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Speaking to the only boy on the Saint Laurent runway

Introducing David Friend, the 18-year-old photographer, stylist and Anthony Vaccarello muse

Yesterday Anthony Vaccarello made his Saint Laurent debut and, among the gang of leather-clad models that took to the runway, there came a lone male model dressed in a billowing shirt made from sheer chiffon. This model was David Friend – an 18-year-old aspiring photographer, stylist and designer who grew up on a farm in Florida before moving to LA.

“My sister, Matea, used to take photos of me when I was younger,” says Friend, explaining how he got into the modelling biz. “She and I collaborated a lot on shoots when I was at high school. We still do, in fact. She started doing some test shoots for Ford Models and my agent, Jesse Simon, saw a photo of me in her portfolio. A few weeks after that I signed a contract...”

While he’s not allowed to discuss last night’s show for contractual reasons, Friend describes the moment he found out that he’d booked the job as “career-changing”. Career-changing it may well turn out to be, but the budding model has got his mind set on more than just walking the runway and posing for photographs – he’s interested in styling and design too, as well as photography.

“I come from a styling background, having assisted (stylist) Sean Knight and worked with artists such as Alice Glass, Tinashe and Dillon Francis,” he says. “Honestly, I enjoy creating and don’t like to limit myself.” It takes just one look at his Instagram to see that this is indeed the case – it’s littered with photos of him customising his own clothes and showcasing his off-kilter sense of style.

“You can call it ‘high fashion trash’...” he says, describing his aesthetic. “I really like ugly things that look good like they shouldn’t but yet you can’t help but be like ‘wow, that’s cool... stupid and gross, but still cool’. I sew, style and shoot film photography. I’m most passionate about design but I have a lot of fun with all of them and being in my industry I have all the resources and very supportive people in my life.” Watch this space...