Monday, April 18, 2016

meet the maverick model .. Brad Welling



It may sound trite to say that I “caught up” with anyone for lunch (at Maialino) but when someone is seemingly a moving target that’s exactly what happens. This man is a virtuoso or possibly akin to a gold medaled Olympian when it comes to time management as he juggles one full time profession, one part time profession and a very active private life so with that being said, yes the moving the target was pinned down to a date and a time to have a bite and a chat which resulted in this interview. It might be noted here that there is no facet of his life that is treated fractionally or in other words there is no either or; all aspects are treated with equal import.

art by Marc-Antoine Coulon..click image to enlarge
The man is in possession of matinee idol looks, a swoon worthy presence and the access to a skill set that includes a boundless reservoir of charm that could easily charm the white off of rice and that’s no exaggeration or hyperbole. This is no empty headed wannabe model but a man of distinguished credentials who has a personal mission/challenge that belies his education and profession. In certain circles Brad would be looked upon as an iconoclast or possibly a renaissance man.

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In some odd twist of fate, our paths crossed and since that time, he inspires, provokes, impresses and is an endless source of amazement to this seasoned fashionphile. Mr. W is just this rare bird who wants in on the business of fashion by choice as he really doesn’t have to be involved in this messy world. This is his personal mission, his quest and eventually it will be another success for this much accomplished gentleman.

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And so without any further blathering on from me, here is Brad W in his own words speaking about a topic of which he is intimately familiar with and can speak to without equivocation: Brad W.

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Jeffrey Felner: Can you speak to the dichotomy between your everyday professional life vs. your aspirational profession?
Brad W: In my professional life, I play many different roles--advocate, influencer, cajoler, ambassador, or diplomat depending upon the circumstances and need of the client.  Because of the types of people I routinely interact with almost daily – ambassadors, diplomats, corporate executives, government ministers—I personally always try to fly below the radar, in other words, never attracting unwanted scrutiny or attention to myself or the client.
Similarly, as a model, I am capable of playing many different roles and looks—business executive, husband, rascal, lover, sports figure or handsome father depending upon who the designer or product is at the time of the assignment.  However, in these roles I welcome as much media scrutiny and attention to my image that can possibly be brought to help sell the designer or product.

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JF: Where do you see Brad W in 5 years?
BW: Life is pretty good right now.  However, never wanting to become stagnant or complacent, I see myself continuing to plod along to achieve my goals just as I am doing now as a lawyer and model.  I would like though to be able to look back five years from now with satisfaction to the number of times I have appeared in some of the world’s greatest international fashion magazines.

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JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner, who would they be and why?
BW: Well, my dinner party would actually be an informal affair where I would cook several courses to last for a long evening of discourse and storytelling.  Without question, King Felipe VI of Spain is top of my list.  I sat down for a breakfast discussion with King Felipe late last year and, besides being impeccably dressed, I was so moved as he spoke passionately about the need to solve Spain’s chronically high youth unemployment rate.  I would next invite Henry Kissinger, whose commentary on China—a country I have visited more than any other country--remains timely and prescient.  Strong and intelligent women have always played a key role in my life and so I would want Mathilde Krim at my table.  I would love to listen to her stories about her struggles and lifelong commitment to advance human rights, gay rights, and medical research.  To liven up the conversation, I would invite Richard Branson whom I have never met, but his persona (and brand he represents) seems surely to liven up any dinner conversation.  Finally, I would invite a dear friend of mine at the Atlantic Council, Jessica Ashooh, who is one of the most beautiful and brilliant young women I have ever met.  She will probably become U.S. Secretary of State if not President of the United States one day.
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JF: If you could rewrite your life path what would you have changed and why or can you just speak to the path you are on?
BW: I would not change a thing!  I wake up each day saying “Today is a great day; what can I do to make my mark?”  I know that seems terribly trite, but it is true.  I am very optimistic and happy by nature.
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JF: What was the best advice you ever received and from whom and why?
BW: Shortly after I graduated from law school, my mother told me not to get distracted by momentary pleasures.  Keep working toward your goal and eventually you will be in a position to look back on your life without regrets.  So far, her advice has proven true.

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JF: Can you tell us what has been the best day of your life thus far and why as well as what do you think could be the best day of your life in the future?
BW: Without question, the best day in my entire life was February 18, 2012, the day I arrived at a rural hospital in the Midwest of the United States to see for the first time the infant girl I was to adopt as my own child.  The best day of my life in the future will be at her wedding when she marries a woman or man of her choice.

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P.S. BW can also be seen here... Bradw_Official on Instagram   and please excuse the intentional anonymity but in this world there are necessary precautions that need to be taken so thank you for your understanding.