magazines, but last minute they didn’t work out. I’m itching to do some crazy editorials.
Since majority of a model's job consists of waiting around, what do you do to pass the time while you wait?
EJ: I usually will read my magazines and listen to music.
It's pretty much every model's goal to get a campaign. For you, what would you consider "the dream campaign"?
EJ: Prada hands down.
Like you said before, the industry is very straightforward which makes it really competitive and catty in order to be the new "IT" model. In comparison to female modeling, male models seem to get along more, who are some of your model friends?
EJ: Usually I will hang out with the guys living at the FORD model apartment. My closest model friend is Jesse S. [Ford]
In general, modeling is a woman's industry, how have the people around you felt about your newfound career as a male model?
EJ: Everyone is supportive which is a blessing. Every once in a while I’ll hear a Zoolander comment, but that’s fine…Zoolander is hilarious.
Another thing about modeling is that once you become a model, you achieve a small amount of fame. How do you feel when you see yourself in magazines, on agency sites, or knowing that somewhere on the internet groups of girls are wishing to meet you? Is it strange for you or do you embrace it?
EJ: At first it was quite strange to me, as I’ve always been the awkward skinny kid/ string bean. Now it just makes me smile.
We all know that part of the "model lifestyle" involves quite a bit of traveling so what would be your favorite city in the world thus far?
EJ: I have only been to New York….It’s GREAT!
Three essential things you can't leave without when you travel for work?
EJ: My Bible, music, and newest magazine.
It’s a pretty glamorous lifestyle, but many other male models have told us that modeling is something to just pass the time and gain easy money. Is modeling like that for you, or is it something you genuinely enjoy doing?
EJ: I genuinely love modeling. It involves most of the arts (design, loads of creativity, photography, and music) therefore I’m having the time of my life.
Again your career is still fairly fresh, but what are your expectations in the future? Do you feel like you'll make it big and eventually be the next Mathias Lauridsen?
EJ: I’m willing to give modeling my all, but you really don’t know if you will be the next big thing until you actually are.
What do you expect to do once you decide to leave the modeling world?
EJ: I would love to pursue a career in photography, fashion design, or acting.
Are you still attending school?
EJ: I’m finishing up my last year of high school, and planning on attending a college/university in NY to study photography and fashion design.
Finally, what are your upcoming projects?
EJ: Maybe some shows during fashion week.
ADOMM Quick Questionnaire:
What are your hobbies/interests?
EJ: Fashion design, photography, singing, and theatre.
What is something that most people don't generally know about you?
EJ: I design my own clothes [nautical sleeveless hoodie in the photo below was designed by Ethan himself]
Appearance wise, do you look more like your Dad or do you go after your Mom?
EJ: Everyone says I look more like my mom.
The industry is basically about appearance and the way you look, are you a fashion conscious guy at all?
EJ: Always have been.
Of course a model has to be somewhat appealing, what do you consider to be your most attractive feature?
EJ: I have no clue. People say I have good eyes and lips. They also like the “beauty mark” on my cheek.
Who are the people that influence you the most?
EJ: My parents and friends
Favorite Movies: “I am Sam”, “Blood Diamond”, and “Devil Wears Prada”
Favorite Music: LTJ Bukem, Jazzanova, Jamiroquai, Klaxons, David Morales, and Angela McCluskey
People make pacts to themselves, what is one thing you must do before you die or get too old to do?
EJ: I have a passion for making a positive impact on this world. I would love to help lift a third world country out of poverty, hunger and disease.