Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE -

It didn’t take a lot for the Swiss-Filipino ac­tor and model Raphael Kiefer to stand out in a small city like Ca­gayan de Oro. Theater led him to model­ing work in Cebu, where he met top fash­ion direc­tor Jackie Aquino, whose ad­vice he took: He bought a oneway ticket to Manila and never looked back. A true vet­eran of the model­ing in­dus­try, Kiefer de­buted in MTV Fash­ion­ista’s Best Model com­pe­ti­tion in 2003, went on to rep­re­sent the coun­try in the Best Model of the World tilt in Tur­key the fol­low­ing year, and pro­ceeded to con­quer Manila’s fash­ion scene. He then be­came a model­ing agent and a pro­ducer of shoots—all a large leap ahead for a guy who slept on the floor of his friend’s pad for three months, wait­ing for call­backs. He says, “I was lucky I met the right peo­ple at the right time.” This year, Kiefer took on the role of men­tor as pres­i­dent of the es­teemed Pro­fes­sional Mod­els Association of the Philip­pines (the fourth guy to take the top job in an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by women) and judge in the re­cently con­cluded Philip­pines’ Next Top Model. His lat­est evo­lu­tion has given him a big­ger per­spec­tive on life as a man­nequin. “I look at model­ing as a ca­reer. I hate when peo­ple say it’s raket. Mod­els have this ac­cess to the in­dus­try not a lot of peo­ple have,” he points out. “Longevity can be yours.” —MARBBIE TAGABUCBA

Jacket and san­dals by Paul Smith; Cat’s Paw chi­nos (P6,500), Buzz Rick­sons bucket hat (P6,500), and UES ban­danna (P1,450) at Reg­i­ment; eye­glasses by Ray-Ban.

Jacket (P27,650) and pullover (P17,650) by Diesel; eye­glasses by Ray-Ban.

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