Prepping For The Runway At London Collections Men With Serge Rigvava

Fashion Jan 5
After competing in Elite Model Look in 2014, Serge Rigvava walked for Gucci, Fendi, and Valentino days after making the Austrian final. The following season, he clocked up 31 shows, making him the most successful model across London, Milan and Paris. As London Collections Men approaches, Serge tells us how his journey has been since competing, and how he’s preparing for men’s fashion week in the British capital.

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Are you looking forward to LCM?

London is awesome, it’s full of every type of music, every type of style. Of all the fashion capitals, Londoners dress the best, it’s a city full of artists. I like to listen to the street musicians, there are so many talented people. You don’t see it anywhere else in the world. I love jazz, blues, rock and roll, so there is always something to see. Also my best friend lives here, Bertie Pearce, so it’s always amazing to come and hang out here. We met in China at the Elite Model Look contest, we were the youngest guys. I always look forward to seeing him.

What were your favourite moments from the last LCM?

Last season was the first opportunity for boys to do both Tom Ford and Burberry. The season before, I just did Burberry - and that’s a great show to do, there’s really nice people and they are so relaxed. I think if you have a room full of guys and food, you have a good time! [laughs] Burberry was definitely one of my favourite moments, I was honoured to be a part of it not once but twice, one after the other, and I got to do Tom Ford looking super bad-ass with my best friend Bertie. Then the after party - that was definitely one of the best nights!

How does LCM compare to men’s fashion weeks in Milan and Paris?

LCM has a lot of newer designers, it can be more fun. I walked for Craig Green and it was awesome. The new stuff in London blows your mind. It’s not comparable to brands that have existed for a long time, but you can almost predict what it’s going to be like. With a new designer, you wear something you never expected and it is really exciting. This new designer comes and just rocks it, it’s totally fresh. I always wanted to work for Alexander McQueen, but who knows if it will ever happen. I love Tom Ford and Burberry and I’m really hoping to work for them this season.

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What was the most exciting thing that you've done since you competed in Elite Model Look?

I was always into art and photography, and there were only two people that I knew in fashion, but then I shot with one of them two months after I started. First was Inez & Vinoodh, which was 3 days of shooting, it was a really amazing experience. Then I shot with David Bailey, and that was incredible even to be in the same room with him. That was insane! I've seen a lot of things and I'm proud of the experience that I’ve got, because I wouldn’t have had them without modelling. Not only the jobs but everything that comes with it, all the adventures.

You attended the Elite Model Look 2015 World Final in Milan. What did it feel like to be invited back?

It was funny to see all the Finalists and remember all the changes that have happened in the last year. It's satisfying but I felt old! [laughs] I remember that I was anxious about what would happen next, but I never really thought about being a model before Elite Model Look, so when it happened, I went in there with a quite a relaxed feeling about everything. You just need to take it as it comes and be thankful when it’s done. That’s actually the lyrics of one of my favourite songs!

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You recently shot the video for Dior Homme SS16, how was that?

I really like Kris Van Assche, he’s a lovely guy, as were all the people involved in the shoot, so it was a nice experience. Lots of the team spoke Dutch which I do too, like Kris, and it’s always nice to be able to get to have these conversations with such amazing people who you couldn't speak to if you weren't working with them. I was in Paris for three nights but it was just half a day of shooting. I only found out a few days before and I was so excited, then I was the first guy in the video and my name was on it, and someone did a painting of me! As a model it’s not the first time I've seen of myself, but I actually saw it on Tumblr a few days before and it was the first painting of me that I really liked. When I saw it was for the Dior video, it made sense that it was so good!

Was there anything about modeling that you found difficult, that you didn’t expect?

Some people are hard to handle, but you get that in every industry. As a model, you learn how to be around people and how to handle situations. You just need to be even more nice to those people because then, you'll always be the nice guy! You have a lot of time as a model, and you can find ways to make the most of what you learn.

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What are you most excited for at the coming season of LCM?

I love doing shows because they’re very easy and they make you feel so good. If you’re doing something wrong and you’re very shy it's not fun. The trick is to pretend that you think that you’re the most awesome guy on the planet, then it will show on your face! [laughs] Of course I don't think I am, but it's all about confidence on the runway. I love doing shows, but castings are hard work, especially when you have to do it all week. My birthday is always during casting week in London in the summer, which sucks. You don’t have any time to eat or sleep or relax properly, you’re totally drained, but doing the show is awesome, so it’s worth it.

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