BRIDGE Models - Mens 5 Year Anniversary - Interview with Dylan Humbert
September 4, 2021 •
In continued celebration of the BRIDGE models Men's 5 Year Anniversary and the #REALBODYREVOLUTION campaign, we caught up with our new Junior Model Booker's Dylan Humbert and found out about his experience working with BRIDGE!
What are your thoughts on the term plus-size in the fashion market?
I think this term should not exist, even if I understand the reason why it is used today unfortunately.
The term Plus-Size is a way to define physical criteria, whether it is at work or in this industry, it is a term that I am using every day because it is part of the vocabulary now. Will it be the same in a few years? I hope not!
The term Plus-Size is for me, pejorative for the models that we consider as "Plus-Size", it can be perceived like a label bringing back to prejudices that are not true at all. A size is just a size, why the need to try to get an adjective to define it right?
Were you aware of the men’s big and tall market before joining BRIDGE? If so, what had you heard or seen?
To be completely honest, not really. I’m from France where this market is not the biggest one at the moment. I remembered seeing some advertisements and campaigns on social media, but if I compare it to the Women’s market, I would say no. I had always seen Women in this sector, which I found amazing that things are evolving in that way. Regarding the men’s market, I have really discovered this Big & Tall market from joining BRIDGE.
Who is your style icon? Is there someone you look up to or a brand you follow for inspiration?
That is a tough one! If you had asked this same question a few years ago, I would have said Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss you know, the Supermodels as we know them! In terms of brands, I think JPG was on top of my list, sounds really cliché for a Frenchman! More seriously, society has changed so much since, and my tastes and way of thinking has followed. We now have the chance to see and show things that we could not before.
More and more Brands or Icons are now using their images and “power” as a channel to deliver important messages to an audience who wants to watch, and these are the ones that I follow for inspiration.
You’ve been working in retail before joining BRIDGE. What would be your opinion on the menswear industry?
I’ve been working in retail for different brands before joining BRIDGE yes, and the worst thing that I had to say was “I’m sorry but we don’t have your size”, which was daily. I was totally ashamed every time that I had to pronounce these words. The menswear industry is still growing, being inside of it for years, I’ve seen the sizes and fit types evolving, but we are still behind compared to the womenswear. Unfortunately, the choice in terms of products and brands are still quite restrictive for Big & Tall Men for the moment.
What would you like to see change in this space? And do you think that these changes will happen?
This sounds maybe delusional, but I wish more brands will decide to get into this new plus size initiative, but for the good reasons. Not because it’s “contemporary”, not because it’s “trendy”, but because it’s normal and we need it.
Making Fashion accessible to everyone is not that difficult, the need is here.
The Luxury industry also has a real sizing problem, being Big & Tall does not mean that we are not fashionable, that we don’t care about the way we look. I think there is a big gap to bridge in order to reach the reality in this part of the industry. And if it will happen? Not maybe as fast I would like but it will. The fact that now, we are talking about it. I think that, as a man myself, and I feel what I’m saying, we used to be scared to speak/express our feelings and frustration about it. But not anymore. We can see it on our boards, our male models and their audience have started talking openly and frankly on their social media. And I think that was one of the missing parts for this process to happen. Women have this solidarity, which is amazing! And now, the men have as well.
What makes you feel confident?
Oh gosh. To be fully transparent, confidence has always been an issue for me. Like everyone, I have had some hard times. Especially when I was a teenager/young adult, and we all know how important this period in life is as it’s when we start to build ourselves. I’m still learning how to be confident, to believe in my choices, my achievements, in myself, but life is a challenge, with ups and downs and we can’t control it. For me, in periods of doubts, I try to remember all the achievements I’ve accomplished in my personal and/or professional life. Looking back from where I’ve started and everything I did to get where I am now, good and bad choices mingled, helps me a lot. I’m currently reading a book, “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” written by Dr. Nathaniel Branden. He’s explaining that being confident is based on our self-esteem, that we are not born with, it’s something that we are learning and developing during our life. I think it’s meaningful and its worth keeping in mind that maybe today wasn’t the best day, but there is still tomorrow and after tomorrow. I don’t know if there will be a moment in my life where I would be able to say “yes, I believe in myself” but I like thinking that I’m on the right path to it, as a Human but also as a man.
Do you think that men need to be more supported in talking about confidence issues?
Of course, they do. Because of societal expectations, the society are less likely to discuss and realise that men can struggle too. Being a man does not mean that we do not feel this pressure about physical criteria or anxiety. Being a man does not mean that we don’t suffer from body dysmorphia. A study recently done shows that 25 percent of people diagnosed with an eating disorder are men. Another one found that the percentage of men dissatisfied with their overall appearance (43%) has nearly tripled in the past 25 years. Body image isn’t just a women’s problem. We know how gender stereotypes about women can be damaging to them. But it’s so important to understand that men can also suffer because of these stereotypes and expectations.