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Style King: Vinnie Woolston

By Nicole Saunders

Style King: Vinnie Woolston
He started his career in a Raglan surf shop, but now Yves Saint Laurent ambassador Vinnie Woolston spends much of his time modelling in the fashion meccas of the world.

Never in his wildest dreams did Kiwi model Vinnie Woolston think he would be the face of Yves Saint Laurent’s male fragrances. But the launch of new YSL L’Homme Ultime – which hit counters in mid-July – signalled the second chapter in the relationship between the French fashion and beauty house and the Raglan-based model. “It’s an honour to be chosen, and I’m very grateful,” says a humble Woolston. Woolston, who imagined he would grow up to be a league player or pro skateboarder, made his modelling debut around 14 years ago. “I got approached a couple of times when I was working in my local surf shop and never really thought much about it,” he says. It wasn’t until he grew tired of his job that Woolston decided to take the idea seriously. “I asked a local model in my town about it. She gave me the number of 62 Models, and I’ve been with them ever since.”

The model has come a long way since his first job for Workshop Denim; recently Woolston starred alongside Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss in a campaign for Spanish fashion label Mango. Woolston admits he was a little starstruck by Moss at first. “She was very down-to-earth and a true professional. She made it very easy; we had a good chat and shared a couple of beers. She’s definitely cool!” As for the YSL advertising campaign, Woolston says the shoot was action-packed. “It was awesome shooting in beautiful Chile, the production was huge so there was a lot going on.” You can take the boy out of New Zealand but you can’t take New Zealand out of the boy: Woolston – who takes the wheel of a vintage Mercedes in the advertisement – says, “Thrashing the Mercedes was the best.” Currently Woolston spends a fortnight every few months working overseas in the fashion capitals of the world. When he’s home, Woolston misses the different cultures, scenery and food, “All the things you can’t experience unless you’re in that country.” But home is really where Woolston’s heart is. “I miss my friends and family and the laid-back pace of life. The first thing I do when I get home is give my darling daughters big kisses and cuddles!”


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