Meet Will Wadhams, a 20-year-old Portland, Oregon transplant living in NYC and a fresh face on the Wilhelmina modeling board. We caught up with the budding model, who’s already landed himself a Topshop campaign, on growing up in a family of creatives—his mom was a mod and his dad was a singer in Animotion—his passions, and what it’s like to be the new kid on the modeling scene these days.
Will, when did you officially make a splash in the modeling world?
I’d say around a year ago, in June. It was my first Fashion Week. I walked for J.W. Anderson, No.21, and a few other brands.
Why did you want to model in the first place?
It interested me because my mom was a model in the late 70s and 80s. I saw a lot of pictures of her when I was a child. It was cool seeing my mom in Europe and Italy and other places.
What was the transition from Portland to NYC like?
It was a pretty huge transition for me because Portland, Oregon is very laid back and there’s a lot of nature, which is kind of the opposite of New York. It’s pretty fast here. That was something that I wasn’t prepared for at the time, [Laughs] but I’m used to it now.
And now you’re walking red carpets.
Yeah, that [the red carpet at the Doctor Strange movie premiere] was fun. It’s a lot like walking a show, but it’s slower. You take one step, stop. Take one step, stop.
What’s it like being a newer model in the industry nowadays?
It’s kind of odd. It’s like doing freelance work, just like in many other different fields…going to castings, waiting to see what goes on and for responses all the time.
What was your reaction when you heard you were the face of Topshop?
I thought it was pretty amazing because I got to work with a lot of great, creative people on the set like Tyrone Lebon, who I knew about before. And it was pretty amazing to have my friends send me pictures of me on a wall from back home and other cities like London.
What brands are on your wish-list?
I’d love to work with J.W. Anderson again, Loewe, Prada and Gucci. Those are the top for me.
Between your mom being a model and your dad being in the band Animotion, was going into a creative field always in the cards for you?
Yeah, definitely. Ever since I was growing up I’ve always been into music and visual arts. My dad is a singer and a guitarist—I play drums and was in a jazz band for a little bit.
What’s your favorite song from your dad’s band?
“Let Him Go” is a pretty good song, and the [music] video was pretty cool, too.
What does he think of your modeling career?
I guess he thinks it’s cool, and for him to see me in magazines and stuff, I think that’s pretty exciting.
If you weren’t modeling, what could you see yourself doing?
Definitely working in a studio and working with a gallery on pieces of art, whether it be painting or sculptures or even playing drums for recording.
What are some of your favorite things to do in New York?
Going to gallery openings, parties, walking on the High Line, and meeting people. That’s the main one, and that happens, like, every day. There are so many people in New York!