This holiday season, TALENTMAN is honoured to share an exclusive feature on one of today's most influential mentors in fashion: MAX FESTARI. 'All Eyes on Max Festari' depicts a preview into one mans' remarkable life of 27 years in the business. Currently managing top models like Clement Chabernaud, Aurelien Muller & Patrick Kafka, MAX FESTARI continues to build a legacy with one of the world's most successful agencies D'Management Group/D'Men in Milan, Italy. Now exclusively representing our 'Piercing Asian' CHO HUI & rounding up 2015, the spotlight is shining bright as it's 'ALL EYES ON MAX FESTARI' for #theTALENTMANExclusive No.6.
TM: Tell us more about Max Festari On & Off duty…
MF: I love to keep myself busy all the time ,my brain can’t stop working besides my job. And I always find the time to please myself with other things such as writing, taking pictures and now cooking.
TM: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
MF: As i have mentioned above now it’s the time of cooking and studying to become a chef. It’s not gonna be my profession but we never know what life brings. Cooking gives me lots of satisfaction first, followed the by the satisfaction of family then friends. I find cooking a great way to express yourself through the food and the art of the preparation.
TM: Besides leading the team at D’Men as the Director, tell us more about your passion in photography?
MF: My passion in photography has always been there. It’s a passion that comes and goes all the time. I’ve been an agent for 26 years, therefore by now I really know which pictures I like and those that I don't. Trust me, I have seen a lot that I don’t like. Photography is another form of art, seeing people with only my eyes...
TM: Does Max Festari have a signature style & how has your passion in photography influenced your career?
MF: My passion in taking pictures has not influenced my career at all. My pure passion was & still is to be an agent big time,
TM: Your life & work has lead to the publication of 'Ma Quanto Bello Sei.' Would you mind sharing more about this exciting project?
MF: The idea to write a book was meant for those who have no clue what it means to be a model. From the outside it looks very glamorous - an easy way to make money. But it’s not at all the case. So I put together a funny story with very important details for the new boys who try to approach the business. Unfortunately it was not published around the world, but it would have been great material for the boys to learn from.
TM: For those who are not as exposed to the business, what would you say are the most challenging factors to understand in order to survive the business?
MF: To be an agent you need honesty and intelligence and lots of patience. To be a model & survive the business, charisma and elegance are key.
TM: How did you get into the business & what has been a key component to the longevity of your career?
MF: I started in 1988. I was always around models at clubs, parties and dinners. I was dealing with them as my best friends. One night I got an offer from a very well known agent at the time - Calvin French - who asked me to become a booker. I thought he was joking…, but he wasn’t. Here I am.
TM: D’management Group was established back in 2001 by David Brown. Were you friends before joining the team, or did you get recruited?
MF: I knew David Brown but the offer came through a long life friend of his who was working with me in the previous agency Riccardo Guy. And he is still here with me at D’men (Simon). In April 2016 it will have been 13 years of working together.
TM: What does it take to become a Director at one of the leading agencies in the world today?
MF: Passion for people first, and i say it again honesty.
TM: Name a few Models/Talents you are currently managing...
MF: Clement Chabernaud, Aurelien Muller, Patrick Kafka, Parker Gregory, Justice Joslin to name a few.
TM: What do you look for in ‘New Faces’ at D’Men?
MF: Beside the standard requirement of minimum height of 6 ft. & 1 inches tall and 48 suit size - the face has to express something very special. But this is hard for me to explain, I know when I see something.
TM: Did you always want to manage Models/Talent?
TM: In the business, they say some are gifted with an ‘eye.’ Your success speaks for your ability to discover the next talent… is that something you’re born with or can anyone develop an eye?
MF: No you can’t develop an eye. You have it since the time you are born.
TM: Given your busy schedule, does work permit you to have any free time for a relationship?
MF: Of course! if you want relationship you can. It will happen ... and it’s happened.
TM: Please share one of the greatest life lessons you've learned in the business…
MF: I don’t want to be so obvious. I didn't experiment on my shoulders, but I have seen it in many others. What goes around comes around. We can use this for the business big time but in life most of all.
TM: What has been your biggest asset to your success?
MF: My simplicity.
TM: What are your thoughts on the advocacy of the agency & why did you decide to link up with TALENTMAN?
MF: My first good impression i had with TALENTMAN's Founder (Michael) during our first meeting in Milan, says it all!!!
TM: What is Next for Max Festari? (3-5 years from now)
MF: I’m not looking that far ahead. I live my life day by day and I’m enjoying that. No matter what happens, I know it will happen for the best.
TM: What is your piece of advice to aspiring models, photographers and agents out there looking for their big break?
MF: Just these two words: No lies!
TM: Share a quote/few words that summarise you/your philosophy in life...
MF: A really happy person.
Special thanks to MAX FESTARI at D'Management Group/D'Men for this exclusive story.