Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Up? Simon Nessman

With a pedigree that reads like a who's-who of the world's top photographers Simon Nessman, with less than a year under his belt, has shot with Bruce Weber, Hedi Slimane, Mario Testino, Steven Klein, Willy Vanderperre, Alisdair McLellan and Paolo Roversi. And over half of those were within his first four months of entering the business. The half that counts.

With my "Kanner-imposed" restraining order lifted, upon Simon's recent eighteenth birthday, I finally got my turn. So beautiful this kid.
"Whenever I work with him I feel like a 16 yr. old girl..all I wanna do is stare in to his eyes and listen to Bronski Beat," says one stylist. "If he were a girl he'd be a supermodel," emails another. It's comforting to know I don't stand alone in my obsession.

I first met Simon on the subway returning from a day of shooting in Coney Island. I had been hearing quite a bit about him but it wasn't until he stepped onto the train, surfboard and all, that I finally got what all the hype was about. Not only is he beautiful to look at but refreshingly down-to-earth. And sorta like a little puppy.

So What Up Simon?

JD Ferguson: So Simon.
Simon Nessman: Yes JD.
JD: Have you ever seen any of the coverage I've done on you?
SN: Ya, I'm familiar with your work.
JD: Are you completely horrified that this perverted photographer is always going on about how cute you are?
SN: It's not something that bothers me, I'm not easily scared.
JD: Well good. And I guess I should explain myself a bit. My obsession with you is more from a professional standpoint, really. It's more about the perfection of your face, which I know must seem incredibly shallow, but for me (and countless others) your beauty is somewhat classic and a bit iconic.
SN: Well I recognize the fact that it's an obsession for you [laughs] and I can appreciate where your coming from. At least its a healthy obsession.

JD: Have you adjusted to being referred to as "beautiful?" Are you someone whose thought of yourself that way?
SN: I like to think that beauty comes from within but certainly being in this industry where your bone structure tells more about you than your character, it can be difficult to not be conscious of how you look.
JD: I realize it seems like a weird question. I've just always found it fascinating how someone can be plucked from obscurity and thrown in to a world of being "Ooh-ed and Ahh-ed" at and suddenly told they are beautiful. Maybe not everyone grew up hearing that and unless your comfortable with yourself I think it would be daunting for some.
SN: I agree.
JD: You're from Canada.
SN: British Columbia.
JD: And your how old?
SN: 18.
JD: Did you always want to be a model or how did it happen for you?
SN: I never really thought about it until the sister of a good friend from high school became a scout for Mode models and asked me if she could take a couple snap shots to send off. Everything sort of took off from there.
JD: Boy did it. You've shot with Bruce, Hedi, Mario, Paolo Roversi, Willy Vandepere, Alisdair McLellan and Steven Klein. And most of those were within your first four months. Eight months in to it have you realized how spectacular that is?
SN: Ya, I certainly don't take any of it for granted and I realize there are a lot of kids out there trying for those opportunities. And yes I am very appreciative and grateful for it all.
JD: So how is it all going for you? You just shot Givenchy, are you loving your life at this point?
SN: Definitely, modeling affords you many opportunities...the traveling, the people you meet. It's not necessarily the industry itself but the lifestyle it provides.
JD: Well how crazy that I had been seeing and hearing about you and then I step on to a subway coming back from shooting in Coney Island and there you were. Is surfing your thing?
SN: I love surfing. I was in the water a lot more when I first moved to NY.
JD: Where do you get water in the city?
SN: Out at Rockaway beach. I take the train out there in my spare time or up to Long Beach.
JD: Do you have a girlfriend?
SN: I don't.
JD: Do you go out?
SN: I'm not heavy in to the clubs by any means. I have a good group of friends in the city that I have fun with.
JD: How often do you get back home?
SN: Not very. Last time I was home was for Christmas and then I was off to Europe for shows. I've been traveling ever since.
JD: Are there any favorite jobs that stand out in your mind?
SN: D&G because I got to work with friends while I was in LA shooting.
JD: Isn't Mario fun?
SN: He's a lot of fun. He's a really cool guy.
JD: Do you prefer shows or being on set?
SN: I think I like being on set because its a little more laid back and there's more time for conversation and actually getting to know the people your working with.
JD: Have you made a lot of friends in the industry?
SN: Ya, I think naturally when your surrounded by people in the industry they become a large part of your social network.
JD: So what turns you on?
SN: Sports.
JD: What do you play?
SN: Basketball, a lot of board sports..surfing, snowboarding. Music is a large part of my life
JD: How so?
SN: Well for starters I love listening to music that inspires me and I play the guitar.
JD: Are u good?
SN: I'm alright, it's just a hobbie.
JD: What kind of music do you listen to?
SN: Just about anything that matches my mood. I like the Chilli Peppers, Sublime, Radiohead, Modest Mouse.
JD: What do you do in your spare time?
SN: Being that I'm taking time off from school I try to spend as much time as I can keeping my brain working. Although it obviously won't replace a formal education altogether. Reading good books and writing down my thoughts is a good start. Also New York is such an amazing place that I'm really trying to soak up as much as I can from the city itself. I spend a fair amount of time sitting on park benches watching the craziness unfold.
JD: Alright, well we're both tired and I think I've stared at you long enough. I hope you don't mind me always going on about how cute you are.
SN: No problem queen. I'll see you backstage.


..... said...

oh so sweet !! he seems smart by the way !! that's cute !lucky u

Anonymous said...

Great interview, I'm pretty sure it's the first one I've seen with him. And definitely, his face is perfection. Great mug!

Anonymous said...

u r a pervo, jd.
a big one.

Anonymous said...

The best photographs of Simon are by Paolo Roversi. Gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

your website is down

Anonymous said...

Total pervert..but I love it !!Who else is going to say what we r all thinking..

Anonymous said...

Congrats Simon!
You sound like you are having a blast!
You should come to Hornby in the summer...
Keep on keepin' on.
Coral Lillie

Anonymous said...

totally weird hearing people swooning over someone that I went to highschool with haha.

Anonymous said...

lol. i love the way folks overrate the mediocre, a past-time in la. where i'm from, he looks like the kinda jerkoff kid who'd get his lunch money stolen in school. and made fun of. a LOT.

his grill's all of a champion onanist.