Last week saw the Elite Model Look Award Switzerland, an event electing two models of opposing genders to be sent to the finale in Milan. The jury was headed by president Ursula Knecht, owner of the model agency Option; Isabelle von Könel, manager of Bronx Colors Switzerland; Richard Widmer, fashion director at the magazine SI Style and Stelios Sterkoudis from Scotch & Soda Switzerland. Guest stars on the night featured singer Luca Hänni and Flying Steps, the world-champion breakdance ensemble from Berlin. We caught up with the male winner, Benjamin Aston, after the successful night.
Benjamin, how are you today?
Im feeling very good right now! At the moment it’s school holidays, so I’m able to spend a lot of time with my friends and catch up with everything I’ve missed at college during the last week.
You just won the Elite Model Award Switzerland 2015 – how does that feel?
At first I didn’t realise what it means for me to win. To be honest, I never thought I would manage to come as far; I was so surprised when they called my name. Currently I’m extremely happy and looking forward to accomplishing all the challenges waiting for me.
Whom would you have chosen from your competitors?
Every candidate would have deserved to win, because from year to year it depends on which type is in demand on the international catwalks. However, if they would have been looking for an Italian type, I would have given my vote to Kevin Pinter.
At your age, 18, it’s important to finish high school, as your mother told me backstage after the event. How will you manage now that your focus will be on getting your modelling career off the ground?
In the Swiss school system we have something similar to the A/S in England, which means we graduate in some subjects only. I invested quite a lot of time and energy to achieve good results. In the future, I’ll try to use my time in school more efficiently, so I can continue to keep up with it while pursuing my modelling career.
You are from St.Gallen in Switzerland – what’s the fashion world like there?
Since it’s a pretty small town, we haven’t got a big influence on the worldwide fashion scene – most of the young people like to follow big trends coming from cities such as London, Milan, Paris etc. But we do have a worldwide known history in the textile industry, which is very appreciated by the haute couture scene.
You will be participating with the female Swiss winner, Michelle Muff, at the Elite Award Milan – what are your expectations?
Michelle is an amazing choice, she has got a very modern and interesting face. In my eyes, she is an ideal model, which makes me convinced she will do very well there. I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time in Milan, meeting interesting people and making unforgettable experiences.
Do you see yourself as a catwalk or editorial model?
I hope I’m able to fulfill the expectations of both categories, but to achieve this I will have to learn to be very adaptable. If I had to choose, I’d probably prefer to be an editorial model, since my height is only 185cm, making me one of the smaller male catwalk models.
What are, in your eyes, your strong points?
My face outline and that I’m very malleable. I would book myself because I’m a likeable, authentic and honest young guy with an open mind.
Which publication and designer would you love to work for?
My absolute dream would be to work for Burberry, because I love their fashion designs and I can imagine myself representing an English company.
Do you have an idol?
I’ve never had a celebrity as my idol, but I’ve always seen my mother as one. She manages to achieve every goal she sets and, most importantly, she never gives up. I also appreciate what she has done for me and my older sister Laura so much. I could never imagine how hard it is to raise two children as a single mother, work at the same time and doing such an amazing job at it all.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
If I manage to be successful with modelling, I would love to see myself travelling the world and be able to live from the money I earn. If this won’t be the case, I see myself studying business in London, just doing what I love – that makes me happy.
The Elite Model Look Award partners were: Presenting Jelmoli, Main Bronx Colors, Main Media SI Style as well as Pompidou Bijoux & Accessoires and DS Automobiles.