Ruben was shot exclusively for by Rene Fragoso, with styling by Benjamin Russell. Interview by Jonathan Shia. Digitals courtesy of Kadeem Johnson at DNA Models.


Ruben Pol

DNA Models (New York)




Place of Origin:
Alphen aan den Rijn, Holland

Ethnic Origin:


How discovered:
Instagram. I got a comment on a picture like, “What’s your age and how tall are you?” I checked the account —it was a model scout actually, not the agency — but then I showed it to my friends, who were like,”No don’t reply to that, it’s fake, people will use you for stuff.” I kind of dove into it and then I discovered that it was legit and I sent pictures. Then I got signed in Holland and that’s how I started.

What were you doing before you started modeling?
I was just finishing secondary school. I finished that before I started. I think I did one job in Paris when I was still in school, but I finished school before the rest.

Favorite things:
First of all, music. I love anything about music, listening to it, producing it, watching it, watching people perform music, and also playing instruments. I also love cars and food.

How did you get started in music?
I think since I can remember, I’ve always been into music. We always had a guitar at home and I just tried playing it. I wasn’t very good, but then I started figuring out how it worked when I got a little bit older. In the end, I took lessons both in keyboard and guitar and then I just started jamming around with my brother and trying some songs of my own. Then when I heard that people actually liked what I did, I started posting a bit on my social media and I performed at my school with some friends and slowly got a bit more serious, but there’s not one moment where I thought, “Ok let’s start with music.” That’s always been there and I think it will always be there as well.

What are you listening to at the moment?
It’s pretty funny and random. I’m listening to a lot of Anastacia recently. I don’t know how, but I discovered her again. When I was five years old, my mother used to play it a lot at home so it’s kind of nostalgic to listen to it. For the rest, I listen to a lot of hip hop. Hip hop is really big in the nightlife where I am now so I’m listening to that a lot here, but for me it will always be a mix between that and also jazzy, acoustic stuff. It’s just however my mood is. My top artist will always be John Mayer. Whenever I don’t know anything to listen to, I will just play John Mayer and it will be fine.

Favorite movie, tv show:
Favorite movie, that’s one of the questions I can barely answer because it changes all the time. If I had to choose one now, it probably would be some horror movie, maybe Insidious or Paranormal Activity. The thing with horror movies is they’re the only type of movie where I can fully watch the movie without bringing my eyes from the screen because I’m so into it. Every other movie, there will always be a moment where I’m distracted by something else, so I think it’s a horror movie. And my favorite TV show is either Prison Break or The Walking Dead.

Favorite designer, fragrance or beauty product:
My favorite designer I think is Alessandro from Gucci. I love how Gucci menswear is right now. I absolutely love the last collections. My favorite fragrance is Creed Aventus. I don’t actually use anything for my skin, so for my hair it would be the Surf Spray from Bumble and Bumble.

What would you be doing if you weren’t modeling?
That’s a good one. I’d probably be in school because I still feel like I shouldn’t stop learning. I feel like I still need to learn a lot, so I’d probably be in school and next to it I’d probably be doing more with music. I would maybe be in a group or on my own maybe recording more songs if I have more time. So probably music and school. I’d probably be studying something technical with a creative twist like industrial design. You get educated as an engineer, but you also learn how to draw and to design and to use your hands so it’s also very creative. You have lessons where you get a piece of clay and you have to imagine a shape and try to recreate with it your hands underneath the table. It’s not fully technical—you get physics and mathematics, but you still need to use your creative mind.

What’s something uncool that you love anyway?
Going back to the music, when I find a song that I like or that’s new for me and that I like a lot I always tend to play it on repeat many times every single day. Not just on my headphones, but also in my home with other people. People do get annoyed of it but I’m just like, “Yeah but it’s amazing, I can’t stop listening to it.” So that might be a little bit uncool.

What was your first modeling job?
My first real modeling job was the Spring 2016 Dior Homme show. They booked me exclusive worldwide for that and it was a huge, huge honor because it was my first show and my first job as well. They let me open and close it, so that was amazing. It was my first job, but I also think it’s my most amazing job. I had no sense of both how big it was for my career but also the scale of it itself. When I started walking on the catwalk, I had no idea what to expect because the last time that I saw the runway, the guests were not there yet and it looked so open. Then I came in and there were rows of people and cameras and stuff. Even today — that’s been over a year ago now that I did it — still sometimes when I go to a casting people talk about it, so I think it has been the best thing I could wish for as a start for my career.

How did you feel backstage?
I was really, really nervous, but then again I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what I was nervous about. I could hear from what was going on that it was pretty big and I knew Dior before I started modeling — it’s a huge brand—but it was just a weird feeling because I didn’t know what to expect and still I was nervous.

What’s the best thing about your hometown/country?
I just love the atmosphere of Holland and my hometown and also how neat everything is. Every bit on the street will be precisely cut, like no grass on the street or on the sidewalk and there’ll be flowers everywhere. It’s all just very pretty and organized. It’s my home, so I still feel that even when I’m away from home for a long time. I still feel like Holland will always be home in the end.

Which brand would you really love to model for?
I think I would love to do Calvin Klein because I love the creative thing of all the campaigns like, “I blah blah blah in my Calvins.” It would be so amazing if I could do that campaign and I could decide myself what to fill in.

Place you would love to visit:
I do scuba diving and I’ve now been scuba diving in Asia and around Egypt, but I haven’t been to Australia for scuba diving. I know that the Great Barrier Reef is slowly being destroyed and dying, so I’d love to see that before it’s completely ruined.

Currently you’re obsessed with/about:
I’d say I’m obsessed with vintage shopping. I only discovered not too long ago that it was a thing. I just love that if you go to the right places you can find so much cool stuff and stuff that whenever you wear it, people go like, “What designer is it? What is it?” but you only paid like fifteen bucks for it. It’s something that I really love now and I only discovered it some months ago so I’m really hyped about that.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s probably something my grandpa always says. He was in the Dutch army from a very young age and he was actually in the toughest place. The toughest guys were there, but he always said, “Whenever you feel like you’re dying, either physically or mentally, you can still go so much further.” I think you don’t know what your limits are until you’re experiencing them and actually feeling that you can do so much more than you think. Whenever I’m in a situation where that might be relevant, I always think about that, that I might feel like I can’t do anymore but in the end I can.