Winning Friends For Life: Eml Success With Paul Kerr

Model Life Nov 23
Scouted at a shopping centre in Dublin, Paul Kerr participated in EML UK in 2012. Since then, he has shot for GQ, Esquire and Cosmopolitan. He has touched down in Milan to join the team at the World Final and attend the final events. We sat down to talk about the learning curve, gym technique and the importance of friendship to work as a model.

What is it like being invited back to EML?

It’s amazing to come back and see all these youngsters in the same place I was two years ago. It’s quite interesting from experience, I’ve seen a lot of models do EML, so it’s nice to be back to see the future faces of fashion. It’s good to see the current Finalists figuring it out and to get their own opinion of the industry. When they bring originality and something different, they tend to be the more successful ones. You see these really shy kids at the beginning and then before you know it, they’ve smashed it and they’re making a lot of money in the industry, which is nice!

Do you think it’s a good platform to come from?

It’s an amazing platform. The Elite network - there’s so many branches, so when these kids come through, they have the chance to get signed up throughout the world, which is the main advantage they have in this competition. I think the process at EML is actually fantastic, the way they train them from everything from diet to catwalk to style to gym, the they way they encourage everyone to be friends. It’s way up there with where it needs to be and where modelling is going in the future with Instagram and everything. It’s definitely planning for longevity in their careers.

Is friendship important in modelling?

Yes, from the year I did EML, I’m still friends with some of the lads who I did it with. Funnily enough, one of the lads who came from Ireland when I did, we were friends before we went into it, which is funny. His name is William O’Brien, but he opted for rugby because they said he couldn’t get too big, so it was modelling or rugby and he went for rugby. [laughs] I have some other good friends, Conor Doherty, Matthew Bell and most of the Elite boys.

Photo © Paul Kerr via Instagram

What is it about having friends that makes your job easier?

It’s very good for getting tips, when I just started off, I’d be on a photoshoot and I’d look at what the other model was doing to try and get some feedback for myself. Friendship is key so you can learn from the best. Making friends in the industry is also very important for your sanity. If I go home to my friends who’s are builders and electricians, and start talking about photoshoots and stylists, they’d look at me like I had ten heads. It’s a good reason to make sure your social game is on point. Also, no one wants to be on set with a miserable model. You want to have a good relationship with clients and to be able to bring a laugh to it so that they rebook you. It’s that good, positive energy.

Out of everything you have done since the competition, what has been the most exciting for you personally?

I’ve got to travel to some pretty amazing places. I had a seven day shoot in Barbados for a female swimwear brand, so I got to frolick around in the background while all these girls were in bikinis! [laughs] I haven’t got to do a show season yet. You don’t know what’s going to come in so it’s fun, you’re hit with big surprises all the time. Sometimes you get a phone call and it’s like, “you’re going away in two hours”.

Do you feel like you are missing out by not booking shows?

I feel like I have a good deal. I’m quite broad, I played a lot of sports when I was a kid, so I’m really, really big. If I was to do shows, I would maybe have to sacrifice some of my e-comm clients because I’d have to trim down. I’m too big for London and Paris, but maybe out here in Milan, they want me for a few shows in January. To do 12 castings every day, it just doesn’t appeal to me. I’m 25, and you go to these castings and there’s 16, 17 year olds - 500 people in the queue! Having said that, it’s really good for your profile to do shows, so we’ll see.

How do you feel to be in Milan?

It’s my third time back here in Milan. I have my own apartment on Air BnB and I’m enjoying the freedom, and I know the place quite well, I know people. When I’m in Milan, I love to eat, I love to shop. You can just walk around, get some coffee or gelato, vibe out on the energy of the place.

What should young models be prepared for?

They should be patient. They should really look after themselves and focus on what they want, not too much partying. Having a balanced social life, gym life, is quite important, and listen to your agencies. You shouldn’t be too disheartened if your career doesn’t take off straight away because some people take off differently. For me, at the beginning I did a lot of e-commerce, but gradually I’m starting to get better magazines and shoots. Usually, I try to roll with the punches and see what comes in.

What’s the best advice you have ever got?

I’m quite big, so the best advice I got was to run. Just keep running, and running and running! [laughs] When I started, I couldn’t fit into suits, so it was about getting myself a model physique. Every model is different, so generally, I’d say to just listen to your agents, and see what individual advice you can take.

Photo © Paul Kerr via Instagram

Are you excited for the World Final?

Yes, this is my first World Final. It will be great to see some kids dreams being made. I’ve never been to the Villa Necchi before, so I’m looking forward to that. I need to go into my agency and ask them to get me a nice suit, though. I’m sure they’ll have a stylist who can help me. I’d love to get a nice Canali suit to wear to the Final, that would be great.

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