Model Call: Erik Van Gils
Height: 6’ 2.5”
Hair: Light Brown
Hometown: Den Helder, Netherlands
Born in Curacao but a Netherlands native, Erik Van Gils has become one of the most in-demand models around even though he’s only been doing it for two years. This past season he walked 34 shows, making him the second-busiest male model on the runway. Here he discusses his first booking, his dream job and the advice he’d give to fellow newcomers. — LUIS CAMPUZANO
Was there ever a point when you doubted your career choice?
Well, my first booking was to walk for Prada as an exclusive, so I think you could say I made the right choice. I had a great start. I was also working a lot with Dior in Paris and that was an amazing experience. Their team is one of the most professional ones I’ve ever worked with.
What has been your “wow” moment during your time in the industry?
Honestly, I have it every day. In the beginning it was hard because my life changed completely — before I was a model I lived on my own, I had a steady paycheck, I could enjoy my time. Then when I began modeling, it was a whole new game. Today I’m in New York; tomorrow, who knows? The places I’ve seen in the last two weeks are insane: I’ve been to Berlin, Paris and London. You have to enjoy every moment.
Is there one place you’d like to go right now?
It would have to be my hometown, Curacao. Lately I have been having dreams of being there, diving in the ocean. I plan on going this summer. I want to reconnect with the town I was born in, I’m getting goose bumps right now just thinking about it. I’ve wanted to return for so long and never had the opportunity, but now I do.
What would be your dream job?
I have my heart set on being in a Gucci campaign. I love what they are doing now and I have worked with them many times since Alessandro Michele came on board as head designer. I can relate to the aesthetic of their campaigns. I’ve come to accept that I may not ever get it, but you never know.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in the industry, what would it be?
During fashion weeks, buy an external battery for your phone. Really! Agents hate you when you don’t pick up your phone because it’s dead. Trust me, they will love you for it.
Do you find modeling to be fulfilling?
That’s a trick question, I see myself modeling for maybe two more years. It’s good because I’m working a lot now. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not satisfied enough, though. Before being a model I used to work at a bar and I miss that. I would work nights, come home and rest. I felt like my coworkers depended on me, I was the guy who would get all the glasses, stock up the fridges, for me that felt fulfilling. With modeling it’s more of a mental aspect than physical and I like physical work.