“I AM A UNICORN” – Shaun Ross im Interview

Dieser Artikel erschien erstmals in unserer “Underground-Issue”

Shaun D. Ross: Ein Mann, der polarisiert, der auffällt. Er modelte für Alexander McQueen oder Givenchy, war in Zeitschriften wie der British GQ, der Italian Vogue, dem i-D oder dem Paper Magazine zu sehen, spielte in Beyoncés Musikvideo zu „Pretty Hurts“ oder Lana del Reys „Tropico“ – man kennt ihn.

Shaun ist eines der ersten männlichen Supermodels mit Albinismus. Er entspricht vielleicht nicht dem gängigen Schönheitsideal, ist kein Standard-Model, aber dennoch oder wahrscheinlich gerade deshalb enorm erfolgreich. So verwundert es auch nicht, dass er Teil des im Oktober erschienen AXE Magazins ist. Der Inhalt: zeitgemäße Männlichkeit in all ihren Facetten, beleuchtet von Männern und Frauen mit Persönlichkeit. Auch Shauns Portrait ist ein Beispiel, wie man mit einem individuellen Look abseits typischer Schönheitsideale im Modebusiness Karriere macht. Wir hatten zum Launchevent des AXE Magazins in Berlin die Gelegenheit, mit Shaun über das Anders-Sein, den Underground und Superhelden zu sprechen.


VANGARDIST: Was becoming a model always your dream?
Shaun D. Ross: Absolutely not. I wanted to be a dancer. I used to dance, I used to take classes. I wanted to be a background dancer really, really bad when I was younger.

V: You suffered from bullying and discrimination at school. How did you build up your self-confidence?
Shaun: Going through life and just telling myself everyday that it will be fine. And I think that I’m having a good support system. Having your family to tell you that you are just as great as anybody else – that’s the way to get through anything like that.

V: What’s your greatest strength?
Shaun: My confidence. It kind of shocks people sometimes. I think when I speak, I speak up and out – you know that I’m here.

V: It shocks?
Shaun: Yeah, it does. When you look different, you wonder “Will people even talk to me?”, “Would they look me straight in the eyes?” No, they would not. They´d be shy, they´d probably turn away. I don’t think like that. I got no time for that.


V: If you could chose, what would be your favourite role to play?
Shaun: This is actually kind of crazy. I would want to play a superkid, a superhero, not a corny one, but … Have you seen the movie Hancock? I love that movie. It’s actually a beautiful message when you really think about it. I would say if I had a super power in a movie it would be that whatever way I feel, the world starts feeling that way too. So if I cry, the world cries. Kinda dope, right?

V: Let’s talk about #inmyskiniwin – what is it about?
Shaun: #inmyskiniwin is a self-encouragement-movement that is about loving yourself, loving what you see everyday, loving what you see in the mirror and not conforming to anybody. It’s a movement that I started. I was on a trip to Miami and this lady sent me a picture of her daughter, she had albinism, she was so cool. It’s weird, but to me she looked like a child that didn’t even know what she looks like. She’s just happy and she was just like killing it. I was like: You know what? I wanna post a picture of her and I just came up with this hashtag #inmyskiniwin as the plane was taking off.

V: Where do you wanna take it?
Shaun: I don’t really know, but I do know that I want it to be something that is very natural. I started posting pictures of people with albinism and then it went from people with albinism to just everyone – some girls who post a picture of themselves and their hair and they’re just like „I’m feeling good today!“ like: #inmyskiniwin, like „Can’t touch this!“.


V: Do you think underground arts should be more popular? Or is it important that they are not?
Shaun: It’s important that they are not popular. That’s the whole purpose of being underground. One of my favourite artists is SIA. I love SIA, but I feel like her music lately is becoming shitty because she’s so present to the public. When you listen to SIA back in the days, you just felt that emotion, when she was with Zero 7. And I feel like that happens with everyone when you start selling to the world. The world wants so much of you that it takes you and it compresses you all the way down.

V: Who is your favourite underground artist?
Shaun: My favourite underground artist would have to be … the underground itself. There are people that everybody knows, that are still underground … It’s weird. I mean: Björk is not underground, but she is still underground. But I think my favourite underground artist is IAMWHOIAMWHOAMI – she’s everything!

V: Do you see yourself as an outsider in fashion business? Are you underground?
Shaun: Absolutely! And I try to keep it like that a little bit.

V: What’s magical about you?
Shaun: I’m a Unicorn!

Text: Ole Siebrecht