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Ilias Petrakis started working as a model, while he was still an athlete and since then, has seen his career really take off. He is now based in New York, but takes part in photo shoots and catwalk shows in many countries.

How many years have you been modeling?

I’ve been doing it full time for two years now.

Do you remember when your first photo shoot and catwalk show was?

I did my first editorials and catwalk shows about 4-5 years ago, when I was mostly used as an athlete.

Which job really launched your career?

I think the Gas and Philipp Plein campaigns helped to truly establish me and get me more regular bookings.

Who’s your favorite designer?

It’s hard to pick just one, but among my favorites are Martin Margiela, Etro, Philipp Plein and Balmain.

Which country do you think offers the best conditions for an international model?

I think the ultimate and hardest destination is New York where everything starts and ends, but you have to understand that in this line of work you don’t really have a stable base. In general, you have jobs that you do for their prestige and some that you do for the money.

What would your advice be for someone trying to get into your line of work?

I would advise them to take chances and be strong and prepared. You have to be to survive this job.

What’s the one experience that you still find to be unforgettable?

Definitely the Missoni catwalk show, which was a very important moment for me. My first direct call was also very important, as I answered my phone and was told to be on a plane in three hours for a job! Another is the huge production behind the Philipp Plein campaign. It was shot on 5th Avenue, with over 200 people working on it and huge sets.

What helped you stand out?

I don’t know if I would put it that way. What I can say is that I’m true to myself and have never tried to be someone else. I always try to be professional and do the job to the best of my ability and maybe that has made clients ask for me specifically. The client’s feedback and his thanks are the best form of payment I can receive. To build a name and leave a mark on the industry, would a great form of legacy for me.

Interview: Ioanna Karagiorgou