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William de Hass: when in China… William de Hass: when in China… Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Menswear & new faces magazine

Interview

William de Hass: when in China…

William de Hass: model
William de Hass  ̶  portfolio

In one of our first conversations, I told him my desire of focusing the interview on commenting on his experience working as a male model in China and talking about how the movie Zoolander (2001) had shape some of the most terrible stereotypes surrounding male models.

After agreeing, he told me: “To be honest, I’ve never heard about Zoolander”.

I could not stop laughing; despite his honest answer, I found it amusing to ignore something that could put you inside a terrible box, and somehow that was a great thing. Even though, days later he told me he watched the movie after my question.

zoolander img
Zoolander (2001) ©Paramount Pictures

Let us enjoy the conversation we had and take some notes if you are planning to visit China or working in a foreign country.

William de Hass img
William de Hass  ̶  portfolio

Q: What do you answer when you have to say what your occupation is? What are people’s reactions when they find out what you do for a living?

Currently, I’m explaining that I’m a model; this my full-time job at the moment. People’s reactions are various, but they always use to ask many questions about it, some of them very funny, due to the many taboos which have my job.

Q: Nowadays there are three related topics that concern most of us: representation, body positivity, and mental health, what are your thoughts about these issues?

Our representation in the model industry makes the difference between which kind of model you can become, that’s for sure. But in my opinion, there are other facts also very important which can totally change the way you were supposed to have in your career. Body positivity and mental health are 2 things very related to each other. Mental health can be affected by your body positivity and vice versa. They are really important to move on during your career. In our strict and competitive market, those things will always appear, so you can choose between taking care of them or not. Representation has an important role in this matter because they are the ones who will give u the best advice or can make you feel very upset and make you feel you want to quit the industry. In my case I’ve never had a problem like this, speaking about my measurements. At least, in the beginning, male models don’t really need to follow strict measurements, as long as you’re not getting visible fat and u take care of your skin. But mental health sometimes is beyond your body issues. To be a model has never been a stable job so you can have many seasons, as we say in Spain, a season of “vacas flacas” which means “skinny cows”. Seasons where you don’t get enough money and you start thinking maybe modeling doesn’t fit you or simply it can’t be your full-time occupation. In those moments is when you must be strong in your mind and think about what is best for you.

William de Hass face
William de Hass  ̶  portfolio

Q: You have told me you are European, specifically from Spain. Therefore, besides other artistic expressions like painting and architecture; from Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballé to George Ezra, many people have sung about Barcelona, what do you have to say about this city?

Barcelona it’s a city with a really nice atmosphere and vibes and I’m not surprised to listen to the nice experiences from the people who were there or how much they would like to visit it someday in their lives. I’ve been to many cities around the world but Barcelona it’s still my favorite one. Someday I’ll also make a song from it ?

Q: How about Beijing? What can you tell us about your life over there?

Beijing is a very different story from Barcelona haha. It is a huge city of 22 million with a very different culture and history. It’s my second time here, first I stayed for 3 months and this time, due to the global pandemic I kept making my stay longer up to nearly 10 months. In this actual time, I’m probably still not aware of how privileged we are to almost don’t feel the consequences of the pandemic, although I’m coming back to Spain next month to realize what I’m speaking about.

My life here is very comfortable but sometimes stressful. Between your model friends, you support each other as a family and that gives you the strength to move on. I also met different people out of the model circle such as Chinese or foreigners with whom I have very nice relations too. I could even go back to my old times when I was playing football because here I joined a football team of mixed people around the world and that’s also very nice to do different things and feel good. After 10 months here it’s going to be difficult to don’t miss all these people I met during the trip and to contain my tears on the way to the airport…

William de Hass in Guangzhou
William de Hass in Guangzhou for ©Urban Revivo

Q: How did you deal with your emotions and mental health when moving to another continent? How was the shift from excitement to facing the reality far from the ones you used to hang out with every day?

Well, I’ve always been an independent person so I could easily deal with these kinds of struggles, despite sometimes traveling use to be a roller coaster of emotions you have to face in any certain moment. But the bad moments are appearing, under my point of view, when there is any familiar or friend issue in your country you can’t do anything to help from this far away.

Most of the time our trips are not very long term or you can also have conditions that can allow you to go back to your country if things are not going as you expected.

Q: Let us talk about your work experience overseas, can you tell us what was the most difficult thing you did over there, and what did you enjoy the most?

The most difficult thing is to work under bad conditions such as sickness or when you’re shooting winter or summer clothes during the opposite season in the outdoor. What I enjoyed the most is the satisfaction with yourself after your trips and all the good moments you’ve been collecting with the people you were surrounded, who take a place in your heart.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone going to China?

First is important to study the weather from the city you’re going because China is huge, and take the proper clothes for it. Investigate about the apartment you’re going to because maybe is better to rent your own. Search on social media people living in the city you’re going to live in and ask them for the best places according to your taste and lifestyle. Learn a few basic Chinese words. Have fun but follow the rules.

Q: 2020 has been quite an unexpected year, what would you like to say to every young person struggling with acceptance and dreaming about pursuing a career in the fashion industry and other media?

This 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, but we must move on and don’t give up on our goals, cause it will be over soon. In the fashion industry my advice is to first, be realistic with yourself and listen to the people you know for sure they have knowledge in the industry. But of course, if you follow a dream, don’t stop until you achieve it or until you think you have your best to make it happen.

Q: Would you show us a selfie with no filters?

William de Hass selfie
William de Hass by request

Q: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?

I just want to say that if anyone reading this needs more information, needs help, or wants to know more about me I’ll try to answer the best I can.

Thanks to you and all the people from Vanity Teen. I wish you a happy and healthy 2021.

Before we go

William the Hass is one of the nicest guys I have ever met; let us keep an eye on him.

What I like the most about this conversation with him is part of his message, which I find to be very helpful for this 2021:

Dream big, keep working, be organized, stay close to the ones you love, look for friends and, friendly, have fun, and follow the rules.

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