by Yemi Olowu
Romeo Ifeanyi Mesik, also known as Ray, because of his light skinned look, hails from Delta state; he is the 3rd child from four brothers. The 6″3 tall, model, sheds light on how he meddles modelling with getting a degrees in Law and Political science.
How were you discovered?
I actually started modelling at a very young age, but most of the jobs I have done are not in Nigeria. I got in through Steven Blank, a really good fashion photographer. I met him through a friend of mine; he saw me and was amazed, he liked my face and he wanted to try some extreme photography works. It was a really nice experience.
How long have you nurtured the desire to be a model?
I have always wanted to be a model, wanted to express myself and do those things which I normally would not do, wanted to push my boundaries.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my environment, my wonderful family, my kid brother who is also a model in Nigeria. I also like the fact that I have very liberal parents who love and support what I do.
Who are the designers You have worked with?
I have worked with Mango, did an editorial Ad for Michael Kors last year and I also did a sales promo Ad for Zara Man in the UK last year too.
Modelling as a career,tell us more about the support you get from your family?
I have the best family anyone can wish for, my brothers are extremely cool with what I am doing, my parents are just too good and very liberal. My dad usually laughs with me over my nude arts. My kid brother is also someone I love very much and he’s very inspiring too. But my dad still wants me to pursue a law career. I have always wanted to be a lawyer.
Do you wish to pursue other ventures in the fashion business? What would it be?
I might go into having my own line of men’s clothing, but not too sure if am ready for that yet.
What are the challenges you face as a model?
hmmm, people seem to judge me too much and even people who don’t know me feel they do and its kinda funny, like on facebook and stuff, but its OK though.
What agencies do you belong with?
I am signed with Next models in the UK and US.
What job has been your best yet?
It has got to be my Ad with Michael Kors. Kors saw my pictures and wanted me to do the shoot for his jeans line. It was a great experience and I got to shoot with Micheal Jordan Smith.
What are You working on right now?
Nothing much really, I got some art shoots am doing now.
Runway or Ad campaigns?
I prefer photography and Ads to runway, cos it allows me to express myself more but I still do both though.
Your thoughts on the modelling industry in Nigeria?
I really feel the industry down there is growing but the degree of mediocrity over there is alarming. I met somebody at the airport who said he was a model, I tried not to be rude but he’s not suppose to even think that. Then again the industry is not about who has what it takes, to them it’s about who you know and stuff. I heard about how models were marginalized at the Lagos style week casting all because they didn’t know the guy who was casting and it’s funny cause such nonsense don’t happen here.
How often do you work out?
I work out at least four times in a week.
Any advice for aspiring models?
My advice to upcoming models is to keep it simple and easy, try being yourselves and with time you will get there.