XL Trailblazer Joel Davis
1. What’s your background?
My heritage is Jamaican, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and very peculiar Syrian, funnily enough, there are still quite a few countries in my heritage that I’m unaware of, but hopefully, I’ve answered this question sufficiently.
1b. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Miami, but for the majority of the early stages of my life I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and I flew between Jamaica and London to live with my separated parents respectfully.
2. How did you manage to land a partnership with Bridge Models?
I actually enter the campaign to win a modeling contract and to get £1000 worth of vouchers to a clothing company, while I was studying in London. Although I did get to the final stage of the campaign I did not win but through me seeing that there was an interest in my appearance I started months of negotiation between myself and my current agent/agency. And long story short after reading multiple emails sending multiple emails looking up legal terminology and how they apply and the implications of legal terminology I accepted my current contract and I have been enjoying my modeling career.
3. What was the experience like the first time you went to ASOS Studios?
I was quite afraid when I was having my first shoot with ASOS because it almost didn’t happen. Due to my over-excitement, I failed to properly read the details of my flight confirmation and I missed my flight and my agency had to quickly turn around and get another ticket for me so I could arrive in the UK on the scheduled date for shooting. Just getting off an eight and a half hour flight and about two hours waiting in the immigration line I had to scramble to get my luggage and head to the Asos headquarters. I wasn’t afraid I wasn’t worried, but my only concern between my last casting to my current one the length of time was so far between I felt like a beginner like a freshman starting out so I had an eerie feeling of butterflies in my stomach. But after meeting a few admin and going through hair and makeup and finally get into the studio and meeting a lot of beautiful and interesting people I found the Asos team to be a very eclectic group of individuals that surprisingly are more human than corporate which was a very nice touch to my experience.
4. How has life changed for you since becoming a signed model?
I’ve been asked this question before and I always give the same answer just because I’m a signed model doesn’t mean anything changes it’s a regular day the grass is still green and the birds still chirp and the sun still shines brightly there’s nothing different just a new occupation and that’s me being as blunt as possible for any new up-and-coming models.
5. What’s one thing you feel is missing from the US Big & Tall fashion market?
I am very disappointed with the US big and tall fashion Market it’s either articles of clothing is mass-produced in such a high quantity that the detail is missing from each piece so it’s a lackluster performance from Top name-brand companies. Or there is an abundance of get-rich-quick clothing companies that can’t wait to pinch every cent out to view and promotes clothing that is the new best item and fashion and sell you a pipe dream when in reality their concept their product their item is cheap and less than desirable. In the country that I am born I am very disappointed with the fact that we have an overflowing amount of talent and intelligence where comes to being a nation that has some of the most beautiful and gifted plus size individuals that there isn’t brand/agency/accompany someone out there setting the trend and plus size fashion and making the voices of all of the individuals in this industry known and heard. Don’t get me wrong I have friends in the industry that are making moves and are being “Trailblazers” but at the very least I would not say that I can be comfortable putting my name behind something just because a friend is doing it that’s not fair I need to uphold my integrity and find a company that produces a product or service that I can say yes this is your One Stop Shop and I do not think that the US big and tall Market is there yet it will be soon but it’s not currently there.
6. What’s one piece of advice you would give to any up and coming models?
First things first as a model regardless of what industry, what division, section or however you want to describe it in fashion you need Dynamic movement you need to own the canvas every single inch of the frame that you’re in an image needs to be used properly wave your hands try different poses different facial expressions it does not matter the only thing Brands care about is that you fit the image that they are looking for regardless if you’re a nice person or not is completely irrelevant you could be the most kind-hearted person and never get cast you could be the most introverted person but because of how you move and how you own the clothing and how you own the studio or location you will get endless lists of clients and castings.
The second thing would be you need to be a people person speak to everyone don’t just stop at The Stylist, the makeup artist, the photographer or the casting agent speak to everyone when you’re on location it doesn’t matter who it is you never know who might be a doorway for your next opportunity. I do not mean for you to use people but I mean for you to reach out be vocal make yourself a nice approachable person and the doors will open for you.
And finally regardless of how many Publications you are in or your face being on a clothing company’s website or whatever, most models do not get paid the day of models get paid months afterwards so you’ll be waiting on the invoice to be fulfilled for months after shoots, so keep that in mind don’t go spending your money willy-nilly here in there on stupid items plan your future properly if you have savings be smart about it and spend it slowly until you get the invoices to be fulfilled and you can recoup your funds no one told me this when I first started models get paid months after a shoot keep that in mind and never forget that.