Lou is not your typical, stereotyped model! Not only is he down to earth (more humble than I thought, to be honest), he is also goofy and very smart at the same time, having many interesting dreams exceeding the fashion industry. This 23 year old South African was chosen and given the honor to be the new face of Ralph Leroy's new campaign "Element Water" which includes a sexy, contreversial alignement of photos taken by none other than renowned photographer Vincent Chine. Anyways, I'm talking a bit too much right now! Enjoy the interview and don't forget to catch Lou on the runway for Ralph Leroy this Thursday, September 30th at 6 p.m! Oh and I would like all my fabulous readers to click HERE to become a fan of Lou on Facebook!
-TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF! WHAT NATIONALITY ARE YOU? WHAT DO YOU DO IN LIFE?
Well I guess I should start from the start.. I was born and raised in Pretoria, South Africa. We lived there until 2000 (when I was 13 years old) and then moved to Ottawa, Canada. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve loved racing, cars or motorcycles. My favourite is Formula 1! I’ve dreamt of being a racer my whole life but it would fall under the WAY too expensive category... So now I am studying mechanical engineering at the University of Ottawa towards becoming a race engineer. My dream is to start my own racing company and hopefully start developing cars for the road. Other than studying I model for fun and serve to pay tuition. I’m hoping that modeling will start to pay for my tuition.
-When did you start modeling? Why?
I started modeling when I was 16 years old. My mom heard a radio commercial for Angie’s models and talent: It was a call for talents, but when I stumbled over my lines, Angie said I better try for modeling. Until today I’m not much of an actor although people keep telling me I should be one, especially when I goof around. However, when it’s crunch time, I have no idea what I’m doing! So maybe one day I’ll enrol in some acting classes and maybe try some acting. Who knows, maybe that can be interesting and fund my racing!
-How do you feel about the modeling scene in Montreal?
To be completely honest; I’ve modelled in London England, NYC, and Toronto but not Montreal (note from Sassou: REAAAALLLYYY hmmm interesting I really didn't know...). This will be my debut in Montreal and I will let you know what I think after ;) but so far so good!
-Any modeling "dream"? Tell me about it :)
I admire the fashion industry, it makes us look good and it’s not easy! For some, fashion is their life and passion, just like racing is mine. Anyone serious about fashion might become designers, just like Ralph Leroy. However, I would be very surprised if any model does this job because their dream is to be a model. Every model I’ve met either does it to attain another objective at a higher level. In my case, everything I do in my professional life is to get me into a race seat, so my modeling dream would consist of anything that pays my tuition and ultimately for my seat in some sort of engineering marvel on four wheels. Since I like to dream BIG, formula 1 would be perfect!
-What do you prefere in modeling? Runway or print, and why?
Print: Hands down! There’s nothing too exciting about runway. You practice your walk, you do it and you’re done. Being on set is much more fun, WAY more challenges and MUCH more space for creativity. Not only can the designer be creative, but the photographer and the model too. You get to showcase the clothing and the message of the designer much better with print than with runway. Print is much more of a team effort than run way.
-A lot of girls melted when they saw your new campaign for Ralph Leroy, do you feel like you're becoming a sex symbol? Do you believe that models are more artists, performers, sex symbols, or a little bit of each?
They did? Haha I didn’t know! I try not to pay too much attention to it, or think about it too much. It is really flattering to hear that but I don’t want it to get into my head. Models can be artistic if they can create emotions and feelings by the way they manipulate their body. It takes a lot of skills, talent, and practice to be able to convey a mood and feeling in a snap shot. Models are definitely performers too, a model needs to be able to become something they’re not on set or on the runway and do it on Q. So I guess a bit of everything is what you were looking for.
-How did you meet Ralph and when?
I met Ralph Leroy at the Angie’s showcase in the Canadian War museum in Ottawa. When he arrived and greeted all the guys and he knew all of them and gave them hugs and everything. He looked at me and as soon as he noticed me and realized he didn’t know me he paused for like a nano second and moved to the next person and continued with the hugs and hellos. I thought: “Well that was a great start to the night”. I stayed behind stage when everyone went to eat and started to help Ralph unpack and get his things organized. I guess we warmed up to each other at that point and that’s when we started our relationship as designer/model.
-How did you feel when you were selected to be the new face of Ralph Leroy? Were you excited? Who did you call first?
I did not grasp the scope of it at first. Ralph and Vincent might have been disappointed with my reaction when they told me, but it had to sink in. It was like getting a MASSIVE surprise revealed to you over a few days.
-What do you think of the new collection?
The new collection is amazing! It is very impressive to see the water elements in each article and there are so many details present in each piece, even in the inside! It’s too bad we can’t really showcase all the detail on the runway. This is another reason why I like print modeling more, because during the photo shoot for Ralph Leroy’s new collection, we could see the insides and all the pockets and little details everywhere.
-Are you excited to do the show? Tell me a little bit about it, without giving any spoilers?
DRAMA!!! SECRETS!!! SURPISES!!! SEXY!!! As you can tell I’m super excited!