My name is Arjan van Hesteren, I am 24 years old and I was born and raised in Amsterdam. The sister of a good friend of mine always told me to be a model. To be honest, I never took it seriously and saw it as a joke. But one day she asked if I wanted to participate in her assignment for the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, and I did. The photos were sent to Republic Models by my sister two months later, and that’s how it started…
The best thing about my job is the travel. It has led me to many exciting places and brought me into contact with many people that I would not have met otherwise. To be honest, there isn’t anything that really bother me about this job. Every job has its less fun sides: from footballer to being a mayor… By the way, I get very muscular legs from soccer, so I can’t do that as much as I would like to …In the beginning I was a bit awkward if I got recognized on the street. A lot of people think they truly know you, just because they’ve seen you’re face many times. Additionally, I thought it was quite a shame if a job that I really looked forward to, got cancelled. But over time you learn to deal with that. Fortunately, I have a good team around me. My family, friends, colleagues and bookers are always ready to talk or party.
At my mother agency, Republic, we have a very personable relationship between bookers and models. They know the parents, boyfriends or girlfriends and they are very concerned with our personal development outside of modelling. You end up in a warm nest and almost get an extra parent, mental coach and friend. We are very lucky to have this, because that is not the norm in the industry. But it is inspiring.
The Model’s Health Pledge initiative is great. I know many examples of models and situations that would be helped by getting in touch with you! It’s amazing that there now is some kind of modelling ombudsman. I would like to help as many models as possible. I am happy to see that you see developments towards body positivity (from curves to pigmentation spots), more diversity in ethnicities and more awareness for mental health. And of course I hope the industry continues to get better!
If I can give advice to other models… I would say: have fun, be there for each other and SAVE YOUR MONEY! Some models spend the money they earn so easily and don’t think about the future. But what good is a Rolex in your early 20’s? Keep actively looking for and working on things you bring you satisfaction.
Trust the universe, stay positive !!