When Walid Riachy know on instagram as @izww handing out flyers in Lebanon 3 years ago he was approached by an Italian photographer asking him if he would please come join him and his colleagues for a drink, to talk about the possibility of Walid to go to Dubai and sign with a model agency there. Walid who at that time never even thought one second about the possiblity of modelling told his mom about this encounter. She told him to go to the best model agency for male models: Bareface in dubai, and see whether there was a chance of him becoming a model. There they took a good look at him, took some polaroids of his face and body and sent them out to potential clients and with success, a few days later he was on a plane for his first job as a model.
Now we are 3 years, numerous campaigns, catwalks and editorials further and he just received his first award: Dubai Model of the Year Award!
– Thanks so much! It’s truly an honour to have received such a prestigious prize, I’m very happy with it!
You told me the amazing story about how you became a model, how did you experience the first job you did as a model?
– My first job was a shoot for a catalogue. Of course I was quite nervous and insecure, not knowing one thing about how these things work. Everything comes with experience and little by little you get used to it and learn how to deal with all the aspects of this carreer.
What were these things that you had to get used to in your carreer?
– Well, you need to be able to act any mood and atmosphere that they want you to. You have to show yourself a lot, and you can’t be shy and timid. They create a story and you are the main character. Also, you are your own marketing manager. If a client likes you and liked working with you, they will book you again. If they didn’t like and if you can’t bring the story alive that they wanted you to, they won’t book you again. Also you need to learn to be alone, and to be available whenever they call you for a job. Luckily I’ve met a lot of really nice people and I’ve made a lot of friends. These make e.g. the Fashion Weeks a lot of fun, because you can hang out with friends backstage, do the shows together and enjoy the time together in different cities. The travelling I get to do because of this job is great. I’ve been to places I never imagined going and have shot on amazing locations.
How are photo shoots generally directed?
– It depends on who the shooting is for and what the style of the shooting is. For an editorial they have a clear idea of what they want to achieve, but both the photographer and the model(s) always have space to take it into another direction and play around with the initial set up. For campaigns and catalogues you have to be more strict to what the clients wants.
Shoots or shows?
– Shows of course Like I said, it’s a lot of fun because you do the shows with people you know and backstage you can have fun together. You put on different outfits, walk back and forth and that’s it. Of course the castings and the fittings can be very time consuming. You can be there with 50 other guys waiting to show your portfolio and do a test walk. But when you have done a certain show before and they liked you, it also happens that they book you without having to come to the casting. One thing that can be a bit frustrating is when several clients book you for their show, but the shows are either at the same time or so close to one another that you can’t do both, so you end up missing out on jobs.
Put these factors in order of importance for becoming a successful model: The right looks, hard work, luck
– 1. Luck 2.The right looks 3. Hard work
It doesn’t matter how hard you work if you aren’t lucky or sdon’t have the right looks. Nobody likes your look until you do a certain campaign and all of sudden they see you in a different way, which is why you have to be lucky to get the right jobs at the right time.
How do you experience working closely together with other models in shoots?
– You do it as your job, so it’s all about acting and creating the atmosphere that the client wants. You just have keep in mind that it is a job you have to do together, nothing more or less.
Can you tell us a little about you future projects & the hollywood movie that you joined recently ?
Yes i have joined The Misfits Movie in as a featured actor for the Lanky guard role. Its a Hollywood Action-Heist Film will be launched hopefully in 2020 it’s directed by Mr. Renny Harlin starred by pierce brosnan, Nick Canon, Jamie Chung, Hermoni, Tim Roth, Michael Angelo & Rami Jaber.
Other then commercials that I’ve done for many famous company’s worldwide it was the best experience ever even if it was a small roll but being a part of that is a great honor learning alot from the great actor Pierce Brosnan.
I also was the body double for the actor Rami Jaber. And hopefully more yet to come.
Thanks so much Walid and good luck with everything!