Hello Andrew! Welcome to the Style Researcher. Would you like to tell us about the beginning of your career?
Hello, thanks for having me here and doing this interview! I was discovered by Angie Seymour in a shopping mall in Ottawa, Canada while I was playing competitive Junior Ice Hockey in the Canadian Central Hockey League. From there, I attended a modelling gala with agencies from all over the world, and my career basically just snowballed into multiple contracts from that point. My first contract started about one month after I graduated high school, and I flew to Shanghai, China, in July 2019 to get my modelling career underway.
Tell us about your first work.
Aside from the early days and agency test shoots in Ottawa and Toronto, my first real “memorable” job was when I worked for a winter coat company in Shanghai, China. This was the first time I was on a “real set” – with a fairly big production. I do remember that there was fake snow, and really cool set designs and a full crew helping me look my best. They even turned the air conditioning on really high to give the set a real winter feel. I was 18 years old, it was my first time travelling for modelling, and to be honest, it was such a busy day that I don’t even remember the name of the company, but it was a ton of fun!
How did your work evolve in time?
My work has evolved significantly since my very first test shoots. When I first started, I was very nervous and uneasy in front of the camera, and I didn’t even know how to pose! But this has become a lot easier over time thanks to the great people I have worked with over the years. Watching what other models do has been helpful, and I’m always looking for coaching from my photographers and the teams I work with. I’ve been lucky to learn from many great people in the industry, and I’m still improving now, each and every day! After 5 years, I basically went from knowing nothing about how to model to where I am now.
In this specific editorial, what do you love the most?
I love this editorial because it was my first time ever working with Andy O’Brien, who is currently my manager at Canadian Top Model! It was a long day shooting, but it was a lot of fun. We worked in heavy rainfall in the morning, and then we captured some amazing shots featured here, near sunset. We were shooting in a nice location, near the University of Toronto Mississauga, and it’s always great to shoot in my home country of Canada!
Are there some other artists that you would love to work with?
For sure! If ever given the opportunity one day, I’d love to work with Australian Actress, Margot Robbie, or American Model, Emily Ratajkowski. Both these women are extremely talented, and it would be amazing to get in front of the camera with either of them. And I’d also love to work with a top photographer, like Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Steve Klein, or Wong Sim.
Have you ever been to Italy?
Yes, I have been to Italy twice, for about 4 months in total. My first trip was in June 2021, modelling in Milan for Armani and Yves Saint Laurent. It was a fun first trip to Italy, and I was lucky enough to be dancing in the streets of Milan when Italy won the Euro Cup that year!! I love the culture, the people, the language, and of course, the food. Italy is definitely one of my favorite destinations, and I hope to return very soon.
Which is your favorite country/city?
During my travels I have been to dozens of different cities and countries, and they have all been a lot of fun! Fortunately, I have never had a really bad experience while travelling the world, and the people in every place have always been warm and welcoming. If I had to pick a favorite though, I would probably go with Milan, Italy! It’s the fashion capital of the world, the culture and overall vibe is really cool, and I love the weather during summertime. There’s so much to see and do nearby, from day trips to Lake Como to overnights in Venice. I love Italy!
Love or fame?
I think I’ll go with a less cliché answer by saying fame! Obviously, everyone wants both, and the key is finding balance in both, but I’m going with fame so that I can give myself a platform where I can affect greater change. I really want to have as positive an impact as possible on other people’s lives, and I think that being famous would put me in a position to do that. Spreading kindness and generosity to others is a big motivator for me, and I just want the world to be a better place overall, one smile at a time. Making other people happy makes me really happy.
What is your relationship with fashion and what is your favorite style?
My relationship with fashion has grown a lot since I started modelling! I’ve learned to like and appreciate the industry a lot more by working on the inside as a fashion model. A lot of great people are doing some incredible work. In terms of my favorite style, you can never really go wrong with a 3-piece suit, accessorized, of course, with a pocket watch!
Tell us a secret that you’re ready to share with our readers
It’s a little embarrassing, but I have a fear of spiders! If I have a choice, I’ll call my younger sister into the room to kill a spider, rather than doing the deed myself. I don’t know what it is – all the eyes, the legs, the way they kill their prey… I just hate spiders!! Pass on the spiders, no thank you.
Thank you Andrew for this interview!
Thanks for having me!! Love to all my fans, both new and old!
Model: Andrew Vanderklei @Canadian Top Model
Agency: Canadian Top Model
Photographer: Andy O’Brien
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