When male model Jacopo Olmo walked into the Condé Nast building on a rainy Thursday afternoon holding a basketball, security assumed he was in the wrong place. His motorcycle pants, leather jacket, and Thrasher t-shirt probably didn't help. But his bright orange buzzcut was the real cherry on top. On Wednesday, he was turning heads at the Calvin Klein fall presentation, where he was appropriately stationed in nothing but orange boxer briefs next to an equally nude Roman statue. It was his first presentation with a major commercial brand, having walked for smaller labels like Gypsy Sport at this past New York Fashion Week: Men's. This 23-year-old is rising fast. He's full of energy, hence orange being his color of choice, and won't let anything get in his way, even Travis Scott's bodyguards.
Where are you from?
From Rome, with love! After high school I left my country and moved to London because I wanted to learn English. I was only there for a few months because it was a really bad time. If you’re too young, London can be really depressing. Then I started studying interior design in Rome because I love architecture. But then I left to go to London again after the first year because I had an opportunity to model. It felt like a call; like destiny. I wanted to come back to get my revenge and show myself that I could do it. And I did. And then I finally moved to New York last summer.
Where do you live in New York?
Currently, in Washington Heights.
Do you ever miss Rome?
Oh, yeah. Every time I come back I can really appreciate my city. It’s all about history and stories.
Why did you get into modeling?
When I was ten or eleven years old, I was really fat. People made fun of me. Because I have a strong personality, I wanted to turn the tables. I lost 17 kilos [37 pounds] during a summer, which is why I have that number tattooed on my arm. And I started to do sports. No one at school recognized me. I was the kid that everyone underestimated.
Who are your style inspirations?
I started playing basketball when I was nine or ten years old and I derived my style inspiration from Dennis Rodman. He’s really wild and wasn’t afraid to express his character. He was a force of nature. That’s why I have this hair.
What about your rock n’ roll style?
I got that from London; they’re very punk. I also love hip hop and house music.
Where do you go to concerts in New York?
I go to Flash Factory. I've seen [Diego Villarreal] there. I'm going to go again this Saturday. A-Trak is playing. I also do hip hop dancing in my country. They used to call me “The Real Slim Shady,” like Eminem. Now, I’m the Orange Slim Shady.
What else are you listening to right now?
I love Travis Scott so much. I saw him he was at Up & Down during fashion week and I went straight up to him. Obviously, his friends tried to stop me. And I was like, ‘I just want to give him a gift.’ So I gave him my vintage bandana with orange flames on it and he was like ‘Thanks, man!’ And then they let me spend the rest of the night with them. I hope he’s going to rock it in some video or something!
When did you dye your hair?
A couple of months ago. I did it because I love orange; it represents my personality. I’m really friendly and always full of energy. I also did it because I wanted to express myself and let people know who the f--- I am!
Did you do it yourself?
Yeah and the haircut.
Any beauty secrets?
Coconut water and peach Snapple.
Do you do any other fitness besides basketball?
Of course, I’m from Rome so I love soccer. I don’t do gyms in New York, though. I just do pull-ups in the street. And dancing in the disco; I really go hard.
What’s your favorite Italian food?
And have you found any good Italian food in New York?
No, actually. But I’m a great chef. That’s a secret of my eight-pack.