Valentine Rontez is a human representation of the word perseverance. Born and raised in Astoria, Queens, New York, Valentine got discovered on Facebook by his manager in 2016, who got him booked for Calvin Klein’s Fall/Winter (FW) 2016 show without being with a modelling agency. His CK debut resulted in him being signed by IMG. Most of the modelling agencies he met with before that had passed on him, dismissing his potential. Their loss!!
Rontez has been the face of Tom Ford, has booked a sundry of E-commerce jobs, has been featured in a multiplicity of stunning fashion editorials and has walked for a bounty of big brands, from Balmain to Moschino since being represented. He is the current face of Versace’s FW 2017 campaign – a massive event in the history of black models. Versace, however, is not the last big thing for Mr Rontez.
What’s the best piece of advice you have gotten?
VR: You have to embrace progress. There is no point in rushing; you have to take steps before reaching the top.
If you can chill with anyone, dead or alive, who would that be and why?
VR: That would be my uncle, Uncle James because he would be very excited for the man I have become and since he passed away four years, I have developed a lot.
What most inspires you?
VR: The youths in my community, in Queens, New York. It’s such a progressive neighbourhood with lots and lots of talent.
What’s your greatest wish for yourself?
VR: I would wish to be in a position to help others that are struggling.
If you would be a song which would you be?
VR: There is a song by Peter Collins called ”Love Like” which is not that popular yet; however, you can check it out everywhere on Spotify, YouTube, Tidal you choose.
What is the most important thing in your life at the moment?
VR: My mind! I am trying to learn, eternally, who I am and live in the moment.
What does model behaviour mean to you?
VR: Model behaviour to me is living as pure as you can be because you are not only a fashion model you can also be a role model. So you shouldn’t take it as “partying and being loose.”
What makes you uncomfortable?
VR: I don’t like to be lazy. I get anxiety by being lazy.
What would you like to change about the world, and why?
VR: I would like to change peoples’ desire for money, and make them choose love instead. People should choose happiness over money.
What’s your favourite thing to wear?
VR: That would be a long pea coat.
What would you wear to your wedding?
VR: I think I would wear a double-breasted jacket with a funky bow tie.
What do you wear to a casting?
VR: Jeans, Stan Smith, a t-shirt, and a pea coat of course.
Who is your favourite Designer?
VR: Donatella Versace.
What has been the best moment in your career so far?
VR: The best moment of my career so far has been when I had a GQ/Louis Vuitton story in South Africa. Next to an ostrich.
What would you want people to know?
VR: Everything they already know.
What do you want people to check out?
VR: Check out their hearts?