Charley Speed chatted to us at this year’s Clothes Show Live. The model was there to host the Britain And Ireland’s Next Top Model show, where each of the contestants from the show strutted their stuff in must have pieces from the high street.
You’ve been at the Clothes Show now for four days, how has it been?
It’s been really good. One thing I will say is that it’s harder work that it probably looks from the outside. The girls are working super hard; they’re doing eight shows a day. They give so much of themselves mentally out with each show and on top of that it’s all of the meet and greets too. But it has been amazing, it’s a great show. It’s a whole new thing merging with Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, so it’s twice the impact really.
What advice would you give to the girls who go to the Clothes Show, because obviously there is Select Models scouting there?
First and foremost, let me just put this out there, height is so important. I say the minimum is 5ft 8” but really they want taller. I about know Kate Moss, but she is most definitely an exceptional to the rule. And come in your own style, be individual. Don’t wear just what’s trending at the moment because you’ll just look like everybody else. And obviously make the effort with grooming.
You’ve worked in the modelling industry for quite a while now, would you say that the industry has changed much?
The biggest way the industry has changed for me is the move from analogue film to digital, that’s the biggest change from when I was modelling frequently. There’s so much tweaking and tailoring that can be done now, because you obviously had to take a Polaroid and then wait. I think the core values and the core mechanics of the industry are still very much the same.
Obviously there is a lot of debate surrounding Photoshop what’s your personal view?
I think it’s very much dependent on the product. If it’s a skincare product that supposed to do this and they Photoshop it, that’s just ridiculous. If you’re selling a certain product that’s supposed to have a specific job and then it’s altered majorly after the shoot it’s not fair, it’s not realistic. I think it’s the same with products that are supposed to make your hair look glossy, if it’s specifically touched up afterwards to look extra shiny then that’s not right is it? I’m not big on that. All models are only human and sometimes they have big breakouts and big lump spots that sometimes make-up can’t cover up and I think that just hiding out blemishes I think that’s perfectly acceptable. A lot of models travel on and off planes all of the time and it kind of screws your skin up. I think it product dependent and there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
Other than shows like Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model, how can girls get into the industry?
I’m not going to lie here, it’s a tricky industry. It’s much like acting, which is my real thing, there’s only room for a select few. First and foremost be realistic. Just because your family says, your tall you could be a model, that’s not necessarily true. I think what you can do is just some Polaroid’s, some snap shots. Get your mum, brother or whoever to take them – the whole point is, if the camera loves you then the camera loves you. Take those into some reputable agencies, in London preferably, and they’ll give you a realistic evaluation. Grooming, healthy eating, exercise, it’s so so important. It’s not about not eating, it’s just being healthy and exercising. You’d be amazed at what results you can get.
What’s coming up next for you?
I’ve just allied myself with a really great group of people and we’ve just started to shoot short films. Deep down in my heart I was a Drama Student, and I’m an actor. Before I was a judge on the show for two years I was with a really good acting agent and I was getting call backs for small parts, but in big films. I was offered the job on Next Top Model and of course that was great, it would have been silly not to take it. I think you’re going to see more acting from me. I think that’s where my heart is. I might be mad, because it’s more casting and it’s more self-employment and nothing is a dead cert. I’m certainly going to keep doing TV, I really enjoy it, I think Live TV is a real buzz and potentially hosting more shows in the future. I’m never fully going to leave the industry; I’ve been in it too long.
Is there anyone that you would love to work with in film?
Combining it with the whole fashion thing, Tom Ford would be pretty cool. His first film debut (A Single Man) was just amazing. Obviously visually it was stunning, style-wise it was just wonderful, and it is just a great film. That would be a bit of a dream for me. And frankly Tom gave me a big break, well Calvin Klein give me my big break, but I opened so many Gucci shows when he was at the helm Gucci and really brought the brand back. He’s charming and lovely, and was just so friendly and generous he done a lot for me and I’d love to work with him again but more on the acting side. That would be awesome.
Femalefirst Taryn Davies