Featured Model: Meet the ‘New Face’ in the Tanzanian fashion industry, Mark Vagner.
New Face – Mark Vagner
How was your experience shooting with FAS magazine?
Working on set for FAS magazine was an exhilarating experience. Everyone was friendly and really helped me get in the zone. It was fun and easy going plus modeling with my own wardrobe made it all the more comfortable.
How long have you been in the fashion business professionally?
I am quite the novelty in the fashion industry. This shoot with FAS is my first professional gig.
How do you balance between modeling and school?
I graduated high school in St. Constantine’s International School in Arusha this past June (2013) so I have all the time in the world for modeling.
What made you start modelling? Did you always know you’d model or someone convinced you?
The idea of modeling was definitely floating around in my mind for a while. However due to my busy school schedule back then I never really acted on it. Interestingly though, my friends and even random strangers have always encouraged me to model. I’m assuming its because of my height.
What is your fashion weakness?
My fashion weakness would probably be my addiction to jeans specifically those of a skinny kind. My closest is literally clustered with them. I just can’t get enough.
Describe your personality.
I am a very social person. I love meeting new faces and interacting with people. Friends describe me as being witty, which is true I never fail to deliver a crude joke. I say things people are thinking but are too afraid to say aloud. I’m loud but not in an in your face kind of way. I have also embraced my inner hippie, being one for peace and all that other stuff. I’m also rocking a brightly colored rat tail at the moment.
Where did you last take a vacation to and where will you take one next?
My last vacation was in Zanzibar, two months ago. I travelled with my misfit friends we attended the Full Moon party at Kendwa rocks which was heaps of fun. I’m generally a beach person so travelling to the east coast of Zanzibar was heaven on earth for me. Watching the sun set with a mojito in hand, I mean what more could a boy ask for? I also got a fantastic tan in the process. As I mentioned I’m a beach person so my next vacation destination is going to be Mombasa.
How did you prepare yourself for modelling? Who else helped to prepare you and how?
I just went in and did my thing. With confidence what other preparation do you really need?
How does your family feel about you modelling?
My family is supportive, always there to encourage me. Once I set my mind on something, I always give it 110 percent and my family will always be there rooting for me!
What makes you different from other models in Tanzania and in Africa in general?
The thing that sets me apart from everyone else would be how unconventional I am. A friend of mine once told me, “you have the look but it’s different. You’re not another Clement Chabernaud or a Tyson Beckford. You are Mark Vagner Bomani, an original other worldly painting. You are the alternative model.” Well self righteousness aside, I do agree with the concept she has in mind. I am different and that I think is my strong point.
Which local and international designers do you think you’d be suitable to model for?
I would really like to work with Jean Paul Gaultier. His pieces are edgy and downright punk. The two aspects I absolutely live for. Within Tanzania I think Sheria Ngowi is a very talented designer and his work really embodies what a classy gentleman should look like. So to work with him would be great. With my versatility I think I could pull off both of theses designers’s pieces.
How has modelling changed your life?
Modelling has given me exposure. I’m still a novelty but I think with what little I have done, it has put me somewhere on the map and God willing, future endeavours will place me right in the middle of the map.
What fashion projects can we expect to see you in soon?
Well you can expect to see me walk the runway of the Maridadi show in October 2013 and some other projects here and there.
Do you plan to model for the rest of your life?
In all honesty, I personally don’t see modeling as a lifetime career. I’m treating it as a quick chapter in my life. Don’t get it twisted though, I love what I do!
Describe your style?
At heart I’m a grunge fanatic. In my opinion, its not just style but a way of life. Walk into my closet and you can expect to find loads of funnel shirts, skinny jeans, beanies, snap backs, chains, and tees with loud obnoxious prints. However I am also very versatile and can rock a good suit.
What do you do on your spare time?
In my spare time, I am most likely out and about socializing and going out. I simply love the beach and swimming! I’m also a writer. I have a blog but I haven’t updated it in months.
Who is your favourite designer in Tanzania and why?
All Tanzanian designers in my opinion are fantastic and it is hard for me to simply pick one. They all have a clear understanding of our country’s culture and incorporate it in their designs. While sure hints of western influence are noticeable, that doesn’t affect the rich authenticity of their work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I’m going to be twenty three, so I’m guessing I will probably be finishing up university. Other than that life is a mystery, I’ll just leave it at that.
Tell us your opinion of the Tanzanian fashion industry so far and how different is it from fashion industries in other countries?
The fashion industry in Tanzania is still growing and I think our designers have such raw talent that soon enough their influence will probably be seen across the continent and given time will be seen across the globe. Furthermore, I feel like the window of opportunity for my fellow models is also expanding in a sense that now it’s more international. I’m just glad the rest of the world is recognizing the beautiful people we hoister in our country.
What do you find attractive in a woman?
I really find confidence to be attractive in a woman. Apart from confidence, I admire their beautiful bodies as every other 18 year old boy would. Plus, if a woman is easy on the eyes that’s just an added bonus.
Describe your daily beauty routine.
I have no specific routine. I just manage to eat healthy, exercise whenever I can, and get a good night’s rest. That’s my routine.
Facebook: Mark Luke Vagner Bomani