The path to a successful modeling career is never silky smooth. There are lots of challenges and possible diversions along the way. Still, for those committed few, the winding road can lead to self-discovery and a sense of accomplishment.
Though Patrick Conboy in his wildest dreams would never have chosen modeling as his career of choice, he has wisely taken up the fashion mantle of this road less traveled. A natural in front of the camera—and I have witnessed it first hand—Patrick brings that relaxed ease, confidence and charm that is crucial component of every top model’s skill set.
No longer just another handsome model on the boards, Patrick is hitting his stride. And with the muses of creativity and inspiration in his court, Patrick Conboy is setting his own standards and playing by rules that work for him.
Fashion Reverie: How did you get started as a fashion model?
Patrick Conboy: I was aimlessly going from job to job with no real direction. One day walking down a street in Charleston, SC, a photographer approached me and wanted to take some photographs of me. I later learned he was recruiting for an Abercrombie and Fitch campaign being shot in Charleston later in the month. My pictures were submitted and I ended up in an Abercrombie and Fitch editorial shot by Bruce Webber. Bruce Webber connected me to an agency in NYC, so I figured I could give modeling a try or keep working a series of no-where jobs.
FR: So, modeling was not on your radar prior to being discovered in Charleston.
Patrick Conboy: Fashion came out of nowhere for me. I really didn’t follow fashion or read men’s fashion magazines. I knew the names of some brands, like Abercrombie and Fitch, but I was not really into fashion. I hated shopping; I basically wore what my parents bought me. My daily outfit was jeans, white tees, and boots.
FR: What happened when you pursued a modeling career in NYC?
Patrick Conboy: I immediately signed with Click Models and did a lot of editorials, some runway shows, but after a couple years I really was not enjoying modeling. It wasn’t working for me.
FR: What wasn’t working for you, New York City, modeling, or both?
Patrick Conboy: I love NYC and I loved the perks that came with modeling; you know getting into the clubs easily, the beautiful women, everyone smoozing and cheesing on you because you are in a hot editorial or you are with a top agency. At first, it was really overwhelming, especially coming from the South. But, after a while I felt that there was something more I could do where I could use more of my personality, so I started taking acting classes.
FR: How does acting appeal to you in ways that modeling didn’t appeal to you?
Patrick Conboy: Modeling started to flatten out for me and was starting to feel like work I was no longer interested in, while with acting I could explore all these different parts of myself as a human being. Every time I was on stage, there was an opportunity to learn something about myself. Acting felt like a safe place to experience life.
FR: But you came back to modeling, why?
Patrick Conboy: I knew Nolé Marin while he was at VNY Models. My contract was about to expire with Click Models and Nolé wanted me to sign with VNY. But, I was looking to take a break from modeling. While Nolé was building Aim Model Management, we stayed in contact, and after much contemplation I realized that Nolé wanted to take me on the path that I was interested in.
FR: And what path is that?
Patrick Conboy: I am really interesting in becoming a stage and film actor, and Nolé wants me to be successful and happy in whatever I am pursuing. Nolé wants me to be myself and if I am myself and fulfilled, I can bring that freshness and joy to the fashion industry. That approach is so different from my experience at other agencies.
FR: What frustrated you at other agencies?
Patrick Conboy: I was kind of put on the back burner at my other agency. Though I got steady work, primarily in editorials and runway work, I didn’t feel that the agency was pushing me and helping me expand.
FR: What opportunities are you getting at Aim Model Management that eluded you at other agencies?
Patrick Conboy: I was the underwear guy and/or shirtless guy at other agencies. Nolé believes I can do a lot more than that, even though I am 5`11. Recently, I was photographed in Angelo Galasso cocktail jackets for a holiday editorial in Fashion Reverie. I knew I had the ability to do more international work, and Aim Model Management is proving that I can do more than American sportswear.
I lived in Europe for a short time and I realized how great European men look in clothes because of the tailoring and construction. After living in Europe, I began to understand that there is a place for me in fashion internationally, and Aim is pushing me toward that goal.
Who are your favorite designers/brands?
Patrick Conboy: I recently discovered Moods of Norway and they make great suits, shirts and jackets. I love Harley Davidson boots; they are so comfortable and I do ride motorcycles. I also love John Varvatos.
FR: What is your personal style?
Patrick Conboy: I am a very casual guy. I love a great pair of fitted jeans, comfortable shirts and some kick-ass boots. I have recently started wearing hats.
FR: What designers would love to work for?
Patrick Conboy: I would love to continue any work with Calvin Klein. I would also love to work with Guess, John Varvatos, Moods of Norway and European designers that really understand how to make a guy look and feel good.
FR: Who are your favorite actors?
Patrick Conboy: Daniel Day Lewis, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Downey, Jr., and over the years I have become a big fan of Brad Pitt. Oddly, I love Olivia Newton-John in Grease.
FR: If you could live in a different time, what time would you want to live in, and why?
Patrick Conboy: I would love to live in the 1950s because the style was really cool. Everything seemed more pure. As great as technology is, it sometimes can be isolating. In the 50s, if you wanted to talk to someone you either had to see them in person or call them up. Your friends were your friends, not virtual Facebook friends.
FR: Now that you have your feet in the worlds of fashion and acting, where do you want your modeling/acting career to go?
Patrick Conboy: I have been with Aim Model Management for about three months now and after being out of the industry for two years I have had to get back to being a model size. Which hasn’t been difficult because I continued staying fit. I have grown my hair out to give me more versatility.
Acting has helped me be more in touch with my emotions and I really observe people more, and I am bringing more intensity and awareness. And that focus and commitment is becoming evident in my editorials. I now create a narrative for myself at every shoot.
In essence, acting has helped me understand the personality and perspective of each designer and design aesthetic. That sensitivity was not there before I became an actor. So, the sky is the limit for me with both acting and modeling.
—William S. Gooch