Getting to Know… Julian Haig


Carol Bowditch speaks with Julian Haig, a Melbourne-based surf-babe with an interest in the ukulele, a keen-arm for lawn bowls and a soft-spot for the good ol’ Australian Dunlop Volley.

How did you get into modelling?
I got into modelling by entering the Vivien’s Model Search at Perth Fashion Week while I was studying over there a few years ago. I had some friends tell me I should go in it and I told them I didn’t want to, even though I secretly did want to. I wasn’t expecting much but they called my name out first and I found myself walking in a show in front of hundreds of people. I signed with Vivien’s a few weeks later.

What do you like about working in the fashion industry?
I like working in the fashion industry because it has pushed me out of my comfort zone many times. It allows me to be expressive and creative. Instead of feeling like an idiot in front of the camera, I’ve learnt to relax and go for it and most importantly, have fun. A photographer said to me not long ago, “the weirder it feels for you, the better it’s gonna look,” because he wanted interesting shapes and movement. If he had have said that to me when I first started I wouldn’t have been able to do much. But when I’m given that sort of license now I go for it. Sometimes you forget there is a bunch of people watching and there’s a camera there. When you first start you don’t realise this but everybody at the shoot is there to get the same job done and they’re usually just as into it, if not more so.

Julian-Haig-portfolio-82What has been your favourite shoot so far? Why?
There’s been a few lucky ones. Most amazing shoot I did, I got flown from Hamburg to Spain for an editorial that we shot in the desert. There was a mix of Louis Vuitton clothing and a guy drifting a car behind me. Penelope Cruz stayed at the same hotel as me, but unfortunately the week before.

My favourite shoot I did was a campaign for Tombolini which is an Italian suit designer in Italy. It was my most important job up until that time. Two days on location in a coastal town in Marche, Italy, at a beautiful, huge villa overlooking the sea. There was probably more pressure to do a good job on that job then ever before but I focused and listened. There was lots of direction, like “think about royalty and blue bloods”. When you change your inner imagery it changes your posture and your energy and your face. They didn’t want it to look cool or serious but more elegant. The director for the shoot said they’ve never had someone actually take direction before and they asked me back to do the next season. It was one of the first times I felt like was acting at a shoot, another reason why it was a favourite.

What do you do aside from modelling?
I enjoy surfing and bodyboarding on the Mornington Peninsula. Working in cafés, reading in cafés, talking nonsense in cafés and drinking coffee. I have a bit of a sweet tooth so no bookings just after Easter. Playing pretty much any sport. Playing music and making up tunes on ukelele. And I’m just about to start doing acting classes.

What have been your favourite bands of 2014?
I’m yet to really get into any particular band this year like my obsession with Tame Impala last year and The Black Keys the year before but some great tunes I’ve heard so far are: Get Up by The Young Fathers, You’re Not The One by Sky Ferreira, The Breach by Dustin Tebutt. After watching the half time at the Super Bowl I definitely have a man crush on Bruno Mars and I think it’s about time that we just admit that he’s the man.

Did you ever go through any embarrassing fashion phases growing up? Describe your current style.
Yes I definitely had embarrassing fashion phases when I was younger. But I think it either stemmed from my beachy laziness having grown up on the Mornington Peninsula or playing too much tennis and not changing out of my gear. Dunlop Volleys are still cool though.

Julian-Haig-Melbourne-portfolio-30My style now is mostly influenced by working in the fashion industry and seeing what looks good. You get into a routine of having to look decent for castings. The hair’s a lot tidier now than the mop I had growing up. If I could, I would completely update my wardrobe, but I make what I have work. Lots of plain coloured tees, shirts and jumpers and jeans and chinos. The odd pattern. I think your better off with lots of interesting plain things than stand out pieces that don’t go with anything.

Whats your favourite item of clothing? Why?
My favourite item of clothing is probably my crew neck t-shirts. I realised I had to put that because I have about ten in different colours from General Pants. They just fit you know?

Do you have a secret talent?
I don’t think I have any secret talents because I’m a sharer and most talents I have I’ve probably shown people, but I guess an unexpected one is lawn bowls. I started playing bowls with a bunch of legends in Perth. Our team is the Grasscutters. I somehow won the club novice championships at our club. The winners of the club novice go on to play against all the other winners from the state and I somehow won that too, so I’m the 2010 Western Australian State Novice Champion of 2010. I think it was a bit of a fluke. Won $400. Not a bad day’s work.

Interview by Carol Bowditch. Check Julian’s portfolio at Viviens Model Management