RICARDO BALDIN is a seasoned male supermodel from Brazil who has flourished in the fashion industry for over a decade. His sincere glare, angelic face, and captivating smile are only a few of his many qualities that make Baldin a household name. To date, Baldin has appeared on lucrative covers for Men’s Health (Malaysia), walked countless international runways for Bottega Venetta, Emporio Armani, and Vivienne Westwood, and fronted worldwide campaign ads for Body Bath Works and Levi’s. Throughout his solid run in the business, Baldin experienced a unique journey that has led to him reconnecting with nature, adopting a plant-based diet, and utilizing his social media influence to speak about matters of the heart and overall health. This month, TALENTMAN founder MICHAEL SEIFERT catches up with Ricardo Baldin in our final exclusive for 2018: “Man of Nature: Reconnecting Roots” as Baldin shares his life-changing transformation.
Who is Ricardo Baldin?
I believe it’s sketchy to describe oneself as I’d probably be saying things I want people to know about me and not the real me, but the real me is in constant change so it’s also hard to describe myself. I can say Ricardo is an intuitive and adventurous guy, who’s lately been focusing on his overall well-being compared to his professional success.
Being a male top model from Brazil, what made you decide to explore opportunities outside of modeling?
Thanks for listing me as a top model! I’ve been modeling for over 15 years now and when I reached the peak of my career as far as jobs and social media following, was when I was the saddest. Maybe I wanted something I wasn’t ready for. So I then felt I had to focus more on getting to know myself in order to heal, so I could move on to what’s next.
Do you still model or work full-time as a content creator?
I do model, I have agencies in many major cities, and actually recently shot a campaign in Hawaii and another in Portland, but for the past 2 years photography and content creation for social media have been my major job(s).
List three things you can’t live without.
Love, nature, WiFi.
How has the fashion industry changed in the last 10 years?
Many things have changed, but definitely social media was the biggest reason. Many unknown photographers could emerge and show their beautiful works, magazines either died or became digital, and lots of influencers that wouldn’t fit the modeling standards back in the day became supermodels due to their engagement & overall status.
List one false perception about the fashion industry that many make.
Female models only eat salad.
Favorite song, movie, and quote of the moment.
Best Part - Daniel Caesar
”Trust the flow.”
If you could be anyone (dead or alive) who would you be and why?
I may not know a name, but I’d be someone from L’Oréal just so I could turn all products vegan, and stop animal testing in laboratories. Monkeys, rats, dogs, cats, bunnies among other animals are tortured and killed daily by this industry.
Take us through a day in the life of Ricardo Baldin?
Everyday is a new adventure as lately I haven’t spent more than a month in one place. But my day starts with a morning tea and gratitude, and ends with checking how the NBA basketball is going.
When did your journey towards a plant-based diet begin?
In the end of 2015, I watched “Cowspiracy”, a movie by executive director Leonardo DiCaprio about the meat industry and its impact on the ecosystem. That really shocked me and slowly I began to reduce the amount of meat I ate, months later became vegetarian and early 2018 I decided to ditch milk and eggs and pursued a full-plant based diet regimen.
Share one of your favorite recipes with us.
Lentil soup with veggies. Basically, you gather onions and garlic, add lentils, water, then potatoes, bell peppers, vegan sausage, spinach and seasoning. It tastes better the day after so it’s good to make a good amount.
How does Presets Made With Love differ from other filter apps?
It isn’t really a filter app, but filters for the Lightroom app, which is a very complete app for photography editing by Adobe. We have our unique style, which I believe many people like. Even for professionals, having good presets can save you hours of editing.
Who takes your photos & how much time do you invest in your photography daily?
The pictures I’m in are mainly taken by my partner Elisa, but I’ve been posting some of the pictures I take as well, especially nature related images.
Life can get quite challenging at times, leading to many losing inspiration to post or create engaging content. How do you stay inspired in life? Any tips on health, fitness, or life perspective?
What I think is most important is the ability to listen to oneself. There are less productive times, less inspiring and so. I try to focus on not being so hard on myself. There are weeks I won’t post anything cause I need that time to relax and prepare for what’s to come, and inspiration naturally flows. My tips on health and fitness are: the most important thing is not to look good, but to feel good, so I recommend a plant-based diet and regular exercises, not necessarily the gym, but a walk, swim, run or playing whatever sports you enjoy.
Your social media presence showcases your love for travel, nature, and photography. How did this passion evolve into a lucrative business opportunity?
I used to post a lot about fitness and modeling lifestyle, which brought me a lot of followers. I then noticed that wasn’t really what I wanted to exclusively share and began to talk about other interests such as nature, sustainability, and consciousness. This isn’t really what most people are looking for, but I get to help those on the same path in their life journeys. And it slowly and organically has been evolving and opening new doors for me.
How important is social media today and how has this marketing tool impacted your career?
I believe social media is extremely important as it is breaking the way we get to know things. It used to be only the TV and Radio, which was easier to manipulate. And now you get learn almost anything online which can open a lot of peoples’ minds. It impacted my career mainly because I can travel and do other things that I enjoy besides modeling. I don’t think it played a big part on what modeling jobs I booked or whatsoever.
What do you love & hate about social media?
Love: you are a message away from anyone, you get to share your thoughts and connect with people who think alike. Hate: many times it may lead to depression as we barely see bad news, only people having the best life and the most fun. It’s a very important reminder that people usually share 1% of their lives which are their highlights. Lots of big influencers deal with depression and there are several cases of suicide.
Your online following exceeds 500K on Instagram. With many making follower growth their main objective, what strategies or advice would you give others so they too can build a more engaged following?
Instagram changes its algorithms constantly so we should always be learning and adapting. To me the most important is to find a niche you enjoy taking about and focus on creating good content.
What made you decide to link up with TALENTMAN?
My friend Michael which I met in Hong Kong about 10 years ago. He’s been doing a great job with his models in the Philippines and worldwide.
What is your message to aspiring models/content creators out there?
Focus on what you want and listen to yourself, a lot of people will try, sometimes unconsciously, to bring you down. Keep believing! Try to surround yourself with supportive and inspiring people, collaborate, learn, and risk new things.
What’s coming up for Ricardo Baldin & Presets Made with Love?
Life is a box of surprises. I heard a sentence this year I loved that was: If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. I plan on moving back to Mexico in 2019 and explore possibilities around there, but anything can happen and I’m not worried about changing plans from one day to another.
Special thanks to RICARDO BALDIN for his time, dedication to the interview, and never-ending support to TALENTMAN. Follow him on Instagram @RBALDIN for real-time updates on nature, travel, plant-based nutrition and photography.