In our ongoing series,
One day he's working at a Liverpool Topman. The next, he's starring in Topman ad campaigns. This kind of overnight success story isn't uncommon in the world of male modeling, but even after going from shop boy to Topboy in the blink of an eye, Matthew Bell has managed to keep his effortless sense of cool. With a low-maintenance approach to style and a completely au natural grooming routine, Bell may like being a model, but sometimes he'd rather be back home playing the saxophone—or anywhere besides Milan.
Agency: New York Models
How were you discovered: I was scouted in Liverpool at Topman, where I was working part time during a gap year I took to play saxophone. That's what I considered doing before going to university.
Your first modeling gig: My first modeling job was for Topman...ironic.
The best part about modeling: Traveling the world and meeting new people. Everyone has their own interesting life prior to modeling, which I'm always interested in.
The hardest part about modeling: Getting used to your own company and enjoying it.
Career highlight: It's hard to measure a highlight but I really enjoy the fashion weeks. All the lads in one city having a laugh and a drink—or five.
Career lowlight: Being in Milan for three months. I do not need to explain any more.
The strangest thing you've been asked to model: I've been asked to shoot with a panda before, which was actually a woman dressed up in a panda suit. This was in China with the boys who did the Dior show.
Your go-to outfit: Ugly shirt, black skinny jeans, Nike shoes.
Describe your style in three words: Is it clean?
If you could raid anyone's closet, whose would it be: Pete Doherty's, because it'd be filthy and awesome.
How do you stay in shape? Lots of pizza and skateboarding.
Do you have any grooming secrets? I just shower and wash my hair once a day, like everyone should. I'm kinda lazy with that stuff, I guess. I use no beauty products for my face or hair, and I'm content to go out of the house with my hair wet.
If you weren't modeling you'd be... Still in Liverpool.
If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be? I would have a beard and a 'stash.
Best piece of advice you've ever received? "Just get on with it." I've been fortunate enough to get this opportunity. so I "get on with it."
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*—Todd Plummer, follow him @toddkingston