Model's Diary

Sebastian Matarrese : Walking into an Art Museum felt like walking into a museum

sebastianmatarrese_mainI was born in Parma in the middle-north region of Italy. My father is Italian and my mother is Colombian. She came to Italy out of love and met him right after she broke up with her former boyfriend.

I was a quick-growing child and began to study at the Hotel School. I also played soccer and did well. After years of sacrifices, I slowly began to dislike the sport and the people around me, including the hypocrisy among the managers.

Sebastian Matarrese modelMy parents allowed me to travel and expand my cultural awareness and critical thinking.

I tried to be a model while studying at university. However, all the agencies in Italy and abroad said ‘no thank you’ to me. I was ready to give up when I met someone who assigned models with different agencies in Milan. He said he believed I had a shot at entering this world…I trusted him and took that chance…and after two weeks, I signed my first modeling contract. It is often the last key that opens the door.

Sebastian Matarrese modelOne story from my modelling career always makes me laugh. One day, I was invited to participate in a casting with 40 other men to compete for the chance to be signed by Versace, one of the biggest fashion brands in the industry.

The casting took place in Milan at Versace’s headquarter. This building is huge and has beautiful architecture. It took my breath away just by looking at it from the outside.

sebastian matarrese modelI arrived at the audition all dressed up, super fit. I was determined to get the job, but also to make an impression on future employers. I arrived early and discovered that 30 other guys had done the same.

I learned from a concierge that models are cast in ten-person groups. I was the 30th person to arrive. I made it to the 4th group which was actually last.

sebastian matarrese modelI waited with nine other guys for my turn, and we were all ready when they finally called us after waiting an hour. Or at least, I was. A beautiful girl introduced herself to us and led the way to a room where we would later try on clothing for the photoshoot. She told us to walk up the stairs to the third level once we entered the main hall. I and nine other guys from the group walked in single file into the building which was decorated in the iconic style of the brand. It felt like I was walking into an art gallery.

We found ourselves at a certain place in front of a set of stairs with a grey elevator right next to them. As most people, I ask myself quickly if I should walk up the stairs or take the elevator. I choose the second option and rush into the cage. Not one, not two, but all nine of them follow me. In a split second, I am pressed against the mirror in the elevator, helpless and cramped, with the other nine.sebastian matarrese model

The last person in line quickly presses the elevator button to the third floor. For a moment, we feel clever for not following the girl’s advice. After all, why climb three flights of stairs when you can take an elevator?

All wrong. Then I saw’maximum three people’ next to me and began to wonder if my choice was not so wise. The cage appears to be holding its weight, and slowly begins to rise. On the display, I read “first floor” and briefly reassured myself.sebastian matarrese model

The situation quickly reverses and I go from the first floor down to “minus three”. You were probably thinking that they had gathered the most idiotic group of models to do this. Well, yes.

All nine of us were initially enjoying the situation. Five minutes passed after we pressed the emergency button. Nothing happened. Someone even said, “I am going to light up a joint right now” amid the laughter and jokes. Ten more minutes have passed. The cosmos is nothing.sebastian matarrese model

The elevator was almost hermetically closed, with very little air passing through. It became hot. After 15 minutes, no technician or anyone showed up to open the elevator door. During this time, two guys became impatient and began to try to force the door, but in vain.

We were all getting nervous and couldn’t understand why the people above didn’t notice we weren’t in the casting room.

A technician opened the door after almost 35 minutes. Seeing nine people coming out of the three-man lift, he looked at us with an irritated look and said, “you are really idiots”.sebastian matarrese model

The whole team laughed as we climbed the stairs up to the third-floor casting area. They took it ‘philosophically,’ and didn’t make us feel bad about what we did. What could we say, then? What is the moral of this story? You don’t need to worry about it, just make sure you don’t put nine in an elevator with three!

During my modelling experience, I also realized that it’s never too early to make true friends and find the right people. One day, after about two years of working as a professional model, I was booked for a photo shoot in Rimini. This seaside resort is not too far from my old home. When I arrived, I met Lorenzo. Another model, who, like I, was waiting to be picked up by Andrea, the photographer who was in charge of accompanying models on set. Andrea had arranged to meet us in front of a kebab shop near the station. Lorenzo, another model and I began talking. We had an instant affinity and we laughed when Andrea arrived in his Citroen in a hurry and late.

We knew that the day would be unforgettable. The day flew by on set, with laughter, jokes, and lots of complicity. We looked like old friends who had just met again after being apart for a while.sebastian matarrese model

We all agreed that we would meet again at a later date, after we had experienced the energy between us. It would have been difficult, though, as we all lived in different cities.

We kept in touch with each other, hoping to get together again. I met Lorenzo and his brand in Milan, while I also saw Andrea at his graduation in Rimini. The enthusiasm that brought us all together did not seem to have diminished, even though we weren’t together. We agreed to meet up in September. After the weekend we realized that our friendship was more than just friendship.

We became inseparable after those days, sharing thousands of moments, events, parties, and adventures. We travelled to Amsterdam, Barcelona and Athens, all together. After a year-and-a-half of getting to know each other, we now live together in Milan. It’s amazing how quickly you can form a bond with just one person.sebastian matarrese model

What can I say? I’ll always be grateful to the fashion world for what it has given me. When I think about my future as a model, I immediately imagine travelling, moving, and visiting other cities that have different markets. I’d love to work in the US or Asia. These are huge markets with lots of opportunity. For those new to the business, I have a simple but important piece of advice: Be yourself. Never try to be like anyone else. Your uniqueness will get you far. I wasted too many hours trying to be like people who were nothing like me.

A little less “spiritual” advice is to not focus only on one market, or one country. Start travelling and experience new places, and new countries. You will find a hundred new doors open. My parents have always been my inspiration and strength. I owe everything to them!Sebastian Matarrese model

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