By Tom Peaks @MrPeaksNValleys
You may have caught blue-eyed blonde Krystian Nowak in campaigns for fashion labels like Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. His Brad Pitt-handsome images certainly make a quick and lasting impression! Krystian is a first-generation American of Polish descent, born and raised in Chicago; the Windy City is often named the largest Polish city outside of Poland.These days, you can find the former soccer athlete-turned-model long boarding and enjoying the sunshine of Miami. Krystian believes in making an impact in life as he embraces being a role model for youth and doing his part in keeping the planet green. Get acquainted with Krystian in our exclusive PnV/Fashionably Male interview.
Accompanying Krystian’s interview are photos from shoots with photographers Joe Alisa, Vivian Arthur, Johnny Lu, and Luiz Moreira.
Krystian, give us your stats – age and height, hair/eye color, birthday, hometown and current place of residence? What agencies rep you?
Height: 6’ 2” (1.89 meters)
Hair: Dark Blonde
Eye Color: Deep Blue
Hometown: Chicago (born)
Current Place of Residence: Miami Beach
Agencies: Ford Models Chicago (mother agency), Next Models Miami, and AS Management (Cracow)
Being a native of Poland, how long have you been in the USA? How many languages do you speak?
I was actually born, and raised, in Chicago; however, I was raised with a strong Polish heritage that is very important to me. My parents came here, became citizens, but made sure that I was raised with the same values they were raised with. I’ve lived here my whole life; however, I have visited Poland many times. Currently, I am fluent in two languages, Polish and English; however, German and Spanish are two languages that I am trying to get under my belt!
When did you start in the modeling business and tell us how you got into the industry…how were you discovered?
It happened almost 6 years ago when I was a senior in high school! Two weeks after I had my braces taken off, I was “scouted” by a photographer, Robert Beczarski, who was taking pictures for us before homecoming. I remember him asking, “Have you ever thought of modeling?” I answered with a quick, “no.” However, after giving it some thought, I decided to give modeling a shot, and I signed with Ford Models Chicago within a week!
What are some things you love most about modeling? What do you find are the down sides of modeling?
There are a lot of things about modeling that I love. With modeling, I get to meet new people, traveling is a must and I love that, I work flexible hours, and finally, it keeps me motivated to look my best! What I mean by that is that I know I need to eat healthy, and hit the gym consistently. The down side of modeling is solely depending on a model income, which can be great if you work often, however, it is risky simply because if you don’t work often, then a model may have to look into a side job. Sometimes models won’t book jobs because the market is simply slow that season. The reality is that it is a risky job for some, which can make it hard to depend on modeling as a steady flow of income.
What personal and professional accomplishments, Krystian, are you most proud?
Some personal accomplishments that mean a lot to me are sports and culture related! I’ve played soccer most of my life, but it was during my senior year in high school that I really showed my true potential. I was named captain, and lead the team with most goals, and assists. We won our conference, and I was named MVP of our division, earned an All-Area, All-Sectional, and All-Conference award, which was incredible. After high school, I committed to Lewis University, a Division II university, qualified to the NCAA tournament, and made it to the “Sweet 16” which was an accomplishment in itself.
The cultural accomplishment I hold dear to me was when I decided to compete in a Polish Highlander Folk Dance competition in Chicago in 2009 and 2016. Those were the only times I competed, and both times, I got 1st place in my age category.
My favorite professional accomplishment was booking two Abercrombie and Fitch/Hollister campaigns back to back in 2012 and 2013. I got to work with Bruce Weber, which was a really an honor for me. Again, the biggest plus from all that was meeting amazing individuals from around the world and visiting Montauk and Martha’s Vineyard where we had the campaigns.
Have you had any special mentors on your career path in modeling?
I would say my first mentor was Robert Beczarski who got me into the fantastic world of modeling. He was very helpful, and I won’t forget that. My agents, Luis and Demi from Ford Chicago are simply fantastic, and I consider them very good mentors. More recently, since I’ve signed with Next Miami, my agent, Ron, has mentored me. I have been in Miami for a short period, but I have learned a lot here thanks to him.
What are your long term aspirations in modeling? Who are some photographers whom you would love to collaborate? What would be your dream gig?
My long-term aspirations are to be signed with an agency in Germany, England, and a few other countries. This all depends on how well I’m doing, and it is a necessity! My goal is to be on the same level as David Gandy. He is a fantastic model, and does what he loves, so it is safe to say he is my role model. As for photographers, I would really like to work with Bruce Weber again, Tomo Brejc’s work is incredible, and Mario Testino. Those would be my “top three” that I would like to work with! Finally, my dream gig would have to be to have my face on the cover of GQ and have an editorial in that magazine. It is my favorite magazine!
If you were not modeling, what would you be doing?
I would be helping my father with his construction business by doing the paperwork, pursuing something in social media, sports management, or business administration. I’ve coached kids from the age of 3 to 18 on various soccer teams because it is something I love doing. A dream of mine has been to be a positive influence to the younger generations, so I suppose as long as I fulfill that dream then I will be happy!
What does your workout routine look like, Krystian?
Ah yes, my routine, well I must tell you that I endured a five week long routine to gain muscle, and overall strength which included two days of legs/deadlifts, and two days of upper body workouts. On my off days I would target arms, and abs to make sure I have a well-proportioned body! I did this right before I flew into Miami in order to get ready for the season. Now, all I do is diet properly to maintain, and do calisthenics at the beach.
You come from an athletic background. How do those skill sets help or hurt in modeling?
My athletic background helped me keep fit, but also, because of soccer, I had problems with my legs being too big. On the mental aspects of being an athlete, I like to compete, sure, but I am a leader. I like to help my friends, mentor them, listen to what problems they may have as models, and even help them with their diets and gym routines. I believe that being an athlete has helped me to be an overall better person… therefore, a better model.
I know you love long boarding. Are those your wheels for accomplishing a ‘green’ commute in Miami? Tell us about this passion.
I really do love long boarding, it has become a hobby of mine. It helps me save money on Uber rides, it’s fun, and more importantly, it’s “green.” I strongly believe in leaving as small of a carbon footprint as possible on our one and only Earth. In high school I was actually a part of the Environmental Club where we took large steps to making our high school more energy efficient. Since then, I told myself that I would do whatever I can to help our environment. Whenever I go for an evening run along the boardwalk, I’ll stop at every piece of garbage I see on the ground and toss it into the nearest recycling bin. Sure, I get some funny looks, but I know what I’m doing is better than doing nothing. So my long board is a symbol for a more “green” Miami, and ultimately, our Earth.
So I know you love to travel. What have been your favorite places to visit, Krystian?
Traveling is something I love to do. It’s the best way to learn about different cultures, lands, and people! I can’t make a “Top 3” list, but just to name a few places that I will visit again: Vienna (Austria), the Rocky Mountains (Colorado), Würzburg (Germany), Kraków (Poland), and Zakopane (Poland) where I plan to reside in the future!
How would you compare living in the USA to Poland? Do you plan to stay here?
I would say that living in the States is not as “laid back” as it is in Poland. What I mean is that here in the States, you need to bust your tail to make a living. It’s actually pretty stressful. Your typical workday, for most, is to get up, get ready, sit in traffic, work, clock out, sit in traffic, get home, eat, sleep, and repeat. For a lot of people in the States there is no living, and more importantly, loving life. Living in Poland is different. Not just work wise, but when it comes to crime, rape, and things of that nature, the numbers are way lower making it a safer country. I actually did my internship in the city hall of Zakopane at the Department of Culture in their Media Department. I saw first-hand how it is, and I want to settle there one day. I will visit the States as much as possible, though!
If I asked your friends to describe you, what would they say?
If you asked my friends about me, one of the first things they may say is that I am outgoing. I like being friendly to people I meet because I believe in a good first impression! I’m sure my good friends will tell you I am very caring, and not superficial, as well.
How often do you get confused with Krystian Nowak, the soccer star? Have you considered challenging him to a duel for exclusive rights to this name?
Unfortunately, I get confused with him more often than I’d like! I would love to duke it out with him on the soccer field, and settle this like a true athlete would. I am happy for him, but I would like to have those rights to our name.
Tell me something people would be surprised to learn about Krystian Nowak?
A rather surprising fact about me is that I am ambidextrous with my hands… and feet!
Flash Bulb Round…quick, short responses to the following questions:
–Fave sin food?
I have a weak spot for cookies. Terrible.
–Theme park or national park?
Love Six Flags, but I would have to go with the calmness of Estes National Park in Colorado.
–Top TWO musical acts?
I remember seeing Lord of Dance once, and I have to say that was cool! But, my favorite is Wesele Góralskie (Polish Highlander Wedding). Our weddings last two days, and are so much fun that they made it into a musical act, enough said!
–All-time favorite movies: a) Comedy? B)Action/Fantasy? c) Tearjerker?
Comedy: Monty Python and the Holy Grail
War: Fury, The Pianist, and Schindler’s List (I like WW2 movies)
Action: Dark Knight
Fantasy: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Harry Potter series.
Tear Jerker: Good Will Hunting
–Fave underwear brand and style?
My favorite has to be Calvin Klein trunks!
–Most embarrassing moment on a shoot?
For one of my test shoots, I didn’t have “decent” underwear, so I went on to shoot without my underwear!
–What TWO physical features do people compliment you on the most?
Two physical features that people compliment me on are my blue eyes, and my “Brad Pitt-like” look.
–What do you wear to bed?
I sleep in my trunks because anything else is too uncomfortable.
–Describe you fashion style.
I am a very simple guy. I love being in shorts, and a t-shirt. One day, I will dress up in a more “dapper” fashion. It is safe to say I admire the look David Gandy has, and that is what my goal is.
When people don’t use their turn signals! It’s such a simple tool to use, yet people don’t use it.
Krystian, what is the best way for people on social media to reach out to you?
The best way would be via Instagram: @krystiannowak_
Facebook page: Krystian Nowak