Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Q & A

So I completely forgot last week when I posted Rodeo's new cover that I'd done a little Q&A with them for their new issue. (Duh.) So, if you're interested, here's a little conversation between myself and Ponystep's Dean Mayo Davies.

JD Ferguson is the handsome, silver haired model-turned-photographer and dude-about-NYC. Glance and you’ll see him backstage, cigarette in hand, laughing and clicking away in a hoody and jeans, or dashing across the city to castings or the gym in metallic aviators. And then there’s the parties. An embodiment of the kind of man girls want to be with and boys want to be, JD brings the party and puts the F - fun - back in fashion. By Dean Mayo Davies

Hey JD, can you explain about your background for the few people that may not be fully up-to-speed with your life. You’ve had a really interesting journey...

Well, I worked as a model for over 10 years, though I was not someone you'd see riding around in limos or walking the catwalk. I was a working model, as guys my age are, travelling around the world to different markets doing mostly catalogue and commercial jobs. For years I based myself out of Miami spending six months of the year on South Beach and the other six abroad. I loved it! It opened up my life and exposed me to the world. Though I grew increasingly bored and developed several different "hobbies" as a way to try and fulfil myself. By the time I stopped, I was painting, writing, doing videos and taking photos. In 2002 I met Stephen Gan who offered me a job at V Magazine where my responsibilities were everything from casting campaigns and working on the websites to unclogging the toilet. In-house photographer was eventually added to the list and that's when my love and interest in photography grew. At V I worked with all the top contributors in the industry and eventually started shooting backstage and writing about it for the website.

Why is it you think people would read your blog?

Because they're horny? Or maybe because they live in some far off country and want to see what's happening in NYC fashion/nightlife. Or maybe they're into porn stars. Or perhaps they are really into models and wanna know more about them outside of what they see in magazines or on the runway.

How would you describe what you do?

That's a good question. I basically just have a good time and I bring my camera along. And then I write about it.

I think you were an early adopter of the weblog format. But what inspired you to embrace it? And do you think your career path has informed your outlook or viewpoint?

Honestly, I was having a row with one of the designers over at V, via email, and he finally said "If you don't like it, why don't you start your own f-ing blog." So, I did. And I'd say my career path definitely affects my outlook. Even as a model, I never considered myself "in fashion" and even now, as someone who I guess you could say "reports" on it, at times, find it somewhat of a joke. Not as a business but how incredibly serious some people take themselves. I guess having been on the "inside" it's easy for me to distinguish between what's real and what's not and that most certainly shapes my view of it all.

How many hits do you get a month?

OMG far more than I ever expected and surprisingly about the same amount as most of the magazines I work for. Which is shocking considering I started it for fun. The fact that people even log on still amazes me.

What’s a typical day like in your life? If there is such a thing...

Up until the economy crashed, my days were filled with rolling spliffs, cute boys and porn stars, with a couple parties in between. Now (that I've committed to going back to modelling) it's the gym, yoga and working at looking and feeling good.

I know from our correspondence that you’re the king of multitasking, but what does get you away from your laptop when you get the chance?

Not much. Coffee and cigarettes. And men. Men get me away from my computer.

You’ve run some pretty huge content due to the fact you’re so integrated into the scene you’re talking about. Your ‘What Up?’ feature in particular has become a cult, with names (and friends of yours) featured such as Lara Stone, Cecilia Dean, Eddie Klint. What have been your personal highlights?

My favourite thing about the ‘What Up?’ series is the relaxed and candid manner in which it happens. it's very casual and low-key and usually involves a good time that ends up in a ‘What Up?’ For that reason everyone I do it with is completely comfortable and 100% themselves. Many of the people I interview are used to speaking about their lives and (at times) can be very guarded about what they say. With me, I like that they feel chill enough to be honest and expose a side of themselves that they might not otherwise be able to with other "formal" publications. My personal highlight of all the ‘What Up?’s was, hands-down, Sally Singer [of Vogue]. I knew nothing about her when we sat down and because she does interviews for a living and usually is talking about everything BUT herself, I liked that she responded to the informal atmosphere and really opened up about her past and her path to the top. AND I learned a lot about the "business" of fashion in the meantime.

Who are your favourite models at the moment? Who are you obsessing over?

Well, it's off-season so there's no-one I'm really ga-ga over at the moment. It's usually the boys that get all the obsessing anyways. Hmmm... I spent a lot of time this past season going on about Jamie Jewitt. Not just because he's cute but he's really funny and such a character. You can YouTube "Jamie Jewitt" and see the show I did on him from backstage. I love this German boy Jonas Kesseler and of course Simon Nessman remains a personal favourite of mine. I've always loved Phillip Bierbaum, so I'm happy he's finally getting some recognition. For girls, it's all about Catherine McNeil and Abbey Lee for me right now. I guess because I've seen them quite a bit lately and we're all on "health-kicks" together.

Karl Lagerfeld is someone else you’re close to. How did you meet? And what’s your favourite Lagerfeld bon mot?

Ah, I love Karl. I worked closely with him a lot while I was at V. We are both believers in treating everyone the same, which I think is why we've always gotten on so well. That and he appreciates people who are real with him. As far as stories go, I'm afraid there's too many to tell, and not many I could tell. However, I was actually just laughing with myself the other day about this one time during men's shows. I ended up at his studio in Paris and when he came in to give me a hug he said "What did you think of the show?" (That I had seen him at earlier that day) and, having just finished my last show of two weeks of Milan and Paris (and a smoke prior to his walking in) I said "Which show?"....."Oh God" he said, shook his head and walked away. I thought it was so funny. He's always telling me I should be blond and, well, I guess he's right.

What other projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm STILL working on getting my photography book together so I can finally get an agent and take my photography more seriously. At the moment though, I'm working on my new website. Both are a far bigger undertaking than I ever imagined... Ugh.

And finally, you have to tell us, what’s the best thing about being JD Ferguson?

I do what I want, when I want. And my game. I got MAD game.


Anonymous said...


dee ha said...

AWWWW! i love this interview, and you reply to karl's question. so when's your comeback as a model? :D

Ray Avito said...

Realness...great interview!