Jared Graham Laughton Journey from Academics to the Runway
Meet Jared Graham Laughton, a 22-year-old model and university student whose journey into the world of modelling was an unexpected twist in his life. In this article, we delve into Jared’s life, exploring his background, cultural influences, inspirations, and the challenges he’s faced in his modelling career.
Getting Started in Modelling:
My modelling journey began when I had an encounter with a photographer named Kevin Pass at a church event with my parents, who opened my door. Despite initial doubts about my confidence in front of the camera, I decided to give it a try. This decision proved pivotal, leading to a successful career that started with a profile shoot and quickly evolved into a promising future.
What is your nationality, and how has your cultural background influenced your journey as a model?
I am South African, and I was born in Pretoria, although my father is from Rhodesia and my mother is from Botswana. My true ancestral roots are Scottish; however, I think I much more identify with my South African nationality, having lived in Gauteng my whole life. With regards to how my cultural background has influenced my journey as a model, I think having grown up in a very white and conservative household, the prospects of modelling had never really concerned my parents, and I don’t think they really understood what it was or that this is something I could potentially make a career out of. Although they may not have understood my interest in it, they fully supported me in pursuing something that excites me, and I am extremely thankful to them for that. Growing up in Johannesburg and being surrounded by so many creative individuals and rich art, it really does inspire me. Maboneng is less than 10 minutes from where I stay, and just by driving around the streets of Johannesburg, I am reminded of the rich art and history our country has to offer. In a nation that has a lot of pain, I am also reminded of the beauty that comes from pain and how special and grateful I am to be able to showcase that beauty in South Africa to the rest of the world.
Could you share some of your inspirations or role models in the modelling industry and how they’ve impacted your career?
Early in my life, I drew inspiration from iconic figures like James Dean for his honest performances and Timothee Chalamet for his ability to deeply personalise characters. In the modelling industry, I look up to Lucky Blue Smith, who has worked with many dream clients, and Kit Price, who captivates audiences through his social media content.
How many fashion brands have you modelled for? (with their names)
In the 4 years that I have been modelling, I’ve had the opportunity to work with numerous fashion brands, including Polo, Pringle of Scotland, Cellini, Standard Bank, Refinery, Playboy, Soviet Denim, Oppo, SA Fashion Week, African Fashion International, Makro, Aeronautica Militare, Ben Sherman, Maxhosa, Carducci, Batela, Barron, Breazies Swimwear, Connie Body Care, Ergotherapy, Tigers Milk, Radisson Blu, Coco Safar, and many more.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a model?
Modelling presents several challenges, including fierce competition, handling rejection, unpredictable schedules, financial management, and maintaining a specific physique. Success hinges on standing out not just in appearance but in personality, making clients’ experiences enjoyable. Coping with rejection is part of the job; understand that it’s not personal. Managing finances can be tricky due to delayed payments. Additionally, maintaining a lean physique is essential, although beauty standards are evolving. Finding enjoyable fitness activities helps in this regard. Adaptability and resilience are key in the modelling industry.
How did you get the opportunity to be cast in South Africa Fashion Week, and what was that experience like for you?
Fortunately for me, I am signed with ICE Models, and the opportunity first came to me through my agency. I first cast for SA Fashion Week at their new face castings back in February 2020, where I had the opportunity to walk for multiple designers. Since then, I’ve gone on to feature in their Autumn Winter 2023, Spring Summer 2023, and now more recently, their Autumn Winter 2024 collections.
What advice do you have for aspiring models?
Upcoming models should not give up; they should also try to learn as much as they can from every single person in the industry and practice in front of a camera to build confidence.