Meet Renan Pacheco, an accomplished French model, actor and social media influencer. The handsome artist has been part of campaigns for high-end fashion labels including the likes ofÂ Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent and Prada. Find out more about him in his exclusive tÃªte-Ã -tÃªte with Haider Rifaat
â€œDiversity isn’t everything; diversity is the only thingâ€
How would you introduce yourself to the Pakistani audience?Â
I am an actor based in Paris, France, with varied interests in the arts. Iâ€™ve dabbled a lot in modelling, along with testing the waters as a social media influencer, but my first and true love will always be television and cinema.
How did your interest in modelling develop?
Acting and modelling are different forms of expressing the same concept: human emotion. Modelling is acting, but mute. You play with the camera and your environment, just as you would act with other performers on a movie set. As an actor, modelling has always fascinated me, particularly at the beginning of my career; it as an extension of what I was already doing. Even though I focus mostly on my acting, modelling gigs are a special outlet of self-expression.
Who discovered you as a model?Â
I posted many pictures on Facebook in my early teen years and as they went viral, people started contacting me with offers. I canâ€™t recall a specific event or person, so I credit my breakthrough to the support from my followers. It was their messages and comments that made me believe in myself as well.
What are some of the biggest names in fashion that you have modelled for?
I have had the opportunity and good fortune to work with many. The fashion houses include but are not limited to Montblanc, Yves Saint Laurent, Bulgari,Â Tom Ford andÂ Prada, to name a few. I am grateful for each production team I have worked with and the value they added to my career.
Do you have stage fright before walking the ramp? How do you overcome it?
I try to do something that scares me every day. When you face your fears, you realise that they are just smoke and that nothing is unattainable. I walked the runway for the first time when I was only thirteen years old and despite being scared, I pushed myself to walk with aplomb. Today, I no longer need that extra confidence, all thanks to the 13-year-old Renan who was determined to overcome his fear.
How has fashion evolved in France over the years?
France has always been the international centre for fashion. Under its influence and prestige, everything has stayed the same. I am very fortunate to call Paris my home.
â€œPlus-sized models are models, periodâ€
Is modelling an underpaid profession in France?
The modelling industry in France has a winner-takes-all approach. This means that five percent of the top models share 95 percent of the financial rewards. My advice to aspiring actors and models would be to prepare for initial low pay scales.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a model?Â
My greatest weakness as a model is the fact that I give preference to acting. Since I havenâ€™t pursued modelling as a full-time job, I have to give up some great opportunities. However, itâ€™s something Iâ€™ve chosen for myself. Iâ€™ve placed all my bets on acting.Â My greatest strength is the ability to recognise my greatest weakness.
What are your thoughts on plus-sized male models? Do you think they have a place in the fashion industry?Â
Of course they do. I donâ€™t agree with referring to them as â€œplus-sizedâ€ though. Plus-sized models are models, period. Itâ€™s heartwarming to see people defend these professionals but the debate should never have started in the first place.
How do you keep fit for the job?Â
I have a personal trainer who follows my workouts and advises me on nutrition. Health and fitness have always been a big part of my life and I have kept it that way for years.
â€œI walked the runway for the first time when I was only thirteen years old and despite being frightful, I pushed myself to walk with poiseâ€
What are some of the current ventures youâ€™re working on?
Due to extreme demand from my followers on social media, Iâ€™m currently working on a high-end jewellery brand. I think itâ€™s important to pay close attention to what my community says and asks for. Almost all questions posed to me since 2017 have been queries about when Iâ€™m going to launch a luxury accessories brand. Well, they asked for it, so theyâ€™ll get it!
Who would you like to collaborate with in the coming years?
I find Pierre Nineyâ€™s body of work admirable. His ascension through the ranks of French cinema is highly inspiring. From comedy to drama, he always performs flawlessly. I feel our profiles are very complementary, so if we could share the screen one day, our audiences would enjoy that a lot.
How important is diversity in your field of work?
Without diversity, there is no self-expression. Diversity isnâ€™t everything; diversity is the only thing.
Â What are your interests other than fashion?Â
Fashion and acting take almost all of my time. However, when Iâ€™m not working, I like to be around my family. The fact that theyâ€™re spread between Brazil and France doesnâ€™t help my schedule much though.
How do you combat uncomfortable situations?Â
A situation is only as uncomfortable as you think it is.Â As Shakespeare rightly said â€œNothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.â€ Everything is a stimulus and it is in your power to respond to it in a way that best suits your life. There is opportunity for growth through every experience; you just have to look for it.
Do you ever feel pressured while working outside of your country? Do communication barriers trouble you?Â Â
Despite cultural and linguistic differences, I pride myself in having great positive energy. Iâ€™m good to others, so they are good to me.
What are the biggest cultural shocks youâ€™ve had while travelling for work?
I hope to experience cultural surprises when I visit Pakistan in 2019. Will you be my guide?
How do you bounce back after a professional setback?Â
In life, there are no setbacks, only lessons learnt. Frame your setbacks as opportunities and witness your surroundings blossom with new prospects.