Limerick model James sets his sights on the catwalks of the world

Aine Fitzgerald


Aine Fitzgerald

A LIMERICK male model is hoping to take the fashion world by storm after being signed to a top international agency.

A LIMERICK male model is hoping to take the fashion world by storm after being signed to a top international agency.

James O’Callaghan from the Island Road in the city is to fly out to Tokyo in September to begin working for the Figaro international model management agency based in Kuala Lumpur.

The 22-year-old caught the eye of model scouts when he applied to the agency in May.

“They think I will be right for the Asian market. They seem to like the European look,” said James who has been modelling in Dublin and Paris in recent years.

He became aware of the agency while on a shoot for Social and Personal magazine in Hyde Park in London.

“The stylist who did the shoot recommended this agency to me and said I should give them a try, that I would be perfect for them. Asia is a new market for modelling. I thought I would give it a try – if I didn’t get it, I didn’t get it,” he explained.

The Limerick city man who has a twin brother, Ian – who has also modelled in the past – submitted his portfolio along with a video and Polaroids to the agency and within four days he received the response he had been hoping for.

Figaro was the first international agency James applied to.

“There was a four-day wait and then I got a phonecall and they sent me on my contract and informed me about what lies ahead. They had to get me a work permit for Asia because I will be living there for four months. All my travel and accommodation is paid for. Then I move on again – it could be New York next. I will be moving around, depending on the fashion seasons,” he explained.

In 2010, the 6ft 1in model fronted an on-line fashion campaign for Heatons department store.

Since then he had done numerous fashion shows in Dublin and London. He spent last summer living in Paris – where he drew inspiration for his own look. “I think it is nice to dress well and not to always wear tracksuits. I like the looks in London and Paris - they have a really good fashion sense – a city look.”

So how does he maintain his model looks? His skin, he says, is naturally good and he keeps himself trim by playing sport.

“I play soccer and rugby with my friends at least once a week so that’s how I keep fit. I don’t really drink or smoke.”

During his free time, James can be found at home in Limerick with his parents Sean and Agnes and siblings Ian, John, Jason, Lindsey and Sinead.

Since 2000 Figaro international model management has become a reliable partner of the biggest model agencies in the world and supplies them with new faces and professional models from Russia, Ukraine and other European and Asian countries. Figaro also has a close partnership with the major production houses and casting and advertising agencies of Asia which enable the models of Figaro to get direct bookings for major advertising campaigns.

Figaro models have appeared on magazine covers including ELLE, Dazed and Confused and have fronted advertising campaigns for clients including Magnum ice-cream.