Now Casting: Dylan Christensen

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Almost overnight, 18-year-old Dylan Christensen went from working the cash register at Century 21 department store in New York to walking in New York’s most major runway show. While at work, Christensen was scouted by an agent from APM New York who came back a few months later to book him for his first-ever modeling gig: as an exclusive for Raf Simons first Calvin Klein show. The show is his only one to date, but it’s set a good precedent for more modeling offers to come Christensen’s way. Here, we caught up with the up-and-comer to talk role models, runways, Raf Simons, and where he’s headed next:

How were you discovered? “At the time, I was working in downtown Manhattan at Century 21. A day a woman came in and asked if I was a model. I was used to getting asked this, so I told her ‘no’ and didn’t think much of it. A few minutes later she came back and asked if I wanted to be one. That woman was Zuzanna Stajer from APM and she is now my amazing agent.”

Did you have any interest in fashion before you became a model? “I’ve been interested in fashion since I was about 14. It started with buying sneakers and has snowballed from there. After that, any money I got went into buying new clothes. I love everything about fashion: the clothes, the culture, the people—everything.”

What did you want to be when you grow up?“I was never sure what I wanted to do, but I did know that I wanted to make a lot of money. People always used to tell me I should be a model. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was interested in trying to make that a career.”

What’s your impression of the fashion industry so far? “My career’s just begun, but walking for Calvin Klein in Raf Simons‘ first collection was really cool. I’d say the hardest part about being a model so far is that I’m still starting out. I came in contact with my agent in October 2016 and I quit my job immediately, but before the Calvin show I hadn’t had any work.”

What was the casting process like for the Calvin Klein show?“It started off with a quick meeting, followed by four callbacks and a couple fittings the night before the show. It was a process that I’d never experienced before and it was really exciting.”

Did you enjoy working with Raf Simons?“I interacted with Raf a few times over the course of two days and he was very nice and made sure that I was comfortable. He knew it was my first show and assured me that I looked great.”

Were you nervous before stepping out on the runway for the first time? “A little bit, but any nerves I had quickly went away as soon as I starting walking.”

Did you practice your runway walk?“The only time I had practiced my walk was at the fitting the night before the show. Raf and a few others gave me tips and helped me get it right, but I know that it still needs some work. It’s much harder to perfect than you think. People make it look effortless, but it’s not that easy!”

Do you have any other career goals? “I’d like to achieve a level of success which allows me to express myself artistically. Being labeled as one thing comes off as very limiting to me, so I’d like to release a song, paint a picture, or maybe even design clothes. I feel that in order to become a success, you need to focus your time and energy into one thing first, so right now I’m just trying to make it as a model.”

What projects are you working on now?“I’ve already shot a couple of things and am really looking forward to working more. I can’t say much yet, apart from that everyone should keep an eye out for something exciting that’s coming soon.”

How do you stay in shape for your job? “Staying in shape isn’t too much work for me, but I try to walk as much as I can—which is fairly easy living in New York. On top of that, I try to work out for about an hour each day. As for eating habits: I try to avoid anything high in sugar or fat and I only drink water.”

Who are your role models? “I don’t have many, but A$AP Rocky is one for sure.”

What does a perfect day look like to you?“Relaxing in the sun after a full day of shopping.”

What’s next? “Practicing my walk! Other than that, I’m just excited to see what the future brings. So far I’m having a blast and I hope it stays that way.”

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