Custom Search 1

This male model is ready to hit it big

MODEL BEHAVIOUR: Tidiou is enjoying fronting campaigns for fashion giants

WALKING INTO the Charlotte Street Hotel in London’s West End, I am met with the warm smile of a con dent 25-year-old who plays it cool, but whose hunger and ambition for modelling is clear to see.

Meeting Tidiou M’Baye, the youngest of seven siblings and born to a Senegalese father and a mother of French, Rus- sian and Indian origin, you get the sense of being around a man who knows he is talented in a variety of ways – but having fallen in love with the world of modelling by chance, there are a few mountains he would like to climb before the industry deems him surplus to requirements.

“I’ve been doing this for seven years,” Tidiou explained. “My brother got me in – they needed brothers for a campaign, I think it was H&M or GAP. We didn’t get it, but the agency liked me and kept me on from there.”

The chance encounter is a far world away from the career as a paratrooper in the army he was pursuing in college at the time. Tidiou is currently fronting editorials for Zara, Mango and Ted Baker, and in the past couple of years has starred in campaigns for Uniqlo, Tommy Hil ger, John Smedley and Timberland.

He regularly appears in the likes of Vogue, GQ, Attitude and i-D magazines – but where does his ambition lie? “This is very personal, but my dream would be to work with Range Rover because it is my dream car. I love their cars and the way they portray their brand – and some of the locations they choose for shoots are amazing.

“Then there are quite a few clients I would like to do work for, like Ralph Lauren and Prada – I would love to do a Prada campaign.”

Having worked consistently for the last few years, Tidiou credits his brother for showing him the ropes and enabling him to get to grips with what keeps a model relevant in a world of ever-increasing competition.

Understanding the fickle nature of the business, Tidiou, who lived in Senegal from the age of 13 to 16, has other interests outside of the industry that keep him on his toes. “I lived in Senegal for three years and it taught me a lot,” he enthused.

“I’ve always wanted to give back, and my business partner and I wanted to do something in Africa. So, a friend of ours who has a cattle farm out in Senegal talked us through owning one for ourselves – and in the end we bought a chicken farm. It has started from there and is doing well. It is giving back to the community, it is something that is not exported.

“It is sad that in Africa they import a lot of goods when they really don’t have to. That is one of the reasons we chose to give back to the community. “We’ve bought land out there and that is where I will be mov- ing back to when I retire one day.”

Before retirement, however, Tidiou has one other dream to ful l that will come as a surprise to many.
“One of my hobbies on the side is drone racing – it would be a dream to become a professional drone racer. “I was in the park one day and saw some kids flying a drone at 80mph, and I wanted one straight away. I spoke to them and from then was convinced to try it out, and I have been loving it ever since. It’s a new thing, but it’s very interesting.”

A man of many talents, Life & Style believes it is safe to say you will be seeing a lot of Tidiou for a few years to come.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments