I want to start by reading something you published a few months ago. You said:
“Your happiness is the sexiest thing you wear. It fits you perfectly. It’s breathtaking. It’s original, and only you could wear it so well.”
That is something we talk about a lot here in Political Fashion. We talk about clothing not just as a piece of fabric but as something that has to connect with your authentic self to express who you are. So, how do you put these words into practice every day for your own personal and professional life?
First off, I love that you read my poetry, absorbed it, applied it to your own life, and tried to conceptualize it. That means a lot to me. Words matter. Our society is in a very weird place now where it’s very easy to send something and then you can delete it. You can edit it. You can do all these things. But I advise people to take a breath before they say anything or send anything because you never know how your words are gonna impact someone and how long they’ll carry those words with them. So that’s number one, number 2. Yes, your fashion, what you wear, what you put on your body every day, your makeup, the way you wear your hair. All of it comes down to how you actually feel about yourself and how you want to express yourself. And fashion is a huge piece of expression, you know, and I love that it is, and I love that I’m versatile enough to do a whole wide array of fashion.
I’m not just the typical guy who wears a suit and calls it a day. I love pushing the edge a little bit. So that’s part two and part three: happiness is important. Happiness is everything, and for me, happiness is the sexiest thing in a person, and that’s not just from a romantic aspect. That is an all-time aspect if you meet someone and they’re genuinely happy, and they’re genuinely going to make your day a little bit better by just being themselves. I remember that interaction, that person, so much more significantly than if I just met them, and they’re attractive, but they’re mean, or they were charismatic. But had stuff going on. So happiness is important, and I think we should all try and do our best to love ourselves a little bit more so that we can allow everyone else.
And I think that right now, we’re starting to think of feeling good and looking good, right? How it’s overall inner, outer self-relationship. But it seems sometimes that it’s just adding more stress to the plate.
“I have to look good because it’s a responsibility”. How do you make this something that works smoothly and doesn’t become one more duty to accomplish in the day-to-day?
I’m a model and actor. So, looking a certain way is a part of what I do. But I also love myself in the process.
And that’s the biggest thing. I’m not just trying to get to a point of, you know, from A to B, of looking perfect or looking this way or that way. I’m enjoying the process of wherever I am, and if you love yourself along that journey, it becomes. You love what you look like, but you more so. Love how you feel. And the feeling is everything. If you feel good, your confidence will shine. If you feel good, you will look good because you’ll appear taller, more charismatic, and more energetic. And that’s a big thing. So I think if everyone focused a little bit more on feeling good as opposed to just looking good in terms of beauty standards or fashion standards.
You know one of my stylists and one of my friends. He’s amazing. His name is Pashenko. He’ll help style me for red carpets and stuff, and he’ll throw ideas at me, and if I put a piece on, and he’s like, Well, how do you feel in it? And if I feel weird, he’s like, alright. This, isn’t it. But you know it could look stunning on me. But if I feel weird in it, I’m not gonna enjoy it. So if you put something on for fashion, or you see yourself in the mirror, and you feel good about it, that matters.
Talking about fashion as a whole, I believe that fashion is your values. And when I realized that I wanted to speak to you here on Political Fashion, you started talking about fashion and what fashion is with their values. Speaking about mental health, sustainability, and the core messages we communicate beyond clothing. So, I’m curious to know your perspective on fashion in the modeling business. How much of that is really true? Sometimes, it seems like the values that fashion pretends to care about are just under messaging on social media posts, on the rainbow flag in June. But how much is that really put into practice?
Everything is on a case-by-case basis. Every brand I work with is a different experience. Every fashion show, every Ecom shoot, every editorial shoot, every stylist, everything is on a case-by-case basis. So I try not ever to blanket statements across the board because there are some brands that have really amazing core values that are expressed in the materials, their messaging, and their overall branding.
And then there are some brands that are even some of the biggest brands that exist that have really looked great on paper, and they look very nice to the public, but then they treat their makeup artists horribly on set. There’s just mistreatment. I don’t wanna get into the nitty-gritty of the bad things. But either way, there’s mistreatment, and there is misrepresentation. So I would say, taking it as a case-by-case basis and try to look at any brand with a clean slate because you never know what’s going on behind the scenes and do your own homework to be able to really establish a feeling for a brand, or even for a person.
Just think of me as a brand. If you just looked at my portfolio and you looked at my modeling pictures. You’d be like, This guy is a narcissistic douchebag, and my favorite thing is when I meet someone in person, and they actually get to experience me, talk to me, and feel my energy. And they’re like, Oh, you’re not. You’re totally different than I thought you would be.
Tell me about Jurassic Domination. How was that experience for you? Tell me about how everything started, when you got the role, and the highlights. How was that full experience for you?
It was great. It was the third movie that I did. I was in a small role, you know, nothing crazy. But it was a team that I had worked with before, the director Brian Nowac. I worked with him. It was a lot of fun. Got to drive a Humvee!
Recently I’ve done a few films since then that I’m really excited about, and one of them I can’t share too much about. But I’ll give you the log line. So, one of them, I just shot in Iowa. I was out there for a little over two and a half weeks shooting this film. It’s a paranormal thriller. And it’s based on two girls that go missing. And I am the lead detective that is looking for them. And this was my favorite experience on set.
I had the best time. The whole cast. The whole crew. The ep. Everyone involved was phenomenal. The story is great, and I left there with such an overwhelming sense of pride. I felt so great about my experience, and I can’t wait to showcase that film to everyone. Because when something feels good this is coming full circle now, when something feels good, you like it. That’s all that matters, because then I know, no matter what happens or how it looks when it comes out. I know that I left it all on the table. I did my absolute best, and it felt good doing it. And that. So that makes me feel proud about it.
Thank you, Javier!
And I’m asking about these projects because I remember last time we spoke, you said you started this journey around October 2019. And there has been fitness, but there has also been modeling, but there has also been acting, and the path is not always straightforward, right? And sometimes people don’t understand the path. And sometimes people say you’re just all over the place. And they just see those accomplishments. But, of course, there are many zigzags in between. What are your next goals? What do you want to accomplish in the near future?
Absolutely, the path can be really disjointed, a bumpy wooden roller coaster that you’re on. And you’re absolutely right. I do several things. I never just identify myself as a model. I never just identified myself as an actor. I might have 25 different things, and I love that about myself. I don’t wanna do the same thing every day. I love having every day be different. I love that each of my art forms pulls from me differently, you know, like even being a poet, writing, that is one of my greatest forms of expression, and I’ve really only shared like 5% of my work. So, I think that everyone should know what they see on social media from anyone, I’m not just talking about me, anyone that is an actor or, model, or celebrity, or an influencer or content creator. It is never as highlight real as it looks.
There’s always those times that are tough, those struggles. I didn’t post about the 15 auditions that I did before I even got a call back or the 50 auditions I did before I got booked, right? But that is a big part of the story, is failing forward, is doing all that and continuously reworking the wheel and figuring out where it’s going. So that’s number one, number two. I probably shouldn’t say I’m nearing, but I am trying to get to 200 book covers. Romance novel book covers. That is a big part of what I do. I just licensed my 158th book cover. So I’m on the way, and I never even imagined saying 50 book covers or 100 book covers or 150, and every time, I just feel like it keeps growing, and I love that industry.
The readers are so passionate; the authors are so talented and so friendly. It’s a cooperative group of amazing, talented people. And I love it.
Acting wise. I am slated for a movie pretty soon. And that one is another movie I’m really excited to do. I think everyone would put me in a box that they would think about how I am, how I act, and the roles that I play. And this isn’t that role at all, and that’s what I love about it.
I’ll talk to my mom on the phone. and she’ll be like, I’m taking notes. What’s up? You know. And I’ll tell her this, that, and the next thing she’s like, I don’t know how you keep it all straight, and some days I don’t know how I do either, but my biggest advice for that is just take it one day at a time. You know, you don’t have to worry about what’s going on tomorrow or 5 weeks from now. Just one day at a time.
There’s a quote from one of my favorite journalists that has to deal with what you just said. She says: “The best decisions for you are very often not the most popular ones.” Essentially, many people will not understand you, will not support you, or will not agree with you during this process, especially if you have many different goals in books, body modeling, and acting. And you want to do a bunch of things.
Have you experienced this sensation in person? Feeling that sometimes you are not understood by the people around you, but your actions speak for themselves?
I love that quote. I think that’s very refreshing because it’s absolutely true. I am my own therapist, meaning if I need advice, I like to talk to myself, and usually in a positive way. I have other people that I go to as well. I have a great circle of friends and professionals that I can rely on, you know, mentors even.
But I do think that the biggest decisions that you will make in your life that will have the most impact are not necessarily going to be understood by the majority. It would be a minority that would understand what is going on. For the last 8 or 9 years, I’ve kind of gone against the green. I’ve gone against what logically made sense to me. I have a background in mathematics and economics. I could go work on Wall Street. I could have done that straight out of college. Instead, I decided to travel, get some life experience, and see the world. And then I ended up here four years ago, and I’ve been full-time modeling and acting ever since with a degree that very few people have. And logically, does it make sense to be doing something that is extremely risky and against my training? Logically, it’s weird. But, feeling wise, it feels like the right decision. So I would say. For anyone that might be going through a life-altering time, or they’re trying to make a life-altering decision to make, just listen to your gut. Sleep on it for a few days. Maybe you don’t have to make your decision right away. I feel like today because of our communication ability. We’re expected to make decisions like that. That’s not how the world works.
What does political fashion mean to you? And I don’t wanna ask this based on political parties or things of that nature. It’s more about being your authentic self with the risk that sometimes people don’t understand it. How do you use your clothes to express your authentic self?
I would say, do whatever you need to do to feel the most confident. And I really want people to lean into that. Don’t just do what the rest of society is doing. A great example is that we go through trends and what is hot right now. Well, we’ll waste. The jeans are coming back in for women. Right? It was a high rise for a long time. The jeans are coming back as baggy or have come back in as opposed to skin-tight stuff. I prefer my pants to usually hug my entire leg. I prefer to have a skinny waist. And all the time, people are like, Yeah, you should do something a little more new, a little more contemporary, I’m like, sure. But if I don’t feel great doing it, then why would I? Why would I do it, you know, like I have a friend? I have a few friends who are masculine. Men, you know, they have great bodies and all that, but they like dressing kind of feminine forward, and that’s like pushing against the grain a little bit, but they feel so comfortable doing that. And it’s like, it’s an applause. I’m like, that is amazing because you’re doing what speaks to you, not doing what speaks to society or politics or whatever. So, you know, if you are doing something and it feels right to do it. And you’re wearing clothes that feel right to wear, do it.
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