Wingtip Profile: Trevor Olson


Trevor Olson is your typical midwestern boy: hails from a small town, owns a cheese hat and jets off to Milan for months on end where he appears in editorials and fashion shows seen around the world. Though he has built quite the resume in the past couple years, the 24-year-old Wisconsin native never grew up wanting to be on the runway. In fact, before modeling, Olson attended a technical college where he studied cabinetmaking and millwork. However, following many comments that stated he should have a career in front of the camera, Olson decided to embark on a new beginning.

After signing with a local agency in Madison, Wis., Olson attended a modeling and talent recruiting event where he caught the eye of representatives at Wilhelmina in Los Angeles. Since then, Olson has appeared in ads for European brands like Belmont 1938 and Manuel Ritz as well as posing in GQ Italy, L’uomo Vogue, Gentlemen and — more recently — fronting the cover of Wallpaper Magazine.

Fresh off the Fall 2015 runway, Olson sat down via Skype with WTJ to discuss his start in the industry, favorite moments and plans for the future.



Wingtip Jungle: How did you get started in modeling?

Trevor Olson: It’s never a simple answer to give for this. I had some people ask me if I ever considered modeling and I thought it would be cool, so I searched online for modeling agencies and I found one in Madison, The Rock. I emailed them and set up an open call. From there we set up a test shoot and once they got the pictures, they decided they wanted to sign me. After I signed with them, I went to IMTA and got interest from Wilhelmina in Los Angeles. So I went out there for three months to start.


WTJ: What is it like when you first start out?

TO: In the beginning, when you’re inexperienced, it’s nerve wracking because you don’t know how to act and don’t know what people want or how you’re supposed to act, how your hair’s supposed to be, your body, your skin — everything. It’s mostly the confidence thing you don’t understand because you don’t know what you’re doing.




WTJ: What is a day in the life of a model look like?

TO: I usually wake up and go to a couple castings — especially in Milan, there are castings almost every day. You go with your book, wait in line for a bit, take some pictures and maybe try on clothes to see how they look. Sometimes I will go to my agency and see what they have coming up for the next week and then go to fittings if I’m going to be walking in a show. I like having things structured because if I don’t have anything scheduled, I’ll do nothing.


WTJ: What is it like backstage at a fashion show?

TO: It’s crazy, but a lot of fun. There’s always a lot of backstage photographers yelling at you and asking you to look over there or walk for them. Then you have people making sure you get your hair and makeup done and a bunch of other stuff. It’s really intense. Once you get off the runway, there’s more people that want to take pictures of you but then you have to go get your outfit changed with your personal dresser. So you throw your clothes down and then they’re helping you get dressed. You actually get to know the other models and the people doing your hair and makeup too.


Courtesy of Belmonte 1938

Courtesy of Belmonte 1938


WTJ: What has been your favorite shoot?

TO: I was in Italy for a brand called Belmonte and it was up in the Dolomite mountain range, which is the same as the alps. We were up in the mountains in a cabin and we went around and took pictures with huskies and it was a super cool shoot because it was relaxed and we were out in nature enjoying the scenery.


WTJ: What is the best skin-care tip you have learned while modeling?

TO: You don’t need to use a bunch of creams. I think it’s about getting to know your individual skin, because I have some friends that will do one shoot and then they will break out all over the place, but because my skin is so dry, I don’t usually get acne. I put hand moisturizer on my face — I wouldn’t say that’s my beauty tip because everyone says it’s the worst thing to do. Moisturize and sunscreen — I’m pretty lazy with taking care of my skin.



WTJ: Funniest moment?

TO: One time when I was doing a job, I came in and the photographer looked at me and said, “Thank God you’re here, because these clothes are terrible.” 


WTJ: Do you see yourself relocating to a larger city where modeling is more readily available?

TO: I want to go to New York — but nothing seems to go as planned. I was suppose to go to New York this past month but then came back to Milan for three months. I like living in the big city, but I also like going home and getting away from all the noise and people.


WTJ: What are your future goals and aspirations?

TO: I don’t put a time frame on anything. Right now I’m enjoying this and seeing where it goes. I already stress enough in life so I’m trying not to think about it. I don’t have any goals — I haven’t had goals since 8th grade when they told us we needed to start planning for our future. I guess I just want to be happy with whatever I’m doing in the future.



Courtesy of Manuel Ritz

Courtesy of Manuel Ritz

Courtesy of Manuel Ritz

Courtesy of Manuel Ritz


Courtesy of GQ Italy

Courtesy of GQ Italy



— John Soper

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