Ex-model Patrick Delaney is more than just a pretty face. Sure, his chiseled cheekbones, pouty lips and sweet tats have seen him work with some of the biggest names in fashion, including Hedi Slimane, Terry Richardson and Marc Jacobs. So sitting at Crown Street’s Kawa café, day-lit haunt of Surry Hills’ hipsters, every one of my insecurities should have been twisting about inside of me like vines turned green with envy. But who could hate him? He’s humble, sincere, has more values than a real estate’s display window, and could probably charm the pants off of ‘never-nude’ Tobias Funkhe. Recently, he and his wife Tiah Eckhart relocated to Sydney from their home in New York to raise one genetically blessed baby girl – the adorable Finley. I caught up with Patrick to find out about his fast rise to success in the cut-throat world of male modeling.
Tell me about how you met your wife Tiah?
I met Tiah at a jeans photo-shoot, and we did the job together and didn’t really get along. It was kind of funny, ‘cause then I met her again at a bar in New York that my friend owns and we just kind of spent every day together for a few years after that. We just got along right away from then on.
Why didn’t you get along on that first day?
I don’t know… she was kind of snotty! But maybe it was the whole ‘shy’ thing. I’m not really sure… and she’s not either. I think she comes across as quite dry until you get to know her, and then she warms up. Maybe people take her as hot and cold.
So how did you get into modeling originally?
I’d done some random jobs when I was younger, just kind of here and there, but never thought that I could do it to pay the bills. I thought it was something I’d just do from time to time for friends that had clothing companies. But then I met Sophia le Mon, she’s like this out-and-about famous tranny in New York, and she does a lot of scouting for Ford. So she scouted me, and got a photographer to take me to Ford, and they signed me straight away. It just blew up! It happened really fast. When this happened I was twenty-two. So about seven years ago.
What sort of work did you do when you were starting out?
The first job I did was for BlackBook Magazine, and I think the first campaign that I did was Dolce and Gabbana.
Yeah- it sounds impressive. Steven Klein shot it, and that was pretty amazing to get to work with him right away. It was like an introduction to how you don’t want things to be!
He’s very… He knows what he wants and it HAS to be that certain way. And when you’re dealing with real people, it’s hard to get exactly what you want. So it was like ‘move your pinky to the left and move your index finger to the right’. Really particular. It was quite cool though. I got shipped off to Milan right after that shoot, and while I was there the D&G shoot went up. It was really amazing; I’d never really travelled before outside of the United States, and I was in a foreign country, and there was this giant billboard with my face on it.
Amazing! Will the move to Sydney affect how much work you can get as a model?
Yeah. I quit modeling about two years ago, or three years ago. I quit to do some artwork with a few different artists, and then I got a full time job managing quite a high profile artist. There was lots of travel, and I couldn’t do both, so I chose this route. And then I left that artist’s studio last January, and went straight back into doing John Varvatos for Converse campaign, and then it picked up again and we did the rounds- we did Paris, London, Tokyo and then back here.
Do you find it difficult when both yourself and Tiah are travelling and doing different things?
Yeah it’s very difficult now because we have a child involved, and before it was very difficult on the relationship because we were away from each other so much. It’s really hard. But it’s good, because it means we’re both working and as long as we’re working we’re paying the bills.
So what are some of the really fun jobs that you’ve done?
I got to go to Las Vegas and shoot in Liberace’s mansion with Terry Richardson! That was a pretty epic journey. That was a lot of fun.
And what’s Terry Richardson like to work with?
Surprisingly very professional. Every time I’ve worked with him it’s always been very professional but fun. He keeps it very interesting. It’s never dull. And working in Tokyo is always fun. It’s always so bizarre in terms of shoots and clothes and the world. I know it’s narcissistic to say, but they make it all about you. It’s nice to be pampered every once in a while. They make you feel special while they’re shooting you.
What’s been your most cringe-worthy moment?
There’s so many I can’t even say! Almost every job, except for the one’s I’ve just mentioned. It’s such a ridiculous industry.
Who’s been your favourite person to work with?
Hedi Slimane. I’ve worked with him a few times, and every single time he’s professional, things get done on time, and there’s no bull shit. It’s just boom, boom, boom- things get done. He always shows you the shots after they’re done and they’re always amazing. And he’s interested in furniture design and other interesting things… And he’s very much into hanging out with the boys. He’s always taking pictures, and when he comes to New York, he loves to come to a party that my friend always throws. He’s just very interested in youth culture… And then I’ve worked with Marc Jacobs, and he wouldn’t even talk to me. To the point where I won’t do his shows any more.
Wow- he was that rude?
Yeah. He would only talk to the girls, and would never talk to the boys. He was always just… rude. I mean I never got to know him personally, so maybe he doesn’t mean to be rude… but I won’t be working with him any time soon.
So what made you leave that life behind to live in Sydney?
It’s the beautiful land of Oz! It’s far away from everything, but everything is so accessible. It’s beautiful. When you walk outside it smells good. People are nice. Everyone’s very helpful. Surry Hills is very different to New York, but everywhere you go, you’ll find similarities. I’ve lived in Tokyo, London, New York, and Sydney, and when you’re in the fashion industry, it’s all just this one big melting pot. You always end up seeing those people again. It’s the same really, where ever you go. That kind of industry, and those kind of people. I like that Sydney has that, but it also has the beauty, the bats and the beaches…. It’s nice.
Words: Zac Bayly
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