Safra

Musing: Paolo Roldan

In Canadian, Fashion, Men, model, style on June 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm


There’s a difference between fixation and fascination. Doing what I do, and my naturally investigative nature, I have been fortunate to meet people that have contributed to my experiences in one way or another. Good and bad. I have met people from YouTube , Facebook, MySpace, or simply walked into a room realising I had to know THAT person for whatever reason. My opportunistic instinct would kick in and my mind floods with ideas. It’s like a rush. And I transform from a meek figure on the sidelines to a Journalist with a purpose. In this case, with Paolo Roldan a Canadian model, it was a gradual progression.

I befriended another male model many moons ago named Ali. I was a volunteer at a fundraiser for M-A-C called Fashion Cares. As Ali walked by my friend and I, the top half of his body painted in glitter, my friend made a flirtatious gesture. He was sweet about it, and hung out with us for the rest of the night. Ali, who was from Pakistan, resided in Denmark. He was trying the Toronto fashion scene out and didn’t have much friends. But he was an Adonis: smooth toffee coloured skin, and full heart-shaped lips. He seemed somewhat precocious and a bit naive. I kept in touch with Ali, hung out a few times. A first impression would have you believing Ali was cocky, but in actuality, he was one of the sweetest people anyone could know.

I came home one day and checked my voicemail. Ali was moving back to Denmark. He thanked me for ‘everything I did for him’ which really wasn’t much. I never heard from, or saw him again, but sometimes I wonder how he is doing.


When I met Paolo, I felt got the same feeling I had with Ali. A lot of the time, you would expect an egotistical attitude from models. Particularly men. I’m sure Paolo has his moments, but I am not the giddy type. And I had my eye on Paolo. I had seen him twice before. But I had no idea who he was until someone told me. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I came across a profile on him in a publication. I used him once before. But he reappeared in my life in the knick of time. There was something I needed to accomplish before I moved back to the UK and Paolo was the missing link. I needed him. I had to act fast.

After having a proper conversation with him, I was fascinated by the things I automatically assumed he would know but didn’t, things I learned from him, and human perceptions. I always knew my niche within the industry, but this experience confirmed it. I have made Paolo my un-official muse though he’s not aware of it.


I do not know anything about Paolo. I don’t I want to know him either. He has served his purpose as someone who brought me closer to a brand, Givenchy, I hold very close to me. During our interview, my head was in the clouds by the fact that there I was, a few days before permanently leaving the country, with this person who creates fantasies for a brand I magnify. He was my subject of a story for a leading post-punk magazine I dreamed of writing for called i-D. When things like this happen, it has a profound effect on your reality.


Now, in London, during the Central Saint Martins graduate show, I stole a quick minute with another fashion designer I spoke about endlessly for another dream magazine, Christopher Kane. Then, I walked right up to the honorable Hilary Alexander and introduced myself. I have chatted up with Giles Deacon, fashion maven of a generation. I can’t begin to imagine what else is in store. Sometimes certain things happen, like my moment with Paolo, that are precursors for what things may come.

Shout out to Paolo Azarraga for providing the images.

See more of Paolo Roldan on my TUMBLR.

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