Franco Lo Presti
What did you want to become when you were a child?
When I was a child, my dream was and still to this day is to become a professional soccer player. Rooted in a family where soccer is like a religion. I started playing at 4 years old, represented my province and youth national team and obtained a full athletic soccer scholarship in America at the University of Rhode Island. I'm currently working on obtaining professional trials overseas or in MLS.
How did your friends/family react when you told them you wanted to be a model?
It was quite funny actually. Modeling approached me whilst I was studying and playing soccer at school in Rhode Island. A girl on my campus who is placed with Wilhelmina saw me and asked if I modelled. I simply responded no and that I just play soccer for the school. She offered to take some Polaroids and sent them to a well known photographer in NYC. After the photographers interest, I travelled there for a test shoot and the rest is history. My friends really encouraged me and pushed me forward to pursue modelling. My family was and to this day are a bit skeptical as to what modelling can bring me in life. I try to reassure them that although there is a lot of competition and somewhat struggles in the industry, you never know what can happen and if you catch a lucky break landing a campaign it can change your career, if not, I have made some great connections and networked with great people that remain close and can potentially help with future objectives I have in life.
How long have you been modeling for?
Since May 2012 but it hasn't been full time. If I were to manage the amount of time I've spent in my modeling career id say about a year and a half almost.
Which agencies are you with?
I was discovered and first placed with CLICK New York. Then placed with my mother agency now, Elite Toronto. I'm also placed with FASHION in Milan and working on future placement in other markets.
What has been your greatest accomplishment so far:
Overall in life, it would have to be receiving a full scholarship in the USA. Saving my family so much money to not worry about paying for my education and of course obtaining a university degree. I am the first person in my family to do so.
In modeling, I'd have to say having lived and worked in Milan for 7 months in 2013. An amazing experience, worked for good clients and delved into modeling much further realizing the potential this career can bring.
Who inspires you in the industry?
David Gandy has always been an inspiration. I remember my first shoot ever.
The photographer handed me this book that Dolce&Gabbana made on David Gandy and the photographer told me, "I want you to study this book a little, today we are shooting in the inspiration of David Gandy, you have characteristics that remind me of him." I think he has done so well with his career. He is the typical masculine male model and despite being not "skinny" as people perceive us to be, he brought masculinity back into the industry and it's getting more noticed today.
Another inspiration is Arthur Kulkov. Like me, he played college soccer in the states and then became a model. He's got a lot of character like myself also. I aspire to one day hopefully have a career as well as David and Arthur.
What aspects of your job do you like best/least?
To be completely honest, I like everything in terms of work as a model, even though sometimes e-comm can be a bit repetitive and annoying, hey, at least I'm working and whenever I am, I am most grateful to that. I love photoshoots. Developing a character on set sometimes and expressing myself through the lens is something I love. The traveling is amazing especially in the spontaneous moments when you least expect things. What I hate is options! Id rather not know I'm on option for something, even if it's for a big client. You build this hope and then boom, you don't get it and that's the worst feeling. I'd rather not know and then get my hopes shattered, haha.
Describe your style in terms of fashion:
It depends on my mood some days. I used to be in a punk rock band in highschool and I do play guitar so sometimes my style has a lot of rock influence and vintage punk vibes. Other than that, my style would be classified as very gentlemanly. Inspired by 50s 60s fashion, vintage wear, Marlon Brando/James Dean-esque. I love a nice pair of trousers with a fitted tee and either brogue dress shoes or car shoe loafers for this summer with a light olive green trench to wear for the colder nights.
What makes you happy?
My friends and family, their support. Also, making others happy. Trying to be the best man I can possibly be everyday and if I can bring someone's mood up, I'm a happy lad. Soccer makes me happy. Any time I'm training or on the pitch, I'm in a different place mentally, it's my sanctuary. Music. I'm a huge fan of music. A big crooner, lover of soul and Motown, classic rock, country and bluegrass all the way to modern rap and house music. A good tune can make me happy instantly.
What brings you the greatest satisfaction?
Setting goals for myself and achieving them. Seeing the gradual results along my path to success and achieving my dreams and aspirations. Proving doubters wrong. I am my biggest critic, so when I prove myself, that is my greatest satisfaction.
What is your favourite song at the moment, and of all time?
At the moment, my favourite song would have to be Chill Pad Deluxe - Majid Jordan and Real Hero - College feat. Electric Youth. Of all time, it would have to be My Way - Frank Sinatra
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
Hmm I wish I knew that I needed to get an Italian passport before I turned 18. Since I'm 24 it is much more difficult to receive. I have to live in Italy on some sort of visa for 3 years. An Italian passport would have made my life much easier in going overseas and trying out for soccer teams.
What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
ICE CREAM. My weakness.
Describe yourself in 5 words:
Confident, Motivated, Honest, Leader, Gentleman.
Which living person do you admire most?
My mother, father, sister, grandparents. All the same.
What do you most value in people?
Loyalty and trust.
Name 2 things people don't know about you:
I studied theatre partially throughout university and hold a strong passion for acting.
I am a mentor to a developmentally delayed boy in Rhode Island. I keep in touch with him all the time and act upon him as a big brother.
What is your motto?
Hard work breeds success
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Either playing professionally in America or overseas or hopefully having had a successful modelling career and in pursuit of an acting career living in New York or L.A.
Any advice for men wanting to become models?
If wanting to become a model is something that you have a passion for it requires having a lot of patience and I'd also say positivity is key because the industry is very competitive and rejection happens a lot, so always keep a firm self-belief and stay determined.
Any last words?
Thank you for the interview, I'm looking forward to the drawing!