Hey Moffy! How were you discovered? Was modelling always Plan A career choice?
I was discovered when I was about fifteen at a music festival but was so put off by a test shoot which involved the use of the expression ‘look fierce’ that I didn’t do it again until my first proper job four years later. And no – being a model never occurred to me growing up, and it’s still not an idea I identify with particularly.
Photographer Tyrone Lebon shot you for the cover of POP magazine – your modelling debut. What was that experience like?
It was a deeply surreal experience – being the subject of a photograph puts you at a distance from yourself anyway because it’s impossible not to engage with the other person’s perception of you in that moment – and being the first time it had happened to me I was eminently more self-examining than I bother to be now; although Tyrone is about as unfashiony as a fashion photographer can be and has a sense of humour about the whole thing so it was fun too.
You also studied Russian and French at UCL. What’s the allure of both places for you?
I’ve always loved Russian literature and was desperate to be able to read the great novels in their original, so much of the meaning necessarily being missed in translation. Russian novelists have a wonderfully strange and introspectively analytical relationship with reality which appeals to me for a number of reasons, and there’s something so romantic about the cold and the dark of St Petersburg and it’s ghosts which have informed so much of Gogol and Dostoyevsky’s work. French is just a very beautiful language and anywhere where one feels it’s permissible to smoke fags and read Proust all day is a nice place to be.