Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways and picture-perfect shoots to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why? Because there’s a hell of a lot more to making it in one of fashion’s most competitive fields than just a fit figure and a nice smile. Case in point: Benn Suede.
As the lead guitarist for Crown The Empire, Benn tours the world rocking festivals and clubs. This experience gives him a – ahem – unique perspective on his budding modeling career back home in Big D. Hey, when you’ve already posed for band promo pics in a sex dungeon (of all places), a tame fashion spread is like a walk in the park. Read on for the scoop:
Name: Benn Suede
Hometown: Kirkland, Washington
Agency: Vera Photo & Talent
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
Benn Suede: “I actually just recently began modeling at age 19. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I’ve been pursuing my career in music for the last few years.
“My first [shoot] was a few years ago with my band, and there have been quite a few shoots that we’ve done together since then. As far as my personal experience, I just finished doing a shoot for an editorial that will be featured in a local Dallas magazine.”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about the modeling industry?
“I’m pretty new to this industry, but I think a big misconception is that models don’t have to work hard to look good or stay in shape. They make it look easy, but from my experience, staying in shape takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Once I got in the swing of things, I’ve become more and more accustomed to what living a healthy lifestyle requires.”
What is the most unusual thing you been asked to do on a job?
“One of the craziest things my band and I did was a shoot in a sort of ‘sex dungeon’ in the U.K. There were all sorts of dominatrix-type machines there, and we just shot photos next to some of those things for fun. It made for a good post on our social media platforms.”
Are there any deal breakers for you when it comes to job requirements?
“I’m sure that, in the future, there will be some deal breakers for me, but I’m pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone and progress as much as I can. Within reason, I’ll just do whatever needs to be done to get the job.”
What is your dream assignment, or who would be your dream client?
“As I’ve just started modeling, my manager and I are looking to partner up with an agency in New York. If I had to pick a dream client, I’d have to say that doing some work with Ralph Lauren would be right up there.”
Do you have a personal role model? What have you learned from his example?
“There’s one person specifically that comes to mind. He’s almost a big brother to me, and we’ve been working together in the music industry for about three years. Brendan Barone is his name.
“This guy has been through hell and back, and has taken our band to a place none of us could have ever imagined. He’s also helped me realize my own personal potential. We’ve both come a long way in three years, and having someone who is extremely dedicated, diligent, and passionate as both a friend and a colleague is an inspiration.”
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
“My breakfast this morning consisted of egg whites with honey ham, maple turkey sausage, organic oatmeal with a scoop of protein and natural peanut butter, and a small glass of low calorie almond milk.”
Do you have any hidden talents or interests that might surprise us?
“I’m a musician; I play guitar and sing mainly, but I dabble in drums, bass, and piano, as well. I am also a producer, and I produce a lot of my band’s music. I love orchestral elements in music, and I sometimes write movie score-style parts, and scores for videos, among other things. I’m also fairly talented at badminton.”
All photos, courtesy of Vera Crosby Photography.