MEET: Daniel Garofali
words Svetlomir Tsvetanov
photography Joseph Sinclair
Stark is very interested to get some insights in your personal and professional life for our viewers and readers. Who is Daniel for the Public and who is he for friends and family?
It’s a common occurrence that when someone meets me after seeing a lot of my work or following me on social, they are surprised by my vibe and personality. People make up their own minds about what you are like from the imagery they see or like on your Instagram. I guess it’s similar to an actor being continually mistaken for being the superhero for example. I’m basically playing a character too, but unfortunately, not one that is saving the world.
We’ve heard from a little bird that you also have a Bachelor degree. What is it like to be a ‘smart’ model? Are there any contradictions that you are still fighting with or is this something that does not bother you?
I’m not sure that I am smarter than anyone else for any reason but there is definitely a stigma of male models not being that bright. I mean, they did make a movie about it. There is nothing wrong with having a laugh at this industry.
What do you think is the difference between being a model in 2016 and back in 2000? Are there any particular tendencies that occur in the male fashion an modelling industries that you have noticed? If so, what are pluses and minuses of the current Male model image?
Back in the 90’s the internet changed the industry greatly but the current social media economy has taken it to another level. It has changed everything…and everyone. Everyone is a [insert occupation here] / model. With everything, there is a good and a bad.
Having said that already and being one yourself, what do you think is the most difficult obstacle that a Freelance Male model meets on their path to become recognised and finding work?
It comes down to the security or lack of. I’ve always remembered being told that there is a 95% chance that you won't book the gig. It’s competitive and more so than ever. You might get a great booking with a large paycheck, but people forget that sometimes you have to live off that check for the next few weeks when you are not booking gigs.
What would you advice all these young gentlemen that are seeking to get involved in Modelling?
Have a backup plan.
While preparing some of the questions, we have come across your stylish collection of T-shirts, Tank tops and other clothing (www.garofali.com). Where did that idea come from and are you planning to expand it?
I actually started with a Charity Calendar a long time ago. Then someone actually made a digital image of a T-Shirt with one of my images on it. I posted it and then people started asking me where they could buy it. They wanted T-Shirts with my images on it. So I made them. It started as a one-off thing but grew into something more. I’m about to drop a new capsule of GAROFALI Underwear that I have been working on for the last year or so.
Take a breath now! We talked about your Modelling career a bit and the difficulties around it, but we did not talk about what you most enjoy while doing it?
So far, it has been an amazing. I love my job and the opportunities it has presented. I’ve travelled the world, relocated from Australia to America, met great people, and created cool images. I, 100%, cannot complain.
When you are not buried with work. What do you tend to do with your free time?
I mean, I'm always working. I'm always creating, developing and manufacturing for my apparel line, GAROFALI. There is so much satisfaction in creating something in your mind and then seeing it worn in someone’s selfie on the other side of the world.
Here is a tough one. Plain yogurt with berries or salad?
Salad. I’m vegan so I can’t do dairy.
If you haven’t gone into Modelling, what else could you see yourself doing? What got you in this career at first place?
Growing up, I attended a performing arts school similar to that of Fame where we would train in all forms of arts from acting to dance. When modelling became an option, I was already touring in shows and performing around the world. If I weren’t on set now I would be still on stage.
I was scouted in my hometown back in Sydney, Australia while performing onstage. After the show, the model scouts were waiting for me at the stage door. From then, it all happened really quickly. I booked my first modelling shoot that week and it took on a life of its own.
How does one of your days normally go?
If I’m not on set shooting I’m usually on my computer dealing with everything that goes into running an online store and manufacturing apparel. Or on a plane flying to the next place.
We have noticed your many and well-developed skills. Is there something you can do, but you are yet to share with the world? What would that be?
Right now I’m just trying to focus on my modelling and my apparel line. I feel like if you are doing too many things at the same time, one or two things suffer. But who knows what happens in the future.
You probably get asked this very often, but perhaps there is a good reason for it. How is it to be straight and a gay rights activist at the same time? Tell us a story when this has caused an awkward moment.
As mentioned before, I attended a Performing Arts School, so early on in my childhood, I was in an environment that encouraged kids to be their true self with no discrimination so for me, I was not being an advocate, I was simply being a friend and a classmate. I am still friends with many of whom I went to school with and some are now some of Australia's most recognised Drag Performers. Others are in Finance. I understand that my unsheltered upbringing was the foundation of my acceptance and humanity towards many issues. Some people in the world do not have this privilege and so it is my intention to use my platform to support, educate and send a positive message to all following what I do.
We at Stark are more than certain that we will see you even more often than we do at the moment. What does the future hold at the moment for you?
To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I don’t really know what I’m doing next week let alone in the future.