What we learned from sitting down with the model and modern day man for PersolPersol
When we sit down with Luka Sabbat, it’s July 4, and he’s got FOMO. In the past eight months, Sabbat has touched home twice. One day he’s consulting for global brands, the next he’s front row at Paris Fashion Week – or documenting it as part of collective duo Hot Mess, which he works on with Noah Dillon.
Born into a fashion family (his mother was a stylist before later becoming a chef, and his father is a designer), Sabbat was initially hesitant to follow into the industry, but having grown up between NYC and Paris, it proved hard to resist.
On one of his recent trips to London, we sat down with Sabbat as part of Persol’s live interview series Good Point, Well Made – which you may have seen on our Instagram. It’s inspired by Andy Warhol’s screen tests, where he would interview the most exciting faces of the 60s, only this time we’re asking questions submitted by our readers.
Scroll to see five things we learnt during our chat.
“I used my face as the key to open the door so then once I’m in there I could use my brain.”
It’s hard to break into the creative industries. Sabbat used what he had at his disposal: the internet and a beautiful face, first becoming a model and then leveraging that into opportunities to do what he really wanted to. He used the example of hard work and independence set for him by Virgil Abloh and ran with it, establishing Hot Mess, the creative duo of Sabbat and Noah Dillon (who he met after sliding in his DMs on Twitter dot com). Since, Sabbat has proved himself as far more than just ‘a model kid from New York’, putting out clothing collections, art shows, and books. So, time to get resourceful. We might not all be really, really ridiculously good looking, but what tools do we have at our disposal that could help us get where we want to be?
“When something becomes a norm, there’s got to be something new.”
Remember the summer when your perfectly crafted MySpace page suddenly meant nothing because Facebook had arrived? Or the exact moment you realised you were late to the Instagram party? Sabbat is spot on when he says that we need to always be prepared for something new, whether that’s a platform, a trend, or something else – culture will always need a counter, in some way. “I find it exciting, I also find it interesting, I always think: ‘When is the bubble going to pop?’”
“Time management is key.”
One more time for the freelancers in the back! Anyone working in the creative industry as a freelancer has learnt this lesson, one way or another. For someone like Sabbat, working without an office and with multiple companies in multiple disciplines, being able to work efficiently and manage time well is absolutely key: “Alright, you’re here for three days – not a day less not a day more. You have these things to do in these three days. As long as that’s done in those three days, you’re good to go.”
“One day people are going to realise we need something more substantial than the internet.”
The internet is wonderful, full of information and opportunity. But The Internet™ can be mean, false, and frankly quite scary. The idea that there is more to this industry and this world than meets the eye is essential to maintaining a healthy relationship with the world wide web, so thanks for reminding us that while we could find out closest and most successful collaborators on the internet, like Sabbat did with Dillon, huge follower numbers don’t mean everything. As Sabbat put it: “Some people think the number of followers matter – but they don’t. It’s about who follows you.”
“The faster you get there, the faster you could fall off.”
When overnight success isn’t earned through hard work and a clear understanding of who you are and what you’re doing, it can be dangerous. With great follower numbers comes great responsibility, and if you get there too quickly, you can easily forget that. Don’t rush the process, and understand what you’re trying to achieve, and hopefully longevity will follow. In the words of Sabbat: “I think why I have a really good following is because people see me grow over time, instead of overnight. I’m only twenty but five, six years of my life is a lot for me to be doing this.”