We catch up With su­per­model and happy hearts fund founder pe­tra nem­cova as she vis­its Jakarta for a chat about men and mod­el­ing

DA MAN - - 360+ Columns -

We catch up with Pe­tra Nem­cova as she vis­its Jakarta for a Happy Hearts Fund char­ity auction.

“I would say a must-have fash­ion ac­ces­sory for men would be a smile on their face”

D ecem­ber 26, 2004, is a day that many would cer­tainly wish to for­get, but will for­ever be em­bed­ded in our collective con­scious­ness. Even to­day, the scars left by the In­dian Ocean tsunami linger on. As one of the sur­vivors of the 2004 dis­as­ter, Pe­tra Nem­cova un­der­stands all too well the pain that fol­lows a calamity of this mag­ni­tude.

De­spite her own trauma, Nem­cova wasn’t one to live in despair. Af­ter see­ing that the vic­tims most dev­as­tated by the tsunami were young chil­dren, she de­cided to start the Happy Hearts Fund Foun­da­tion, and for the past 11 years she has not only helped sur­vivors of the in­fa­mous Box­ing Day tsunami, but also vic­tims of other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters around the world.

As DestinAsian Me­dia Group has been a con­stant sup­porter of the Happy Hearts Fund,

DA MAN has of­ten fea­tured the stun­ning su­per­model. Still, it was al­ways ex­cit­ing to sit down for a lit­tle chat with Nem­cova as she was vis­it­ing Jakarta to in­au­gu­rate a new Happy Hearts Fund school in rural Jakarta and hold a spe­cial char­ity auction in co­op­er­a­tion with Chopard at Grand Hy­att Jakarta.

DA MAN: Hi Pe­tra, nice to meet you again. So, what has kept you busy lately be­sides your work for Happy Hearts Fund?

Pe­tra Nem­cova: Al­though 70 per­cent of my time is mostly ded­i­cated to Happy Hearts Fund, my work in fash­ion still plays a big part in my life. I am cur­rently the am­bas­sador for many brands, from Chopard to Mercedes-Benz to TUMI and I also work for many other brands. Still, it doesn’t take too much of my time, so I have more time to travel the world help­ing chil­dren through the Happy Hearts Fund.

DA: Your col­lab­o­ra­tion with Chopard and Happy Hearts Fund has pro­duced a num­ber of spe­cial jew­elry pieces for women. Are there any plans to make some­thing for men as well? We do feel kind of left out and want to help out too, by the way.

PN: It’s funny you should ask, as I was re­cently asked the same ques­tion when I was in Mex­ico by one of Chopard’s sup­port­ers. I may have to talk with Caro­line Scheufele [co-pres­i­dent of Chopard] to cre­ate some­thing spe­cial for men, be­cause we don’t want you to feel missed out.

DA: Stray­ing a lit­tle from the Happy Hearts Fund, with your many years in the mod­el­ing in­dus­try, of course you got to work with many male mod­els. Who would you con­sider your fa­vorite per­son to work with and why?

PN: Well, yes, I have worked with quite a few male mod­els in the past. [ Gig­gles] In my opin­ion, the best male mod­els to work with are those that make you feel com­fort­able on the set and are play­ful while still be­ing able to keep to what the pho­tog­ra­pher wants. One of my ex-boyfriends, Den­nis Plateau, was a male model and we were to­gether for four years, so I would say he was my fa­vorite part­ner on photo shoots. We had a lot of fun work­ing and trav­el­ing to­gether. He would al­ways make me feel com­fort­able when­ever we were on a shoot. DA: What would you say is a must-have fash­ion ac­ces­sory for men?

PN: I would say a must-have fash­ion ac­ces­sory for men would be a smile on their face. DA: What kind of clothes makes a man look more, well, manly?

PN: Some­thing that they feel com­fort­able in. Be­cause when a man feels com­fort­able in what they are wear­ing, their con­fi­dence ra­di­ates. One of the sex­i­est things in a man is their con­fi­dence.

DA: So it doesn’t mat­ter if they are wear­ing a suit or not?

PN: It doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. If you put a man in a suit but he’s not used to wear­ing one, he’s not go­ing to be com­fort­able. There are also men who like wear­ing beau­ti­ful suits but not slacks, be­cause that’s what they are com­fort­able in. So, I would say, go with what­ever makes you feel com­fort­able. I would also say, wear­ing less is more, al­ways. So sim­plic­ity with a twist is a good way to go.

DA: Some say that “the shoes make the man.” What is it that you feel that tells you a lot about a man?

PN: I be­lieve that shoes and hands give up a lot about a man. Their shoes show how they carry them­selves, while their hands show how hard they work. An­other thing that tells me about a man is see­ing how he in­ter­acts with his mother, as this gives away a lot about how he will take care of the woman next to him.

DA: Many men see mod­el­ing as their dream job. Do you have any tips for those out there in­ter­ested in en­ter­ing the in­dus­try?

PN: Since the be­gin­ning of my ca­reer as a model, I have al­ways found that men have it harder than women in the in­dus­try. Which is funny, as it is usu­ally the other way around. It’s tough even for girls try­ing to make it as a model, but it’s even harder for men. In life, for me, I al­ways try to apply the same for­mula, which is: Vi­su­al­ize it, be­lieve in it, work hard for it and never give up.

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