After Hurricane Irma, Romeo moved from Sint Maarten to Dordrecht, where he was scouted by more than one modeling agency Romeo Gonzalez moved in June 2018, a year after Hurricane Irma, from Sint Maarten to Dordrecht. He went to live with his aunt and started his college education in Applied Mathematics. When he was scouted on the street several times by modeling agencies, he got a new passion; become a model.
“I felt at home in the Netherlands from day one. After the hurricane, Sint Maarten was destroyed and it no longer felt like my place. We had no water, no electricity and tourism was flat. I’d never seen Sint Maarten like that. We had prepared ourselves for a severe storm, because every year a hurricane rages across the country. But the government did not show that it was a very intense hurricane. On the day itself I just went to work. Fortunately my family did not suffer much damage, but it was a reason for me to come to the Netherlands for a study. ”
“The chance to become a model arose by chance. At first I had a bunch of hair that had not been cut for two years. I wanted it to be a little bit shorter so that I looked good when I started my education. So I went to a barber. He just kept cutting and cutting and I was shocked when I saw the end result. At first I didn’t want to pay him, I was disappointed that my hair was so short. But after a while I started to get used to it and I noticed that it looked much better. When I was scouted on the street for the first time in November 2018, I got a huge boost in my confidence. ”
Uncertainty and self-confidence
“In the beginning I doubted myself. I am 1 meter 93, slightly longer than the modeling industry wants. In addition, I am uncertain about my crooked teeth, I have never had braces. That’s why I didn’t dare to be in the picture with a big smile. But several people told me that my teeth distinguish me from other people. That was pretty strange in the beginning. I didn’t stand out on Sint Maarten, the market is very different and you only have good chances if you know the right people. In the Netherlands you also have opportunities without knowing those people. That was clear when I was scouted on the street for the second time. A few months later I participated in a fashion show during the Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam! ”
“The atmosphere during the Fashion Week was very good and I had good contacts with it. One of the girls with whom I ran the show has become a good friend. She continued to encourage me not to give up modeling. That is why I went to the office of Elite Model, one of the largest modeling agencies in the Netherlands. I stood in front of the door for an hour, walked back and forth and wondered if I dared. Then I knocked on the door and offered myself as a model. Weird, if I change it that way. But as a result, I was allowed to participate in the Elite Model Look 2019 competition, where I entered the final. I didn’t win, but they then invited me to a photoshoot. I am curious how it will continue from here. ”
Stylist, designer or physiotherapist?
“I still want to get my college degree, because whether I’m going to make money with modeling is questionable. I think it would be crazy to ever work with Burberry or Scotch & Soda. I also like to buy my clothes there. Since I live in the Netherlands I have discovered my own style. I want to wear things that are slightly different, such as the purple shoes that I now wear. If you don’t succeed in becoming a model, it’s a dream to become a stylist or designer. And otherwise I will continue my education. Because I still have to pass my propaedeutic year. ”