I wanted to be a boy/farmer/editor of Smash Hits when I was younger but never a model. Though it’s probably because I looked like a Boglin. But hey, everyone has to look like someone famous. Anyway, whilst I was getting excited about interviewing 911 and making Ultra stickers to give away with my magazine, some kids were dreaming of frolicking in front of the camera, looking like they wanted to ‘fuck their Grandma’. No, really…

Meet Alex Wells. He’s 17, in his second year of a BTEC in Art and Design and works part-time in All Saints as well as modelling. He’s on Premier’s books and has been modelling for about 5 months. When I met him he had his nose in a bag of crisps - models like totally eat!

How did you get into it?
My girlfriend made me go round the agencies as I’d just been fired from my job in Croydon packing medical supplies in a warehouse. I literally just walked into the agency and got signed the same day. My girlfriend thinks I’m a lucky bastard ‘cos people spend years trying to be models and it’s their whole dream in life - especially women, I don’t know about men.

It’s quite sad.
No, no it is sad. I remember the day I got signed, I went into the agency and there was a guy in front of me in the queue and he came in first and he had this whole massive portfolio which he’d clearly paid for. At that time I didn’t know what models were supposed to look like but looking back on it now I could tell that he wasn’t model material. But he had this whole portfolio and he must have spent so much money on it and he was telling me about how he’d come all the way down from up North. And the woman was just like, “We’re really really sorry but no.” I felt bad for him and that’s what made me realise that I was extremely lucky.

Have you had a lot of work?
I’ve been doing alright - I know a lot of people that have been modelling for a lot longer than I have and they’ve not done anything at all. I’ve done Toni and Guy, Lazy Oaf shoots, walked for Satyen Kumar at Fashion Week…I was also in a Mika video!
He’s hilarious - he’s really camp on camera, but off camera he’s quite down to earth. So I guess I’ve been lucky but I’m still not working as much as I’d like, you know, doing things everyday.

And I assume you want to give up your day job…How often do you work at All Saints?
16 hours a week. It’s fucking awful, soul-crushing; absolutely soul-crushing. I wouldn’t mind if the manager wasn’t a complete cock and he’s also really weird, like he bites his fingers and sniffs it.

Do you want me to put that in?

Yeah, and his name’s Tim.

You’re getting fiiiiiiiiired.
He’s not gonna read this.

So ideally, modelling would be your full-time career?
Well, if I start earning enough money to make a career out of it, but at the moment I can’t see it happening…well I can see it happening but not for a while. But I really want to be a comic book illustrator.

So what do your friends think of you being a model?
A lot of them are jealous…and a lot of them aren’t my friends anymore as a result of it. They just think that fashion’s like Ugly Betty and Zoolander and that once you become a model you think that everyone’s below you. They don’t understand that it’s just a job and most of the time, a shit job.

Yeah so what’s a typical shoot like?
Well it depends. If it’s a small magazine, there’s maybe one hair stylist who’s also a make-up artist, one photographer who’s also filming it, or doing something else for it, you know, and a stylist. But like if it’s for a big thing like for example Toni and Guy, there’s a stylist, three different hair stylists, their assistants, make-up artists, make-up artist’s assistant, the stylists, then the runner who goes to get all the food for the shoots.

What’s the food like on a photoshoot?!
Amazing. The food’s probably the best perk of the whole fucking thing. It’s always from some really posh restaurant that you can never be fucked to go to. In Fashion Week we were given free salads all day by Chop’d.

So with the whole food thing, do you feel a pressure to…
Not get fat?

Not really. I went to a Japanese agency and they said you’d get more work if you were slightly thinner and so, obviously I took on the advice but I’ve never been a pig and I’m still not a pig so I guess it’s just the way I am. I’ve never really eaten chocolate much anyway. Or crisps. That’s why it was weird I was eating them when you came in. And until recently I’ve never been able to eat a whole doughnut.

Have you had any weird jobs?
My first ever photoshoot was for a gay erotic photographer. It was this photography class which old people paid to go to. And the head of the class, his speciality is gay erotic photography so he’s like, “Have a look at my portfolio” and the first page is this huge, buff, ripped guy dusting a piano with a feather duster in a maid’s outfit with his cock out. I almost ran out of the door that second but then the stylist was like, “Oh no, no, no he’s teaching fashion photography today.” So I get up in front of the camera and these fucking old people are making me do these shitty poses like, “Put your hands in your pockets, look moody”, and I’m like okay this is odd. And then he’s like, “No, no, no, no, you don’t do it like that!” And he gets hold of the camera and says, “Look at me like you want to fuck me.” And I’m like, “Woah.” And he’s like, “No come on, look at me like I’m a sexy girl.” And then he goes, “Look at me like I’m your Nan.” So I looked at him and he goes, “No, you don’t want to shag your Nan. It’s your Nan.” And I’m like, “For fuck’s sake, this is so odd.”

How much did you get paid for that?
The piss-take was, I didn’t get paid for that. It was my first ever shoot and I was building up my portfolio.

So how has your life changed since becoming a model?
It hasn’t really. Before, I was a bit of a…I dunno…I’d say my life changed for the better when I met my girlfriend. Before I met my girlfriend I was in trouble with the police all the time and er…being arrested. I’ve been arrested 4 times.

Really?? What for?
(laughs awkwardly) This is personal stuff. Um…like just stupid things like getting in fights, criminal damage, being drunk and disorderly…

I can’t imagine you doing that.
Yeah…I was a very different person 2 years ago.

Is your mugshot in your portfolio?
(laughs) My mugshots are so funny ‘cos they’re all my different haircuts. In the first one I’ve got long black straightened hair, the next one is a bit more ’scene’ and then the next one I’ve got a skinhead and the next one’s got this emo fringe going on. It’s fucking hilarious. In one of them I was dressed to go to a Hawaiian party so I was dressed in Hawaiian clothes. Holding up a board and standing in front of a thing with your height behind is quite funny.

So good practise for being a model then?
Yeah. (laughs) Now look moody!

Click next page to meet Vivien…she wants to be  model so much she’d shave off her hip bone… maybe…