You won the title of Mister French-speaking Switzerland in 2017, why did you take part in this beauty contest?
Four years ago, I went to the US to improve my English and also to spend a period of my life traveling. At that time, a lot of people came to me to know if I was a model. You know, it’s always flattering! I told myself that I should explore my potential and I really felt like doing it.
When I came back, my sister encouraged me to take part in the contest Mister French-speaking Switzerland. She said “I believe in you, if you participate, you can go far!” So I seized the opportunity. I took part in this contest and won the title! It was in June 2017. Thanks to this victory, I had the opportunity to run for Mister International in April 2018 and came in 4th.
What are the required qualities to be a good beauty contestant?
Being a beauty contestant requires a combination of personality, photogenic and general knowledge. It is not an environment that brings objects and clothes to the fore. It really is about promoting the person. To me, this contest is not based on competitive spirit. The goal is to bring out the most outstanding character traits of every participant. There is always competition but no one prevents you to show your potential.
Both personality and physical appearance are important…
I’ll be honest with you, a mister is supposed to be beautiful inside and out! (laughs) For me, either you are an athlete or you are not. The persons taking part in the competition can’t change drastically their looks in seven or nine months. But I think that it’s clearly a motivation to go more often to the gym.
I’ve been exercising since I was five. I got a black belt in karate when I was fifteen. Then I had to change sport because of an injury caused by overexertion. I started fitness and never left the gym since then! I do outdoor sports such as mountain biking, swimming, ski and snowboarding.
Photo Xram Ragde
What does the torso of a beauty contestant look like, how must it be shaped?
First, the torso must fit into standard sizes’ clothes! Nowadays, an athletic body stands out. Besides, that’s what we see in commercials, they never take someone who doesn’t fit into standard sizes. They’ll show someone who can inspire you. People must believe that it’s doable.
Most of the models have a sport routine and their diet is very strict, can you relate?
Of course I can! My food is weighed so I’m trying as much as I can to cook my own meals. I also am training four or five times a week while trying to preserve my social life. But I don’t have a training regime as intense as bodybuilders. A bodybuilder will look much more precisely at the details of the muscle until he sees striations. I’m trying to get an harmonious result on a global image, to look good in terms of photogenic.
What do you like about posing for photos?
The thing that I really like is not necessarily being in front of the lens, but also the human aspect. It’s the fact that I’m working with people who are in another environment, who think outside the box. It allows me to be open-minde
It must take you a lot of time even though it’s not your main vocation…
Yes, I’m a banker 42 hours a week! Photo shoots are a hobby for me. I pose during weekends or in the evenings. I don’t have an agency at the moment, I’m doing this for fun. Since I have no financial issue, I can do what I want! For me, a good collaboration will be recommended only by word of mouth.
So, have any of your clients seen you in magazines?
They’ve already seen me in magazines in the airport, on websites, I also was on TV, so some of them gave me feedbacks! It’s not conventional of course, but it has never been seen the wrong way. However, on a professional basis you must be above reproach. It’s easy to lose face when you cannot guarantee a quality service at work.
Are you saying that people tend less to take you seriously as a banker?
I think that there are some clichés when it comes to models. By that I mean that models bring to the forefront clothes and objects. I come from the world of beauty contestants which is completely different, where personality matters. I don’t have a classic profile because my clients see that it’s not only your appearance that matters!
What do they say to you?
That I’m doing business! *laughs* I’m kidding. It allows me to talk about something different and to see that people are interested by what is out of the ordinary. So it creates discussions but I’m relatively reserved. I don’t mix business with pleasure.
Photo Franco Baggi Maffioli