Posted by models.com | November 20th, 2019

The Graduates

Salomon Diaz

You could say modeling is something of a family affair for Salomon Diaz, the sharp-featured Colombian who was discovered about three years ago while at a casting with his sister, who is also a model. It wasn’t long before the siblings had moved to New York and Diaz began turning heads in ads for Calvin Klein by the likes of Daniel Jackson, Roe Ethridge, and Charlotte Wales. A spot in Tom Ford’s Eau de Soleil Blanc campaign by Steven Klein soon followed, with Diaz cementing his status in the top echelon of the industry in Steven Meisel’s Versace Eros Flame ads last year, starring opposite the supermodel he charmingly refers to as “Miss Gigi.” New campaigns for Versace and Michael Kors have followed in 2019 and—only a handful of years into his career—it’s clear the only way to go is up.

Visit his Models.com page and click or tap the Lists button to favorite Salomon and keep track of his work.

Photography by Sebastian Kim for Models.com

Styling – Vanessa Chow
Hair – Hiro + Mari | Makeup – Steven Canavan

Editor Stephan Moskovic
Text & interview by Jonathan Shia

Above: Top – Calvin Klein (Stylist’s own) | Pants – Helmut Lang

The Graduates, since its conception in 2013, has become a Models.com mainstay featuring the foremost models of the moment. More specifically, when a Hot Lister moves up in rank to Top 50 through their own accomplishments it’s deserving of recognition, each a worthy addition to this ongoing series.

Where are you from and how did you get discovered?
I’m from Colombia. I was discovered in Cali, Colombia, the city where I was born. I was with my older sister at a casting, she was modeling a little bit. Someone was watching me and I was really scared because I was like, “Ok who is this guy?” but she did the casting and then he asked me, “Can you walk for me?” and I said, “Yes of course,” so I walked and came back. Then he had another casting and then my sister and I started to work. He sent us to Mexico to start modeling and then one year later he told us to go to New York to start a career here. That was almost two-and-a-half years ago.

Since your sister was a model, did you know anything about the industry before you started?
No, but I always tried to style myself really well because one of the most important things my mom told me all the time was to have a good look for other people who are interested in who you really are and how you really feel. I feel really great choosing my clothes and I think for that reason he told me I could be a model, but for me, it was like, “No, I’m not this kind of person.” I was really nervous about it and I didn’t know anything about this industry. I was thinking about it in Colombia but not going outside and seeing the fashion industry like I do today.

What were you doing before you started modeling?
I was studying English and learning many different languages. I studied a little bit of German and then I did French.

What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?
I appreciate all my jobs because they bring me a lot of information about how the fashion industry works and about the creativity that all the fashion designers and people in it have. Everything has been amazing, but one of the most important, the most incredible for me has been to work with Steven Meisel and with Donatella Versace for the fragrance campaign. That moment was amazing, not only because it was the fragrance and it was a beautiful campaign, but because of the shoot and talking with Steven. He tried to push me a lot and helped me relax like, “Salomon, relax and enjoy your moment.” For me to see how someone like Steven Meisel works, shooting with me and Miss Gigi, that was amazing. Donatella was really happy to be there, so that was really exciting. That’s my favorite moment, but at the same time, I appreciate all the photographers I’ve been shooting with, a lot of beautiful photographers like Steven Klein too, like Willy Vanderperre and Daniel Jackson and many others. That for me is really nice too.

“That’s the most important, to enjoy the shoot and to feel that everybody’s working for only one reason and everybody’s together.”

A fragrance campaign is one of the top jobs for a model. What was your reaction when you found out that you booked it?
I, of course, remember this moment because I was in Italy and I was shooting for Versace for the last campaign. It was really surprising and I started to cry because someone was giving me this gift. It was a gift because I had just started one year ago and for them to give me this trust to do the campaign was amazing. I just started to cry and I thanked God for giving me this amazing opportunity to work with all these beautiful people who know and feel everything about fashion. At the same time, I really appreciate all the Nineties moments in fashion and I was really curious to know how Steven Meisel worked with Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell together and how the shoot was going to be. He gave me all this energy that I really wanted, so for me it was really exciting both when I was thinking about it and when I was there. That was a good dream for me.

Who are some of your favorite brands or clients you’ve worked with?
I don’t like to say favorites because for me every moment is really special. All these brands, Calvin Klein, Tom Ford, have been amazing throughout the world and it was amazing to work with Steven Klein and then with Willy Vanderperre and Daniel Jackson and many, many others. For me, it’s more the experience and talking to the models and teams and directors in these moments. It’s about the moments that you really enjoy. That’s the most important, to enjoy the shoot and to feel that everybody’s working for only one reason and everybody’s together.

Do you have any dream jobs or clients or photographers you haven’t worked with yet that you would like to?
I think everything is going to come a little by little. In the beginning, I always liked to say, “Oh I want to do this and this and this,” but then when my career started growing I could see that things will come in the perfect moment. I’ve never worked with Prada or Gucci or Salvatore Ferragamo or many others like Celine or Louis Vuitton that I really wanted to work with, but I think it’s going to be little by little. It depends on the creators because sometimes I understand that there is a model that doesn’t look good at that moment or in that color or with that idea. The teams that I’m working with change every day so I appreciate the people that are working with me and I try to be patient and just relax and enjoy my work that is happening now.

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