Name: Trenton Talley @roninsrealm
Where are you from? "I lived in Baltimore, Maryland for most of my life, and now I live up north near PA."
How would you describe your look? "Versatile. I could wear Rick and HBA one day, and throw on some track pants and a white tee the next. My wardrobe has been changing as I've gotten older, and my day to day fits really depend on how I'm feeling. If I'm mad I'm gonna flex, if I'm this I'm wearing that, so on."
What inspires you? "Mortality, pure and simple. I don't know if there's an afterlife, but I can at least be sure of what I do know: that I have one consciousness right now and I could die any second. That motivates me to not waste time wasting time. If I only get a certain amount of time I'm not going to spend it quietly."
Best moment of 2017 so far? "I was in Manhattan during fashion week when my manager texted me with a gig as a fit model for new designs that HBA's Shayne Oliver is working on for Helmut Lang. I just remember sitting at the table with Shayne and the Helmut reps after a smoke break, eating rotisserie chicken and thinking "how did I get here?"."
Tell a funny story that has happened to you. "So I was in Soho with my friend Elijah, walking down what I believe was Lafayette, when he sees a Samsung truck with one of those ladders on the side and says "Yo, we should climb that shit." My first reaction was nah fam I'm not tryna get arrested, but he is the GOAT at peer pressure I swear. So we ended up climbing up onto it and taking a flick. Right after that, someone yelled from the corner of the street at us. I don't know if it was the driver or a cop, and I didn't care to find out. Long story short we Usain Bolted."
Who is your career icon? "Virgil Abloh for sure. A black man reaching that level of respect in the fashion industry is rare, all while staying humble and consistently creating art in all forms. Legend without question."
How are you feeling today? "Peachy. I feel like everything I've been talking about and all of my goals I've had in my head are coming to fruition one by one, step by step. I feel like I have super powers."
If you won $10 million, what would you do? "Craft a grill so unholy it permanently blinds every onlooker, and then probably invest the rest into starting my own fashion label. So yeah, any millionaire sugar mamas out there can hit my phone."
I see you have recently signed with Midland Agency, how were you discovered? "Shout out Walter Pearce, he hit me up when he was in either Houston or Dallas, I can't remember. I had been following him for a while and he wanted me to meet his assistant Aton in DC before fashion week to sort of represent me for that week and possibly sign me. Two months and a successful NYFW later, here we are. <3"
What were you doing before you started modeling? And was modeling always your goal? "Believe it or not I was going to college for a while for a Marketing degree. I went for two semesters, and during the second semester I was sitting in class thinking "Yo why am I even here, I'm 18 and able-bodied and I could be in the street experiencing life instead of listening to this man tell the class about marketing plans". I had always been into fashion, off top I was the flyest kid in school. If you went to my high school you know that's non-fiction. I knew I would probably either blow my brains out working a desk job or be old as dust on my death bed wishing I made better use of my time doing what I love, so I dropped out and started working full-time to save money and put it towards making trips to NY. Modeling wasn't my goal at first, I mostly wanted to be behind the scenes, but the universe sat this on my lap so this is how I'm rocking."
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done? "So far, definitely my show for Matthew Adams Dolan. I met some amazing people there, and the presentation was beautiful. We looked like we were all ready for bed and it was killer. I straight-faced the whole show even though I was internally smiling. It felt like I broke through the ceiling above my head and I could finally see what else I was climbing towards."
Do you have a dream modeling job? "There's so many I could name, so instead of naming a specific brand I'm just going to put out into the universe that I have a dream of being on a billboard...I just want to be larger than life."
What are your goals for the upcoming year? "I have a specific list, but my main goal is to walk for HBA. I feel like I'm very close already with my current situation, but nothing is certain until you lock it in. HBA's shows were the first shows I saw that made me believe I could do it too."
How important do you think social media is for your career/life. Do you have any tips on how to use social media to brand/promote yourself? "Social media is a powerful tool. Most people use it for recreational purposes, and I see some people having 10k followers and I wonder why they're not selling them something or utilizing that in some way. Social media allows you to bypass so many steps that you normally would have to take manually in order to make the same progress. Your social media is your portfolio now. Your instagram is your business. Your twitter is your promotion, so on and so forth. I've met so many people through social media that I may have never known otherwise, and I can say without a doubt I would not be in the position I'm in without having this technology and understanding the potential it brings."
Final question, do you have any advice for people trying to get into modeling, or the fashion industry in general? (This could be about creating a portfolio,getting scouted, finding an agent, photographers, etc.) "This is probably going to sound crazy or unconventional, that's fine. This is just little old me talking. But as far as the whole process of doing a little portfolio book/file, doing all the traditional photos and everything to send to agencies via email, etc etc... I say scrap it. Nowadays the industry is too overcrowded with that, from my personal opinion. I say go where the fashion is, whether that be NYC or London, wherever that is for you, and show face. Go to castings, go to events, go to open calls. We're all in a big crowd with our hands raised, and giving that face-to-face aspect to the right people is like arming yourself with a loudspeaker. The emails and the portfolios (to me) are for people who would rather sit on the couch and pray instead of put in the work… you have to MAKE yourself seen somehow or another."
"My second piece of advice is to be original, whatever that may mean for you. There's too many people wanting to be like other people, an agency isn't going to want you as bad if you're a 1 of 1,000. And that doesn't just go for looks, either. Times are changing, and I'm seeing that brands like having models with character and personality. You have to develop yourself as an individual, as well as work on standing out physically. That's really the best advice I can give, my way of doing things is not going to be the way that someone else does it, or the next person, but what I can provide is advice. You can't recreate the steps someone else took, but you can learn from where they tripped or where their feet found purchase and alter your stride accordingly."