What are you currently doing?
Chris John Millington: At the moment I’m currently working on a new personal project of mine called Alaska, it will be launched later this year and it’s something I’m really excited about! It’s been over a year in the making, I’m just glad we are almost at the end of the road before dropping our first line of products.
What is it like to be based in Scotland?
Chris John Millington: I love Scotland and at the same time I wish I could be someplace else. Scotland has great fashion culture in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I have met a lot of incredibly talented, creative minds in Scotland that are extremely driven. On the other hand London is where all of the fashion opportunities lie for models, photographers and designers, it’s just so expensive to live there! Hahah! Overall though, I do love Glasgow, it’s a great city and probably my favourite place in the UK, I can’t really complain, I’m lucky.
Would you like to move to another country?
Chris John Millington: I have always been drawn to the cold, it’s forever been my dream to live in the Rockies in Colorado, near the glaciers in Iceland, or even to live in a place like Alaska! The old architecture and heritage there are beautiful, the old traditions and beautiful landscapes just mesmerise me in ways that big cities cannot. I like the cold, I would love to live somewhere cold.
You have taken on quite an adventure the past year, what has been the most exciting part?
Chris John Millington: I guess the most exciting thing for me was saying goodbye to my old way of life. 6 months ago I had my entire life planned out and everything worked to a schedule and a plan. Being picked up as a model in April removed all the certainty I once had about my short term future. My work is dependent on the selection of other people wanting me to work with them, my work is not guaranteed, my work is not stable. The stability I once had in my life is now gone, it’s been replaced by spontaneity, it’s difficult for me because I’ve lived 23 years of my life with a plan, now it’s been taken away and I’m running in new directions, it’s uncertain but it’s exciting!
How would you describe your past year?
Chris John Millington: Wow, I’d probably just describe it by saying I’m an extremely lucky guy. Being scouted on the street in London to modelling for Urban Outfitters in a matter of weeks was a pretty daunting thought for me now that I look back at it. I’ve met some of the most amazing people in the world, people with beautiful minds and colourful ambitions, these people have been the highlight of the last year for me. Almost 12 months ago to this day I separated from my long term girlfriend, back then my life was so much different to what it is now. To think that was only a year ago now is incredible. My life has changed.
What do you believe to be a style suited for a man?
Chris John Millington: Well, I guess it depends on your own preference or what you feel comfortable in. I’ve become a fan of the whole barbershop revolution, men are now sporting classic, clean hairstyles and grooming themselves like they once did in the 50’s. I love that look, I always have.
Tell me, what is it with the past years theme of men growing beards?
Chris John Millington: I believe that the emergence of beards in popular culture was kick started by people like George Clooney, famously sporting the 5 o’clock shadow and pulling it off in such a way that it actually portrayed their masculine character. Since then it has just evolved and more men began to test the water, David Beckham and Brad Pitt of course sported full beards and those two men are style icons in Hollywood. David Beckham is always a couple of years ahead of us all. The bearded look appeals to women more and more now because it defines masculinity to a certain extent. Subconsciously there’s an attachment to responsibility and maturity with sporting a full beard. I think that women and their newfound love for the bearded man is what has carried this trend forward, men like to look good and feel comfortable. Women are now making men feel more comfortable about growing beards.
So when you don’t do modeling and growing your beard, how do you like to spend your time?
Chris John Millington: I really just live the life everyone else does. I enjoy spending time listening to music, watching movies, socialising at fashion events or gallery openings. I spend most of my time with my friends, they’re all very dear to me and without them I would have a hard time releasing all of my tension and stresses about working and living the spontaneous life of a model.
What in life makes a fire burn inside of you?
Chris John Millington: I’m massively passionate about writing, I’ve began to write poetry and other short pieces about how I feel, I have a very complicated mind and I look at things in a very different way to most people, it’s something I was born with and it’s never really gone away. Writing helps me understand it a little better and it also helps others understand how it feels. I love music, acoustic music is beautiful to me and I love hearing new talented songwriters and artists that sing from the heart. I’m just a big romantic I think! Haha! My passion is passion.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Chris John Millington: I find inspiration from my childhood. My brother and I never really had an easy upbringing. We have come from having absolutely nothing, a broken home, to being on the edge of releasing things for our own company which we hope will change our lives forever. Bruce Lee was my inspiration that saw me through all the tough times when I was younger, the way he looked at the world and could comprehend things on a higher level fascinated me!
If you were to tell a story you’ve never told anyone before, which would it be?
Chris John Millington: Oh wow, let me think… The story of how I grew my beard isn’t very well known, or how I actually became a model. I started growing my beard in December of last year, my friend Stew and I placed a bet with each other that we wouldn’t shave for 3 months while he was out working in New York. I didn’t shave, he did. While he was away I had been asked to model here and there for some photographers, to help out with their search for models. A month after he returned, in April, I went to London with my flatmate and best friend Katie. She encouraged me to go and speak with some model agencies in London, so we went together. On the day we got there I went to see Storm Model Management and Nevs Model Management, both agencies told me that I wasn’t going to work on their books as I lived in Glasgow and I wasn’t quite what they were looking for. A few hours later Katie and I went back into central London, namely Oxford Circus. For some reason we ended up going to Costa Coffee, as we walked in I told Katie that I was going to sit at one of the elevated seats in the middle of the café, Katie said she wanted to sit at the window. We sat down together and the window and I was feeling a little disheartened by it all, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a model or not, I thought my attempts were in vain. There’s a photo of me sitting at the window with my head in my hands which sums up my mood perfectly. Seconds after that photo was taken, I looked up and saw people across the street, looking at me through the window. At first I thought it was a bit strange, so I just pretended they weren’t there. A girl walked into the café behind me and tapped me on the shoulder, she introduced herself as Lucy and she was scouting for a modelling agency in London, Sapphires Models. She gave me her card and asked me to call them, so I did. I went into their office on the same day, they offered me a contract and the rest is history. It’s funny how things turn out, I’ll never really forget that day. April 12th, 2013, my little brother’s 20th birthday. Turned out I was the one who was celebrating in the end! Haha!
When does your mind wander?
Chris John Millington: Every day and night my mind wanders. I have an obsessive compulsive disorder called arithmomania, it affects me all day every day. At night I find it difficult to sleep because the condition itself is based around counting, my eyes count everything that they see. If I see a road sign, I’ll count the letters on it immediately. I can count the number of letters in a word in less than a second. I can do mental maths so quickly that even I can’t understand it. It’s an incredibly rare thing to be able to do but at the same time it has more negative attachments to it than positive. I lie awake all night seeing words and letters, if I close my eyes I’ll think of words attached to the darkness. I’ll sit and count all the words and all the letters until I start again. It can go on for hours, it’s awful! Haha! My mind just wanders all day thinking about everything, I wish it would just calm down for a day or two. Haha!
Would you describe yourself as a daydreamer or a realist?
Chris John Millington: I’m definitely a realist. I think really logically about everything and I always do my best to see things in a balanced and realistic way. I have dreams, they just have to be realistic or dreams are all that they will ever be!
How do you wish for the next year to turn out?
Chris John Millington: Over the next year I hope to land a major modelling campaign, I really hope that things work out in that respect. I’ve worked hard over the past 5 months building a strong portfolio working with some of the best photographers and brands in the UK. Aside from that, I’m really hoping to go to the US, there are some people there that I’m extremely close to and I plan on seeing a lot over the next 12 months. Finally I really hope that Alaska takes off and does big things for my brother and I, it’s going to be a long and exciting journey, we are both extremely excited!
Interivew by Emma Marie M. Johnsen