“A chilling sense of panic ran down my neck and I heard a voice yell,
‘What the hell are you doing?!’” – Cameron Phan (while on the run)
DFW Style Daily’s newest series, Face Time, gets to know the personalities behind some of our city’s most recognizable faces. Why? Because there’s a whole lot more to models than fit figures and fierce struts.
Take Cameron Phan, for instance. Today’s up-and-coming star thinks nothing of dodging shotgun-toting farmers – but Terry Richardson is another story. Read on for Cameron’s exclusive interview, and click here for more Face Time features!
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
Cameron Phan: “I began modeling at 17, and my first job was at a corporate convention for TIGI Professional. I put on a suit, got my hair slicked back with some B for Men gel, and sat through multiple sessions in the front of a meeting room while corporate reps spoke to employees about hair products and how to sell them. By the end of the day, I could have repeated their speeches verbatim, but I scored some quality hair products, so I couldn’t complain!”
What do think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“I think the biggest misconception is that male models aren’t as susceptible to insecurities about their body image as female models.”
What is the most unusual thing you have done on a job?
“One of my very first jobs was with [Dallas photographer] Lauren Withrow. We drove out to a small country town called Bristol, Texas, and we were shooting in an abandoned structure that we reached by crossing a small fence. At one point, I went to grab a piece of clothing that I’d left in the car, and I hopped back over the fence while Lauren waited. As I was mid-jump, a chilling sense of panic ran down my neck and I heard a flustered, grumpy old voice yell, ‘What the hell are you doing?!’
“Sure enough, an old man waddled toward me, yelling at me to get off his property and making some very Texan shotgun threats. My first worry was for Lauren’s safety, because even though she was still undetected by the old man, she was on his property, too. She finally gathered all of her things and, needless to say, we left that spot really quickly.”
Are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to job requirements?
“Not necessarily – just don’t go completely Terry Richardson on me.”
What is your dream assignment, or who would be your dream client?
“My dream would be scoring a cover of i-D Magazine. That’s my ultimate dream assignment, I think. I’ve been mastering my wink. My dream client would most likely be Rick Owens or J.W. Anderson. I’m a sucker for dark colors and minimalism.”
Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from her example?
“Absolutely – Carine Roitfeld. She struck a major chord with me and opened my eyes, especially after viewing her very personal documentary, Mademoiselle C. She represents someone beautiful, intelligent, and unapologetic. For me, she is the epitome of the focus and drive that I hope to emulate in my present and future life. Despite the formulaic expectations of her industry, she continues to drive brilliant innovation. …And let’s not forget that she’s a Virgo.”
How would you describe your personal style? Do you have any favorite local shopping spots?
“My style is generally dark. I’m almost always wearing a pair of tight black pants with boots, with one item acting as the focal point. I keep things pretty minimal, with a hint of rock and roll, and I always find at least one good item from every trip I make to Buffalo Exchange or Urban Outfitters. I’ve also become a regular shopper at American Apparel at Mockingbird Station.”
What did you have for dinner last night?
“Steamed broccoli, grilled chicken, and roasted red pepper hummus.”
If you had a free night in Dallas, how would you spend it?
“I would satisfy my soul with sushi from Steel, and then I would find the best band playing in town and bring my favorite people to dance the night away.”
All photos courtesy of Cameron Phan.