Today we’d like to introduce you to Vano.
Vano, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My childhood was spent growing up in the beautiful ocean-side city of Portland, Maine. I have to attribute a lot of my foundation to my home town because it was indeed one of a kind. I go back every year for the holidays and sometimes for special occasions. It’s magic. For anyone who’s never been to Portland I highly suggest taking a vacation out there and losing yourself in the wonderment of the city.
That wonderment led me to explore so many creative avenues. Of course, that would not have been possible at all without parents who gave me a stable balance of artistic freedom and drive to pursue whatever I wanted as long as I worked hard.
While I was exploring the ideas of fashion, designing, painting, dance and acting I was also swimming competitively on a team (Portland Porpoise Swim Club) that launched an Olympic world record holder, Ian Crocker.
So here I was developing two sides of my creative identity. On the one hand, swimming gave me the mental drive to push through anything and challenge myself to see past my physical limits while the arts provided an outlet for me to explore all the crazy ideas I had locked in my head and to make sense of my mind.
As the years went on, I began to pursue acting as my chosen career path and eventually received my BA Degree in Theatre from Chapman University.
I never really considered myself to be one thing. I had influences like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez who both showed me that I didn’t have to pick just one lane and showed me that it was okay to strive for so much more than what was possible as long as I worked hard.
I think that’s been a theme in my life because now working in the fashion industry as the Creative Director of Metropolitan Fashion Week and launching my own company to coach and train models, VModelStudio, that Olympic swimming mentality, which was driven into me, is the foundation on which my studio is built. I now get to coach models of all sizes, colors and skill levels and instill in them the need to push past their limits by working hard on their craft and never losing sight of being your own boss.
I feel so incredibly lucky because each new day, I have the opportunity to create. I now work in a field where I get to create. I have new projects and endeavors that I’m expanding on, most notably my YouTube channel DudeGlam where I review skincare, makeup, hair products, and all things glam as well as my musical journey as an artist into the EDM/Pop music world.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t think for any artists it’s ever a smooth road. To create is to expose a part of your soul and present it to the world, and once it’s out there, your creation never really belongs to you anymore. It’s for the public. It’s 2019, and there’s still so much to be done in terms of human acceptance. I’m lucky enough now to be able to work in a field that accepts someone like myself who’s a guy that can slay a face and walk in 7 in stiletto heels but outside of that bubble there’s still so much to be done.
Aside from that, I think the biggest challenge of all is the one my mind plays on me. The voice inside my head that would often say to not start your YouTube channel, DudeGlam. The voice that tells me to not be so eccentric in my visual performances during my music videos. The voice that tells me who the hell do I think I am allowing myself to coach and teach.
It’s a constant battle and a challenge to still stay focused and push through.
VModelStudio / DudeGlam – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
To pick one would be hard. I’m proud of all my business.
VModelStudio is a model training facility that I launched a few years ago. My goal is to provide industry level training so that any person who wants to be apart of this industry realizes that being a model is just that, a business. My training consists of runway walking, runway posing, posing for the camera, model etiquette, audition prep, social media development, model branding, and so much more. My clients have walked in numerous shows from LA, NY, Miami, London Fashion Weeks, been published in countless magazines, been featured in multiple ad campaigns all without management. They recognize the power they have by being their own boss and developing their brand on their terms. Management then becomes the cherry on top.
DudeGlam, my YouTube series, is one of my newest endeavors in the world of beauty. I’ve always loved experimenting with beauty products. When I was younger, I never knew what to do with my love for it, and YouTube was just being launched while I was in grade school, so there were no “beauty influencers” of channels that ever existed. For me, it’s more of a passion project and quickly growing. If you haven’t already, come check out the channel and join the journey!
VANO, the musical artist is another passion project but one I hold very dear and close to my heart. It’s the place where I get to fully experiment and create with all my passions coming together. Acting, singing, performing, fashion, glam. There aren’t many guys at the moment that are bringing together all of these elements. I want to remind them and the world that we as men can push the envelope just like women have done. Gone are the days of Prince, Bowie, Michael, and all the other legends that helped men in the industry expand the lens of male personification. Let’s take that back, shall we?
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to be is the ability to keep going even if you’ve failed.
I think that’s true for anyone who has a passion. No matter how hard or difficult the road can get, sometimes I wouldn’t give up my soul’s need to create. If I did that, I would be giving up my soul altogether.
Life is a fight you have to win. And I feel you win if you stay true to you.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @officialvano @vmodelstudio