The Flow House met the Italian model Francesco Brunetti and had a talk about his career, the pressure within the industry and “spaghetti allo scoglio”.
The Flow House: How did you become a fashion model?
Francesco: A scouter found me on Facebook and he convinced me to do an “agency tour” in Milan. Fashion was the first agency that was impressed and so I signed with them. This happened in May 2010. I did my first fashion week in June 2010 and my first show was Emporio Armani, and I was so proud of it. I did Ermanno Scervino as well, but since I was 17 I went back to school and I returned back to the scene in September 2011 and started modelling full-time. I’ve also been working for Abercrombie in Milan and it was a good experience. It was the first time I left my hometown for a longer time. In 2013, I quit my job at Abercrombie since the company started having some serious problems. So, in January 2014 I went to New York and experienced the American fashion industry for the first time, which was amazing. After a year, I moved to Milan again and was travelling between Milan and LA, since my agent was working in LA as well. With all this travelling, I started to realize that I was losing time. Sometimes it’s better to be in one city and to grow and work there for a period. So, I decided to be based in a place and to work as much as I can.
THF: What fascinates you the most about fashion?
F: The open-minded people, being free and you can be wherever you want. To be honest, I’m not really passionate about fashion but more about fitness and having a healthy lifestyle. Fashion goes with it, because it’s also a mix of beauty and healthy lifestyle. I like to dress well, but for me pretty basic.
THF: What do you think about the contemporary men’s fashion?
F: It’s great. There are lots of creative brands that create amazing clothing. Today, you can really choose the style you want. There are so many mixes between elegant and urban, street etc. There are very specific mixes with a big variety, it couldn’t be any better. Men’s fashion really made a big step, the market is growing for sure.
THF: Do you have a favourite brand that you’ve worked for?
F: I don’t really have a favourite brand that I’ve worked for. Sometimes I prefer the clothing of a brand, sometimes the concepts and the working atmosphere. I really like to work for all brands. I can say that Armani and Zegna are good companies. I also work for Guess etc. Moreover, I have some regular clients. The most beautiful job is when you work for a campaign and you shoot at a beautiful location.
THF: Do you have a style icon?
F: Not really. What I really like is the Californian style. I’m more about images and videos. This kind of “t-shirt and jeans” and “into the desert”-style is really cool and inspires me a lot.
THF: You lived in Los Angeles. How did you like it?
F: I loved it. I would totally go back. But life forces you to make other decisions. It was fun but for my life, Milan is a better fit. And I missed the Italian food.
THF: But LA should be the food paradise for a fitness model?
F: In the US, you can eat very well, but the primary materials are the problem. It’s not how they cook the chicken, but it’s the chicken. The primary materials are all in Italy, and since I grew up on a farm I only like to eat fresh vegetables for example and not those you buy in a supermarket. Same with the meat.
THF: Do you have a specific food schedule?
F: No. I would rather say that I have a lifestyle. I like to eat – also sweets and candies. I just try to balance it and to work out. Of course, I eat lots of vegetables but I also eat pasta and other carbs. Often it depends on the calories I will burn on a day (of course you cannot calculate it precisely but I try to).
THF: How would you compare your style from today with the style you had 10 years ago?
F: I grew up a lot. 10 year ago, I was living in a little village in “le Marche” and didn’t care much about fashion. My mentality was much different. I was very close-minded, even a little bit ignorant. I was fascinated by the army. My style was random. I had clothes from my family, maybe my mum bought the outfits. Wearing clothing was more a “need” than “lifestyle”.
THF: Do you have a favourite trend you would recommend for this winter?
F: Following this Italian summer, it won’t be that cold this winter (laugh). But yeah, I would say that it will be a winter with many layers.
THF: Is there a trend/style you don’t like?
F: There are some styles that I don’t like on myself but on others. For example, the oversized-looks. I don’t like to wear very large and ripped clothing even if looks cool on others. You can wear whatever you want, if you wear it in the right way.
THF: Which items do you usually carry with you?
F: Blue Jeans, t-shirts, leather jacket, sweater, some accessories, elegant shoes and sneakers. And of course, my comfortable backpack. I like to keep it basic.
THF: What is fashion?
F: Fashion is art. I don’t know if everyone understands it, but fashion is art. I like to combine colours, beauty and sexuality in a picture and that’s the art you can make with fashion.
THF: Is there too much pressure for models in the industry?
F: It depends. In my case, there’s no pressure. In other cases, the situation is different – e.g. for high fashion female models. It’s easier to be a male model even if you have to work out a lot, eat healthy and not drink too much alcohol. However, I think that the pressure is more on the female fashion market, less on the commercial market. Actually, being a (fitness) model is really an easy job. Even if it’s stressful, you can travel around and the agencies do a lot for you.
THF: Do you have a passion besides modelling?
F: Cooking! I like cooking vegetables, soups, meat and I’m really good at cooking, “spaghetti allo scoglio” is one of my best dishes. I love cooking for my friends and often they’re happy about it (laughs). Also, I like computer games, two years ago I was obsessed with them. I like computers and that’s why I studied computer science at university, but unfortunately, I stopped since I wanted to model full-time. I’m Sagittarius. So, I like being free, healthy and discovering the world.
THF: Is there anything you don’t like about yourself?
F: Sometimes I have to wake up, I’m often “the good guy” from the village and then I get fucked. I have to be more “stronzo”, as we say here in Italy.
THF: What are your plans?
F: I still want to be a model in 10 years. For sure, I want to be other things as well. I’m studying personal training at the moment and I want to open my own business in the future. But now I’m happy with modelling and I bought my first house here in Milan, that keeps me busy. I always look towards the nearer future. You always meet new people and opportunities are right next door. I want to face challenges.
Creative Direction + Text: Karim Coppola
Photography: Reuben Selby
Hair & Make Up: Camilla Epis
Brands: Ermanno Scervino, Massimo Alba