Robert Tennent is more than just a pretty face. In 2018, the photographer/model published his book Come Back to Bed, an intimate collection of images to help him heal from sexual assault. A year on, Tennent is walking in some of the biggest shows at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week including Mercedes-Benz Presents Paris Georgia, Benjamin Alexander, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Zambesi Retrospective Show and K Road Presents.
In the first of a capsule collection series of behind-the-scenes interviews in the lead up to NZFW, we spoke to Tennent about his runway debut, his lifelong love of fashion and his dream collaboration.
What are you most looking forward to about NZFW 2019?
I’m really excited to be a guy walking for two womenswear brands.
What does that build up/prep to any fashion week involve?
I’ve been going to castings and fittings during the week. It’s been fun to see friends at different castings and then celebrating if we book the same shows.
Have you walked in any other fashion weeks?
I have never walked a fashion week so this will be my first ever!
What does a day in the life of a fashion model look like outside fashion week?
I think in a city like Auckland a model will probably go to a few castings a week and maybe shoot during the week? A lot of us study and work other jobs and just model on the side. I study fashion at AUT during the week.
Did you always know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
I have been into fashion since I was young. I would get clothes made for me and I actually used to wear my mum’s heels and pretend I was on a runway.
Where do you prefer to shoot: in a studio, or on location, and why?
I think there are a lot of beautiful things you can do in a studio and the lighting is much easier to control. I prefer studio shoots for sure.
Do you have a photo/campaign that you are most proud of?
I shot a campaign for Stephen Marr and really love the styling and concept behind it.
What’s the best thing about being a model?
If I’m being honest, the free stuff.
When someone looks at your work, what do you want them to know about you?
I want them to just realise that there is a person of colour in front of them. For a while, there wasn’t much representation in the industry but we’re moving in the right direction.
What would be a dream collaboration for you?
Oooo good question! I’d love to do a jewellery or shoe collaboration!
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever been given?
Save your money because there will be months where you book nothing.
Where can we follow you?
@rob.tennent on Instagram!
What don’t you leave the house without?
Lip balm, AirPods, moisturiser and gum!
Main photo: Karen Inderbitzen-Waller for MAC cosmetics.
New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 is running from Monday, August 26 – Sunday, September 1. Stay tuned to The Last Fashion Bible for the lastest NZFW updates.