The 5th Annual FnM Project Red Fashion show is quickly approaching, and for one particular model this annual show is his debut on the runway. The show’s purpose, increasing HIV/AIDS awareness on campus, requires strong models with the talent of making the audience feel and believe, not only the message of the fashion, but their emotions. Bringing the sexy on the runway is something almost foreign to basketball enthusiast, Stephen Martin. Even so, he will have to prove on Tuesday, March 27 at 7p.m. in the Grand Ballroom that he can make that huge transformation from a conditioned athlete to a runway star (figuratively speaking). Take a look at what Martin had to say about the show, the transformation and his thoughts on modeling below as we sat down for a pretty in-depth interview.
What inspired you to initially pursue the FnM modeling try-outs?
I felt it was time to step out of my comfort zone and try something completely different than basketball, which is something I’ve loved and known my entire life. It was a close friend of mines who initially brought the modeling try-outs to my attention and encouraged me to make that move. The FnM fashion show felt like that new experience that I was looking for to yank me out of my normal routine.
Tell us your reaction when you were actually chosen as one of the show’s models?
Well actually, I wasn’t chosen at first. After making it to the second round of the tryouts, I was eliminated. It initially was disappointing that I didn’t make the cut, but through sports I’ve learned to handle rejection or a loss. Amusingly, it was through Twitter that I found out that my modeling fate wasn’t over quite yet. A modeling coach contacted me through DM to urge me to immediately contact the head modeling coach about my status in the show. It was through that phone call that I received my FnM Project Red ticket.
What have been your most difficult adjustments made going from basketball to modeling?
Honestly, almost everything! The key things that I’ve learned for years while conditioning for basketball are completely the opposite of what they tell you when modeling. In basketball, everyone knows that you should never get caught flat footed, but instead to always be on your toes, but in modeling you’re expected to be a bit more grounded. The bounce in my walk that I’d gain through basketball was the hardest thing to control and tone down, but in the end, it had to be done.
After over a month of preparation, what are you feelings towards modeling and your expectations for the show?
Modeling is more complex than I initially expected it to be. It’s more than how a person physically appears, but also deals with a person’s creativity, ability to play with emotions and ability to take direction well. Modeling isn’t just about a single person, especially in a show like this one, but it takes the talent of being synced with other models on the runway.
The show is guaranteed to be a big success. We’re trying to find every way possible to bring our point across on the runway regarding HIV/AIDS awareness. There’s even something in-store for the first fifty people who gets tested the day of the show for HIV/AIDS to receive free tickets to the show. The purpose of the show should be enough to make people come because HIV/AIDS is a big issue in our society. Also, if you’re a fashion enthusiast, the FnM Project Red fashion show is the place for you.