Jacopo Olmo is more than just flaming hair and blue eyes. Here, he shares his reasons for going orange and his advice on how to stand out from the crowd.
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
How were you discovered?
I started modeling in Rome, but there wasn’t really much of a fashion scene there. I moved to Milan and I was discovered by a British agent there, who in turn made me move to London. I lived there for a few years.
Why did you decide to color your hair orange?
I wanted to go orange because it’s always been my favorite color. It was the only way to express myself so that clients could understand my personality at the same time. I feel orange, powerful.
Did you expect this reaction from the industry?
I feel proud of myself because I was able to express myself. Not every model has the opportunity to do these bold moves, their agents would not approve. I had the chance to recently work for the Calvin Klein presentation wearing orange underwear — and that was amazing. I dreamed about wearing a pair of Calvins since I was in school.
Who are you eager to work for in the fashion industry?
I love Givenchy because it’s very much my style, I would love to walk for Riccardo Tisci, I hope he still has my number. I also love Dsquared2 and Vivienne Westwood because of the English and punk aesthetic. Versace would be the ultimate for me. It speaks to me — the gladiator statues — and I’m obsessed with gold and black and Versace always seems to incorporate that.
Will you keep the orange hair?
Maybe next season you will see me with green or electric blue hair. Who knows?
What would you do if you weren’t a model?
I was fat when I was younger and I lost 37 pounds, I always believed in myself. I always knew I would succeed. That’s why I left Italy, to improve myself. I love challenges, and I want to do more than just modeling. I want to continue in the fashion industry but in a creative director aspect, I love to study fashion trends. This was an opportunity to begin one chapter in my life, to get connections, travel the world, which I love, learn as many languages as I can — I love Japanese, so I’m trying to learn. I consider myself very humble, and this industry can change many of us. In a way, it’s a game you need to learn how to play. You can love me or hate me, but I will always be myself.