Name: Lucas Santoni
Where are you from?
I’m from a suburb outside of Paris.
What’s it like there?
It’s just a bunch of houses, kind of a crappy neighborhood. There’s nothing to see really, stay in Paris.
How’d you get started modeling?
I was 18, in a vintage shop, and a woman said, “Excuse me.” It was really tight so I just moved and she said, “No, excuse me, I want to talk to you. Are you a model? You should come to my agency. I’m a booker.” I thought maybe it’d be interesting…
Did you ever imagine that you would be a model?
No. No. I was in university to study fine arts, but I didn’t really like it, I was always thinking, “I’m never going to do anything that really matters for the fine arts.” You know what I mean? I always wanted to do music and I still do.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to the Doors, Pink Floyd, a lot of late sixties, seventies psychedelic rock. Also, a lot of motor music and guys on SoundCloud that only have like 2000 followers. No one knows them. I like that.
Are you pursuing music as a career?
I compose with my brother. We have a psychedelic rock project. We’ve been working on it for like six months and now we’ve got ten tracks… We’re going to see what we can do with it. We play guitar, bass guitar, drums and then synthesizer, piano kind of, and then we write the lyrics together and my brother sings on top of it.
Making it as a musician can be really difficult, what gives you the drive to pursue it?
Music is the thing I do most of the time. I just want to try it. Why not? Like you can do great music and never make it but also, what does “make it” mean? I don’t give a fuck about being big. If I can make music and some people want to listen to it, great. If it doesn’t bring any money, I’ll do something else, but I think I’ll try because I really like it.
You’ve modeled for Louis Vuitton, Yohji Yamamoto, Valentino—what have been some surreal moments?
I don’t know. I’ve done like big shows or impressive shoots, but I never feel part of them. Because I’m in the center of the project I feel like out of the whole team, I’m the least connected to the project because I’m in the picture or in the show. For me, it’s like my brain’s not apart of it. It’s just my body.
Does it always feel that way?
Well, the casting directors in New York are more interested in personality than in Europe. I’m not saying it’s bad, but that’s the way they think. Like for almost all the jobs I’ve done here in the US, they don’t want to touch my hair, they say, “Do it your way.” It’s like in between what they want and what you are so I feel more a part of the project.
What do you think about social media? Do you feel a pressure to have a big following and persona for your career?
I think it is really important now and someday someone’s going to wake up and think, ‘Wow. We’ve got to find a guy no one’s ever seen before,’ and they’re not going to give a fuck about the number of followers you have.
What’s the best part of your job?
You go places; you’re alone. You get to know yourself. It makes you experience stuff you never would. Like I went to Japan twice on my own when I was 18 for two months each time. If I didn’t do modeling I don’t think I would be as mature as I am. I’m not really that mature but I think I’d be less mature.
Do you think male models have a very different experience than female models?
Whoa. A lot. I was talking about that with my roommate yesterday, he was working with a lot of women for fashion week, and he was like why are women so competitive and aggressive compared to the guys? I think because there is way more money with the girls, competition is a bigger part of their job. It’s really hard for the girls, like they really have to be that skinny, especially the girls that do the shows.
Has your personal style changed since you started working in fashion?
The fashion industry pushes you because they put nice clothes on you, then you finish the job, and they take it back. If you put back on your jumper and it feels all itchy and heavy, then you start looking for nice clothes…
On that note, how was it working with Ferg modeling his second capsule collection for AGOLDE?
I liked the Ferg collection a lot. I liked wearing the full look—the jeans that match the jacket in the exact same wash. That’s something I would totally wear. And he was really nice, so chill and just like ‘hey, what’s up…’