Photos by Melodie Jeng for Models.com
You can find Paolo Roldan on the pages of Numéro China, V man, Vs., GQ, and i-D as well as walking the runway for brands like Givenchy and Armani. In addition to his successful modeling career, Roldan also works as a menswear buyer for Nomad in Toronto. Models.com chatted with Roldan to get to know more about his personal style as well as his experiences working in fashion.
Jacket: Comme des Garçons
Pants: Vintage Cargos
Shoes: Air Jordans
Tell us a little bit about yourself/your background
PR: I was born in Quezon City, Philippines. My family migrated to Toronto, Canada when I was 11 years old. I moved back to the Philippines at the age of 21 to pursue my dream of becoming a pro basketball player. I stuck it out for about 4 years but things didn’t work out as planned. Shortly after moving back to Toronto I took on some retail jobs starting out in sales and worked my way up. I started merchandising, managing and buying for high end boutiques. I’ve been involved with fashion ever since.
How would you describe your sense of style?
PR: My sense of style derives mainly from my past…I went through different phases growing up in Philippines and Toronto. I’ve been influenced by house music/style and hip-hop in the 90’s. I also remember having to keep up with fashion as early as the 1st grade because of the school I went to in the Philippines. It was like having to keep up with the Joneses. My athlete background also brings another flavour to the mix. Having that athletic ability brings a certain attitude and confidence to the table…without being a prick. I guess the best way to describe my style is that it’s a “mash up”. I do what I like…
What are your favorite cities to shop?
PR: I like shopping in NYC,Paris,Hong Kong,certain shops in Toronto…but I always manage to find something interesting in every city I visit. Some cities might not have as much as others but, there are always goodies everywhere.
What kinds of stores/designers are you into?
PR: I really like a well put together vintage shop. There are a few in NYC that my friends and I go to every time we’re together. Always on the lookout for that one off…I find it more appealing because you know you’re walking away with something unique. As far as designers go…Yohji Yamamoto,Kei Hemmi/Tetsu Nishiura (Tenderloin),Riccardo Tisci,and Phillip Lim are some of my favourites.
What’s your favorite job you’ve done so far in fashion?
PR: I’ve enjoyed every moment/job I’ve had in fashion. As a buyer,model,visual merchandiser,stylist…fashion has brought me many blessings. My favourite part is getting to meet good people and travelling to places I’ve never been before. If I had to narrow it down, it would probably be my trip to the Philippines for work last year. My friends Sebastian Sauve,Tom Barker, and my family came along for the trip and we just had an amazing time. Thanks to Bench and the Soul Artist Management family for locking that down for me!
Anything else you’re looking forward to?
PR: I’m looking forward to designing and collaborating on a few menswear pieces with some friends in Toronto…hopefully in the near future.