"Modeling has changed my life and has given me the confidence to be comfortable in my own skin, as well as a sense of humility that comes from being supported by others--the same people I wholeheartedly support as well."
What's your first name?
What's your last name?
Nice to meet you, Aiden! May we have your email address please?
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AidenPlease let us know your website.
What is your location, Aiden?
State / Region
Firstly Aiden, how would you best describe yourself?
Would you like us to recommend you to clients looking for a Model near your area?
Aidenplease tell us your talent/work rate per hour?
Aiden. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
I am an aspiring doctor who never expected to be modelling. Growing up in NYC and being surrounded by the billboards, it always seemed our of reach--until the day I was scouted at a hospital (of all places). Maybe it's a sign that I'm meant to mix both fields: fashion and medicine.
I've practised martial arts for nine years, music for three and throughout it all, I was always interested in fashion and how I can put clothes together to express myself. I've grown to love leather jackets and trench coats especially. It seems niche, but they're pieces I can throw onto pretty much any other piece I have in my wardrobe, and don't have to worry about whether it looks good. Plus I love the white lab coat of a doctor is something I hope to wear every day--I might as well get used to it now.
Modeling has changed my life and has given me the confidence to be comfortable in my own skin, as well as a sense of humility that comes from being supported by others--the same people I wholeheartedly support as well.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Aiden. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
In addition to martial arts, music and modelling, I am a boy (breakdancer) as well! Models have seen me break dance on the runway, or strike a poke (called a freeze) on the red carpet and I hope to one day combine fashion modelling with my dance.
Aiden, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
I've always wanted to help people. I think that's a foundation for any successful doctor or future doctor. With modelling, I want people to grow up comfortable in their own skin. I've battled against discrimination, depression, and eating disorders growing up, and I want to play my part in helping prevent this cycle from continuing.
I was scouted once in NYC, but it fell apart after I transitioned to DC for undergrad. Never thinking it would happen again, it was a huge surprise when I have scouted again in a hospital. The next day, after signing the contract, I got into DC Fashion Week, and one thing led to another. I really have to thank the models and friends who helped me along the way.
To Chris Moses, Melvin Walker and everyone else who supported me--Thank you so much! I wouldn't have made it this far without you guys!
Who is your inspiration in life Aiden? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration comes from the legacy I want to leave behind. It's who I want to grow up to be--someone who my father will be proud of to have as a son, and someone my child would be proud to look up to as his/her father. I had a rough childhood, and the knowledge that I survived and that I can potentially help someone else--to inspire them--is enough to keep me going 100%
Every day I wake up and take a moment to thank the world for all the good it has given me, and all the bad. If not for everything I went through, all the depression, disorders, bruises, scars, or tears, I would not be the man I am proud of being today.
We all make mistakes Aiden; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Model, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
It is a difficult situation to manoeuvre when one's personal interests and the interests of his/her agent don't align. It's especially difficult when both parties needs feel like they are not being met and can cause tension. Instead of letting the tension fester as I had done before, I wish I had resolved it sooner and more effectively. With time, we grew to work better together, but it really highlighted the importance of open conversation in any type of relationship.
Aiden , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I start by ensuring I remain humble and don't oversell myself. My words are important--I mean what I say, which means if I tell a client I will be arriving at a specific time, I intend to make it happen. That being said, I prioritize my client's needs by making sure we are clear about what is to be expected within a shot, fashion show, campaign, etc. and ensure I have a small window of cushion before my next client (in case the event takes longer than expected).
Please tell us Aiden, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
I remember there was a week back in May of 2017 where I had seven modelling events within a single week--on top of school work. That week I was in three fashion shows, two rehearsals, a wedding photoshoot and appeared on Fox 5 television and also (somehow) managed to attend all my classes. I had to manage my time perfectly to ensure I arrive at every venue and class on time, often hopping from location to location, and making sure I completed all my classwork in the interim. Whether it is modelling, or making time for friends, time management is my secret to making it all fall into place.
Aiden, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
Respond not react--no one ever wants to be the bad guy. If someone has a conflicting opinion, rather than feeling like they are antagonistic, I found it to be very effective to take a step back and try to understand what experiences have led the other to feel a certain way. More often then not, by listening earnestly instead of waiting for my turn to respond, I'm able to gather some idea of his/her reasonings. In scenarios where I stick my ground, I ensure the other person feels understood--that their feelings are taken to account--before I try to explain my rationale, and sometimes they take my side. However, there are many instances where being empathetic has caused me to shift my view, and opened my eyes to a new line of thinking.
Ultimately, it depends on the situation, but being empathetic goes a long way in conflicts and resolutions.
Aiden, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
Growing up as a scrawny Asian boy, I was insecure about how I looked (how many teenagers weren't?). I was not planning on walking for DC Swim Week because I was afraid--because it was outside my comfort zone. A phone call from a close friend convinced me to give it a try, and after opening the men's line on the runway, I realized that I should be doing things that make me uncomfortable. What insecurity I had with how I look vanished and was replaced by the desire to improve myself. Participating in DC Swim Week was the proudest moment of my modeling career as of late, but I hope to have more in the future where I walk out a stronger and better person than I was when I was on the runway.
Aiden, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
When shooting for DJS Lifestyles' international campaign: Air, I drew inspiration from Avatar the Last Airbender. It was an avant garde shoot, and I was channelling my inner Prince Zuko, along side my angsty teenager, to pose effectively. The pictures afterwards were featured in international magazines, but, more importantly, were the first sign that I could hold my own in this industry. While I drew inspiration from my past and a childhood animation to succeed in a photoshoot, remember that you should draw inspiration from things that are important to you. The photographer wants to shoot you for your look, but also for your personality and creativity, because you are the one the will bring the vision to life.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
My advice would be to go for it. People make so many excuses today about why they can't do something (I'm guilty for this as well). People say that they're too busy, or that they're not good enough, or tall enough, but none of that should deter you from not trying. If you don't try, it's not because of the excuses you made for yourself, but because you were scared (or lazy!). Just go for it, and give it 100%--who knows what might happen? One good picture, one good conversation, is all you need to put you at the top! Good luck!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I would love to collaborate with fashion talents, brands, creatives, photographers. I am constantly growing and being challenged, and it is through these collaborations that I am becoming a better model--a better person. I would love to work with Adidas, for their track pants and superstars have been a staple throughout my entire dance career I could imagine working with them in a dance-themed campaign (break dancing to breaking limits?). I would love to help promote and build up a brand, because the journey of starting out as something small and evolving into something much larger is a metaphor for how I view my experiences in this industry. I would love to shoot and model with many creatives and photographers because they constantly surprise me with new styles and poses while highlighting my strengths and exposing my areas of potential improvement.
Now for the best part Aiden! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Cover. Photographer: Ricky Codio; Designer: Zainab HotMomma Designs
1. Photographer: Ricky Codio; Designer: Zainab HotMomma Designs
5. Photographer Masshuu Bita; Designer: Derrick Sellers DJS Lifestyles
6. Photographer Masshuu Bita; Designer: Derrick Sellers DJS Lifestyles
10. Photographer Masshuu Bita; Designer: Derrick Sellers DJS Lifestyles