From the sunny shores of Sydney to Notting Hill (sort of), IMG signing Harri Musumeci is the new boy in town and a name on the rise. A Sagittarius with a keen sense for the surf, the 18 year-old has walked for David Jones and holds aspirations for Mario Testino.
Discovered on Instagram – @harrimusumeci today boasts a healthy 17k fans, in case you were wondering – we decided to embark on a meeting of the IRL kind; a chance to learn some Blue Steel tips, understand what he really thinks of social media and ask about those supreme locks. This is what happened.
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So how did you get scouted?
On Instagram. I was in Bali at the time surfing with family and friends and then I got a message and I kind of ignored it – it was a really long message, I didn’t really pay too much attention to it – then when I got home back to Sydney I followed up, ended up going in for a meeting and then it all happened.
There seems a trend recently for models being scouted on Instagram. Why do you think that is?
I’m not sure, at the time I got scouted I didn’t have a following at all – I had less than a thousand people seeing my stuff. Probably because there’s so many people on it, I’d say like, 90% of our generation are on social media and a lot of people are interested, so people are always watching, especially if, once you have a following, I feel like it’s just a given that some things going to happen, but I couldn’t tell you.
Do you think that Instagram makes it harder or easier to be a model? Presumably in one respect it’s giving you exposure, but likewise more and more people are using the same platform for the same thing.
It’s a positive and a negative; for me it ended up being a positive that I got scouted, but now it’s hard because there’s so many people, and if someone has a massive following then they tend to get jobs, so it’s really competitive in that sense. It doesn’t really bother me too much, I feel like if someone likes me I’ll end up getting the job and then if not it’s not meant to be, but I don’t like the way it’s becoming, with social media influencers in modelling, you don’t even get a fair go.
So, your life post-being scouted?
Wow, castings, photoshoots, jobs, it’s all been so new to me – I was just a surfer from Sydney, I wasn’t really doing much – so when this whole thing started it was pretty full on straight away. It’s fun work, and it’s good work, but it has been non-stop. I’m from the Northern Beaches in Sydney, so it’s just not really heard of, especially through my group of friends; it’s strange, my life before was very quiet, go with the flow day by day and there was no pressure to do anything. But it’s good.
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Exciting projects so far?
This wonderland shoot, yeah by far!
I had to come to London, which was awesome, but it’s very last minute, I hadn’t even booked my flights to come here three or four days before the shoot, so it was really last minute and really exciting and the shoot itself was so much fun, the most fun I’ve ever had working, it was awesome.
And London generally?
I loved it, I really did. It was different to what I was expecting – I was expecting it to be freezing and raining and muggy and – but honestly it’s just been lovely, I guess I just got lucky weather-wise, but the sights and just the parks, everything is incredible.
Have you had a chance to check out the landmarks?
I have! I saw Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, stuff like that.
What’s been your favourite?
The palace, Buckingham Palace, yeah.
It’s nice around there.
My parents are obsessed with the Royal Family, so it was good to kind of, see it for myself.
Haha for sure. So beyond sightseeing – and surfing – what do you get up to when you’re not working?
Mixed martial arts, spending time with my girlfriend, road trips, there’s a lot of stuff to do in Sydney so when I’m not working, I’m just making the most of my time, you’ll probably find me at the beach somewhere to be honest, partying.
Bit of a beach baby?
Yeah, for sure
We don’t get that much here.
Yeah I’ve noticed, there’s not much beach
So who would be your dream photographer to work with?
Probably Mario Testino. I heard about him a few months ago, he ended up shooting Vogue in Australia, I wasn’t available at the time but I’d love to shoot with him, he’s just my man, my main go-to dude, he seems incredible to work with. And Christian, who shot this.
How did you find shooting with Christian?
Incredible man, he was awesome, very down to earth guy but he was very professional as well so I learnt a lot from him, tips and stuff, that was fun, like I said it was my favourite shoot so far.
After Testino, what are your hopes and dreams careerwise?
That’s a tricky question… I don’t really know how to answer that to be honest, I kind of like to just go with the flow and whatever happens happens, I don’t want to set the bar too high for myself or set it too low either… Whatever comes comes, and I’ll be happy with whatever I get, I’m going to work hard, when I do something I like to be the best at it, but at the same time I don’t think modelling is something I want to be the best at, in the sense of the word, but I just want to have fun and I want to take whatever comes and just make the best of the time I have in the industry.
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Plans for beyond modelling then?
Family, kids, that’s a massive one.
I’m very young, very young. I feel, hopefully down the track, after I’ve worked for a few years and I’ve set something up for myself I can worry about a family. That’s kind of my goal in life is like, I’ll feel accomplished once I have kids and a family and a house
Yeah that’s something that I guess I’ve been raised with, I’ve got the best parents in the world and seeing them raise me and my brothers and sisters really sparked that family thing inside of me and I feel like, once I do have that family, I’ll be set and I’ll be ready for whatever comes.
With that in mind, what you were like when you were younger?
I would have been a pain in the backside I think to my parents, I was a bit of a trouble-maker. I was a chubby little kid and I used to get up to mischief, like if my parents didn’t take me to McDonald’s or something I’d cry and scream until they took me. I was a naughty kid, but fun, I think.
So are you a good guy now or are you still naughty?
I’m a lot better now, I don’t know, I think it was a lot of peer pressure in school. Where I’m from it was almost a competition between all the guys in school, who was the funniest kid in class or got into the most trouble, because it was fun. But I was very young back then, I guess I grew up and I went through some life stuff and then kind of matured, and then once you’re a little bit older you realise you’re not going to get far from being silly all the time, so you just have boundaries.
In terms of advice, what would you say to young guys who want to pursue a career in modelling?
I’ve been asked that a fair bit lately through Instagram direct messages, and the advice I tend to give people is just be yourself. I feel like a lot of people get lost in the industry, for me anyway, I see it a lot it’s really common, I’ll see guys that are just starting out and then see them again in a year and they’re just different people.
In what sense?
I don’t want to say arrogance, but I feel like everybody has a point to prove and it shouldn’t be like that. There’s a lot of judgement in the industry and it’s very competitive, and if you let it suck you in then it will, so I think, the biggest thing is to have a good team around you, family and a good group of friends, and just don’t let it absorb you too much; remember that it’s a job and you can’t really let it change your life. And it’s different, it is really different to be thrown into a lifestyle like this, where everything solely relies on your looks, pretty much anyway, obviously it’s nice to be nice and all the rest of it, but your looks get you jobs and I think it’s good to stay grounded, go at your own pace and don’t rush into everything and just make sense of the situation, be mature, make sure you have a good team around you, just stay grounded and humble, that’s my best advice.
You mentioned getting messages on Instagram. What’s the strangest message you’ve received?
You get some strange ones about looks, like your hair or whatever, but I don’t know, it’s really weird. I remember one girl asked me – she sent me a message and she was like – along the lines of “hey I love you what shampoo do you use?” and my girlfriend had a laugh at that one because I don’t even use shampoo to be honest, so I didn’t know what to say to this girl; I ended up like laughing it off, but that’s one of the ones that stuck in my head. There’s a lot of creepy people as well, inappropriate and rude, but that was the weirdest, because I remember opening it, it was really late at night, and we couldn’t stop laughing.
Taken from the Summer 17 Issue of Wonderland; out now and available to buy here.
Shukeel Murtaza at Frank Agency using Fudge and MAC Cosmetics