SPOTLIGHT: Mr Ryan Barrett
Ryan Barrett has one of the most recognisable faces in the UK. Having worked for years as a model in the UK, for huge brands such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood and many more, his career took a surprising turn when he discovered a love and talent for pottery. A background in Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths and winning the BBC Great Pottery Throw Down contest has led to developing his own range of stunning ceramics. We spoke to Ryan about the demands of being a male model in the twenty first century and what made him want to create his own ceramics collection.
How did your career as a male model begin?
I first got scouted modelling when I moved from Ipswich to London to go to university, it was all overwhelming being in a massive new city and being asked to model and was really unsure what modelling even meant. After not contacting the model scouts for several months I ended up signing with Models1 and have been with them ever since.
What have your career highlights in your work a a model been to date?
I like to think some of my highlights would be working closely with some of the top brands, such as Versace, Dolce Gabbana, Vivienne Westwood…. I was Versace's Campaign and fit model for a year and managed to see a collection being made from scratch to wearing it on the runway. One of the Versace campaign's was with Gisele Bundchen which was also fun at the time and got a lot of coverage.
Do you still think that there is a big disparity in the way that male and female models are paid and treated?
I don’t feel either or are treated any less or more, but there is more work for female models due to there being more products to advertise for e.g. womens makeup and fashion But there is also more competition for them too.
What are the pros and cons of working as a male model?
The pros of modelling would be meeting new people and getting to see the world and travel to places you would maybe never go to. Cons there aren’t many, I am hugely grateful to be in this position, but the traveling constantly can be tiring after awhile.
Models often move into a realm of different areas once success has been established. Personal training, music and design are common but pottery is much less common. How did that come about?
I have always been a very creative person hence studying Fine Art, but clay is a medium I never got to explore from studying. One day I went on a romantic date to a pottery class and fell in love, the week after I asked my Grandma if I could move into one of her empty sheds, brought a wheel and kiln and just began throwing.
What was so particular about pottery that drew you to that world?
Clay is such a versatile and lush medium to work with; earth, water, fire…. It's all such an organic process! Along with being so relaxing its like yoga or therapy for me.
Were there any challenges in breaking into the art and design industry?
With all creative areas the process is personal and very subjective, so overcoming the fears of is anyone going to like it is the hardest part, creating is the fun part.
Where do the ideas for your work originate?
As I am lucky enough to travel so much, I gain amazing inspiration from different countries, from buildings to textures to other ceramics.
And finally, for you, what makes a rakish gent?
I personally think being a great soul, kind and caring! Along with being well dressed and put together on the outside.
Ideal travel destination - Japan
Best store in the world - Gentle Monster Sinsa Flagship Store - in Korea!
Gadget of choice - Wireless Beats Headphones
Go to pair of shoes - Chelsea Boots
Designer/ brand of choice - Mr Porter/ Mr P
Favourite fragrance - Tom Ford - Fabulous
Best place to go out in London - Tate Modern
Essential grooming product - Beard Oil
Recommended app - Uber of course! LOL
Icon - Barbra Hepworth
Find out more about Mr Ryan Barrett