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TYLER RIGGS: the interview

Posted on: 2009/01/04


Tyler Riggs is with Red (NYC), Success (Paris), and Beatrice (Milan).

TYLER RIGGS: I was born in Tampa Florida. I am the descendant of an Irish Mick.

PONY RYDER: How did you start modeling?
TYLER RIGGS: I met a girl in Tampa that was friends with one of my band-mates and she asked if I wanted to do a photoshoot. After I we got the pictures back she told me that I should try and start modeling for real. I never really consider modeling before this point in my life. I always wanted to write music or act or write stories.

PONY RYDER: How where you as a kid?

I was sort of a Jack of all trades growing up. I was a little geeky when I was younger, I loved comic books and video games and shit like that. When I got in my teens I started getting into punk/hardcore music and I was working out quite a bit because I thought it would make me tougher or some shit. In high school I was big in to skateboarding and I actually played football one yeah. That was a long answer; I will try and not do that anymore.
PONY RYDER: Pls, do... :)

PONY RYDER: Why Starbucks? Why music? Why tattoo of Dali’s painting? Lots of whys here...

TYLER RIGGS: Sheesh. Well.....I have had like 15 jobs....literally. Before Starbucks I was laying brick and before that I was a waiter and before that I toured with a band. Sooo....I chose Starbucks because I tried going back to school, that didn't work out too well; I tend to have a problem with anyone trying to tell me what to do.
As for music, I have always been in love with music; I am probably one of the biggest snobs when it comes to musical tastes. I just love music, I really like hardcore and metal. I listen to everything from Spitfire to Kings of Leon to Radiohead to Hank Williams.
Oh, and as for Dali, there is a gigantic Dali museum near Tampa I have been in love with Dali ever since I first went there. Besides you can never go wrong with a colorful piece of surreal art.

PONY RYDER: Are tattoos something that is considered a problem or an advantage in the industry?

To be honest I am not sure. It seems that it is some sort of fad right now, so I guess it is an advantage. But, to be honest, some of these guys have the worst fucking tattoo's I have ever seen.

PONY RYDER: Your career is obviously a very good one, at the very beginning or even now, did you have to face some obstacles?

I don't know, I started modeling under the impression that I wasn't going to do shit. I thought this whole thing was a joke. I came in to the industry expecting the worst so I was just pretty thankful every time a job came my way.

PONY RYDER: What do you think made you stand out among other male models?

I don't know. Don't take shit from anyone. I think at the end of the people respect you for that. Be nice and don't try to be anything but yourself, after all, imitation is the sincerest form of battery.

PONY RYDER: Is it hard to be a male model? Do you think that attention that male models have is smaller than female models?

Is it hard to be a male model..? No, it is most certainly not hard. Sometimes it is hard to put up with everyone's fake ass bullshit.
And yes, girl models rule the industry and make ten times the amount guys do. It makes sense if you think about it, girls are the ones out there buying all this shit.

PONY RYDER: We hear lots of castings advice for female models, but what about male castings. How can male models present themselves on casting in best light?

Be yourself and don't kiss too much ass. Desperation is a sad killer. As for how you should look, thats up to the individual. I would recommend trying to have your own personal style that sets you apart from the others.

PONY RYDER: Did you ever have an “AHA!” moment, where you realized that you are in TOP 50 male models, according to

TYLER RIGGS: I don't know if I have had this "AHA" moment yet. I guess I just take all of this with a grain of salt.

PONY RYDER: Is it true that you will be face of Luise Vuitton SS09 ad campaign?

My mom always says don't count your chicken before your eggs have hatched.

PONY RYDER: You worked with Steven Meisel on the „Dogging“ editorial. The editorial is quite controversial. What do you think about the controversy surrounding that editorial?

I think it is a bunch of political bullshit.

PONY RYDER: Did you get cast directly by Meisel for that editorial?

TYLER RIGGS: I think so. You never know. I was probably their last resort. HA

PONY RYDER: You did campaigns for D and G, Diesel, Topman, maybe Vuitton :). Is work and organization of Topman campaign, different than the D&G or Diesel one?

TYLER RIGGS: It's hard to explain, they are all a little different. Some companies are obviously bigger than others. Shooting for the bigger companies is usually easier than the smaller ones.

PONY RYDER: When you are doing a campaign, is it easier to work alone or with colleague models. What is the difference, is it possible to shine when you are not the only one in the ad?

It's definitely easier when there is more people on the shoot because half the time you are just chilling out. It is possible to shine on a shoot, sometimes the photographer or the stylist is really into shooting you and kind of forgets about the others. Doesn't happen that often ha ha

PONY RYDER: Do you ever have your say in which photo gets published, or which photo is used as your main photo on the comp card and in your portfolio?

TYLER RIGGS: You most certainly do not get a choice. You are lucky if they even ask your opinion about the images.
PONY RYDER: What's your favorite photo of yourself?

I like the photo by David Armstrong in the last issue of Another Man.
PONY RYDER: Intro photo!!!

PONY RYDER: How do you feel about the use of Photoshop in fashion photography? Do you feel offended when someone tries to bring down the models' looks by claiming it's all Photoshop?

I haven't really experienced that. Photoshop makes it a little easier for photographers and makeup artists. I think it probably allows photographers to experiment a little more.

PONY RYDER: Do you think a model can take control of his own career?

TYLER RIGGS: A model can definitely control his/her own career. You should never do anything you are not comfortable with doing. At the end of the day you need be concerned about your career end.

PONY RYDER: Do male models, or you as a man, also follow or have a beauty routine?

I personally don't really have any sort of routine. I don't really wash my face with any specific product, I just use what I can find.

PONY RYDER: Do you moisturize regularly, what product do you use?

I don't moisturize regularly. I have some Burt's Bees lotion for when I do.

PONY RYDER: When it comes to shape, female models are expected to be skinny, what about male models, what is expected of them? How do you stay in shape?

Yeah, guys have to be really skinny in order to do runway. I never really liked chocolate or candy so I can basically eat whatever I want and stay pretty small. I just had to stop working out a lot, I had a hard time fitting suits when I first started.

PONY RYDER: Soda/tea?

I don't drink soda, I drink sweet tea.

PONY RYDER: Who is your favorite female model?

My girlfriend ( Sofi Berelidze ) for sure, she is a great model and a hard worker. Besides her I don't really know who. Maybe Rachel Clark, she is one of my good friends and she seems to know what she is doing.

PONY RYDER: What is your personal style?

I like Levi's skinny jeans and thrift stores. I guess my biggest influence comes from my favorite movies i.e: The Outsiders, Mad Max, Snatch, Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood.

PONY RYDER: What would you advise to new models?

Take what you can and don't ever expect favors.

PONY RYDER: Do you have any model friends you would like to see presented on Pony Ryder?

Haha, how about Sofi?

Exclusive interview with fashion model Tyler Riggs is original work and courtesy of Pony Ryder (PR) blog.

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