The name Amadou Wane may not ring any bells; nevertheless, I’m pretty sure his face looks familiar to true fashion heads worldwide—especially Balenciaga lovers.
The 26-year-old burgeoning model made his debut strut down the catwalk in grandiose manner as he closed the Demna Gvasalia-helmed brand’s Autumn/winter 2017 menswear show, sporting an oversized scarf inspired by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign logo. Since then, Amadou has furthered his working relationship with the #1 ranked luxury line by appearing in various campaigns, and even graced the runway once more for its Spring/summer 2018 men’s collection.
Recently, my dear friend Elisabeth Hadida tagged the Senegalese model under one of my Instagram posts. Since Elisabeth knew Amadou personally—after all, she is Balenciaga’s Europe senior buying manager—I decided to connect with him as well. I appreciated Wane’s levelheaded demeanor despite his speedy success in the modeling world so I decided to extend our dialogue on my #FrendyOriginals platform. This way, we’ll all be able to gain more insight into the life of the Balenciaga poster boy.
Check out our conversation below:
FRENDY: What’s going on Amadou? I appreciate you for taking the time to speak with me. Is this your very first interview?
AMADOU: Thank you for the opportunity! Yes, this is my very first interview and I’m extremely grateful for it—I hope it will not be my last * Laughs *.
FRENDY: I’m sure it’s not going to be your last * Laughs *. How do you feel knowing that the luxury brand you’ve been consistently working with is #1 in the world?
AMADOU: It’s an honor to work with the cream of the crop in the fashion world. At first, I did not realize how big the brand was. It’s crazy to see the mass hysteria that Balenciaga has caused.
FRENDY: Well, now you know! Were you always interested in modeling since your days back home in Dakar?
AMADOU: Honestly, I was a fashion addict, and knew all about the latest trends. But I never thought of working in the business as a model. Much love to my fellow model friend Lucas, Eva Goedel (the founder of my modeling agency Tomorrow Is Another Day), and everyone else on the team who propelled my modeling career.
FRENDY: At what age did you move from your home country to France? And Why?
AMADOU: I left Senegal for France at the age of 22 to continue my studies. I spent two years in Metz before moving to Paris.
FRENDY: How was life growing up in Senegal?
AMADOU: Life over there is totally different from France * Laughs *. You know, Senegal is known as “The Land of Teranga,” meaning it is the country of hospitality, filled with a real sense of human connection. But beyond the social aspect, the weather in Senegal is amazing!
FRENDY: You left Senegal in order to continue your studies. Which school did you attend there? What exactly were you studying?
AMADOU: After receiving my Bachelors, I attended the Polytechnic School of Dakar, where I obtained a degree in Telecommunications. Then, I got a degree in Telecommunications at The University of Lorraine. I now have a Masters in Engineering in System and Network Engineering from Institut-F2I in Paris.
FRENDY: Wow, that’s spectacular. You must have been hitting the books hard! What set of events occurred that led you to become a model?
AMADOU: I was scouted on the streets of Paris! Lucas, who is a model and scout from TIAD (Tomorrow Is Another Day) modeling agency, spotted me while I was shopping. He informed me about the agency and at first I was not attentive. Not too long after our first encounter, he convinced me to do it.
FRENDY: Everything happens for a reason. How did Lucas convince you to finally join TIAD? What did he tell you?
AMADOU: He explained to me the role of the agency and the big names that they’ve worked with. Plus, he told me about the amount of money I would be earning * Laughs *.
FRENDY: * Laughs * I don’t blame you at all for rolling with them. It’s pretty incredible that your very first modeling gig was to close Balenciaga’s A/W 2017 runway show. Were you nervous?
AMADOU: To be honest, no—It’s not in my nature to be nervous. I was just extremely hot because I had a huge coat and the Bernie Sanders’ scarf on. The security guards had to open up a backdoor so I could breath before walking on the runway * Laughs *.
FRENDY: * Laughs *Yeah your outfit was pretty fire (pun intended). How did you prepare for your first walk?
AMADOU: The agency trained me to walk properly. Thank God for them! But also every model has a unique way of walking and that’s what makes the difference. It’s the stylist choice to change the model’s walk or not depending on the mood.
FRENDY: I saw that you also walked for Vetements’ A/W 2017 fashion show. Have you met Demna?
AMADOU: Yes, of course. It is Demna who validates our looks before walking. The craziest thing about it all is that he is the nicest guy! He takes the time to joke around and connect with us.
FRENDY: Elisabeth told me great things about him as well. What other brands have you modeled for?
AMADOU: Elisabeth! I love her * Laughs *. I also had the pleasure to work with Abasi Rosborough for LVMH prize, and I recently walked for Vivienne Westwood.
FRENDY: You've already worked with some of the best luxury brands in your short modeling career. Are you interested in doing anything else in the fashion field?
AMADOU: Compared to other models I have not done anything yet * Laughs *. But I’m very thankful for the opportunities thus far. In relation to the question, I would like to organize a high-level fashion week in Dakar. I’m doing my best to make this happen. There are tons of Senegalese models out there, so we might as well band together to do something amazing for our beloved country.
FRENDY: Is it safe to say that your dreams of becoming an engineer are out the window?
AMADOU: Nope. My number one priority is my education, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop modeling. I’m doing my best to do both. I won’t be able to model all of my life so it’s good to be skillful at other things.