Julius Johnson knows about the modeling industry, the 39 year old, Louisana native,has been modeling for most of his life. He became interested in modeling at a very young age and began to pursue this career field at the age of 13 years old,by attending various modeling training schools. His modeling style earned him the title "The first male cat walker." Johnson is also known in the modeling industry as "The king of all walking and posing." 16 years ago, Johnson began preparations to open his own modeling school called "Walk Model," which is scheduled to launch this summer.Recently,I had the chance to speak with Johnson about his career and his future plans.
Q:How long have you been modeling and what made you choose modeling as your career?
Julius: I have always wanted to be a model for as long as I can remember. I felt and I was told that I had the look to be a professional model. I also felt that I could bring something different to the modeling industry. So, at the age of 13 years old,I began to attend various modeling and training schools. But, as the years went by, I became unsatisfied with the schools and decided to pursue other avenues of professional modeling and other jobs to help my career. I began to work for various designers & modeling agencies.I got out of modeling and began to work various management and hospital jobs for several more years to make ends meet, because I got tired of the runaround of the LA modeling industry. I worked those jobs until I decided to start my own company "Walk Model."
Q: Describe your first professional modeling show?
Julius: It was when I attended Howard University in Washington DC. I was at ease because I had years of experience.The show went well, like I knew it would.
Q: You were a model for Ebony Magazine Fashion Fair,Correct?
Julius:I came in as second runner up in the male modeling competition. During my travels to Chicago for the competition,I got to meet Eunice Johnson,who was the wife of Ebony Magazine's publisher, the late John H. Johnson,no relation. She was the head of the Fashion Fair,at that time. When she saw the pictures of me in the suit, she simply told me 'Julius,you already look like somebody.' I didn't know what she meant by that statement at the time,but now I know.She was telling me that I look like I could become more than just a regular male model,I could actually own my own modeling and walking company. I thank her for that critique,because she made me think bigger than just being a model, I wanted to be somebody.
Q: Describe the beginning of your "Walk Model" organization?
Julius: I started working with a few designers in Los Angeles,After which I started critiquing my walking skills and making them better. I began doing research for my own company "Walk Model" at the Los Angeles Public Library, where I researched in 2000 and 2005. I came up with various walking techniques made want to start my own business of walking like a model. I also did research in the history of male modeling and business copyrights. I have been modeling for years and I have been called ''the king of all runway walking and posing," I did my research and found that no one on record officially had the title;So I decided to copyright the title. When you consider yourself the king,that's tops and nothing is higher than the king. I went through a lot of personal struggles as well trying to get the company off the ground,but I held on & kept my faith. After that,everything started coming into place. Also I began to do research on corporate credit.
Q: What's the difference between your "Walk Model" business and other modeling agencies and schools?
Julius: First our slogan,which is "walk like a model or be one," not many modeling schools can guarantee that, but I can. I have been in the modeling industry for years and I know what the designers are looking for. Also with this business, you don't need to worry about being ripped off like you have to with some of the others, because I don't make empty promises like the rest. Another thing is, this company is for everyone of all ethnicities. I won't turn you away based on your color. You come to my training center and you are taught by a modeling professional,not a scam artist that will make you waist your time and money. Also,my training center is for 6 years old and up, the minor models must be accompanied by their legal guardian at all times. Another thing is I will tell you straight up,if you have it or not,I won't waist your money.We will also have fashion shows and fashion designers come to the training centers as well. This training academy specializes in walking. They won't consider themselves a real model until they come through "Walk Model"
Q:When are the "Walk Model" training centers scheduled to open and what are the locations?
I plan on opening three locations the summer of 2013. We will open our first location in Beverly Hills,California,near Camden Drive. I will also have a location in Manhattan,New York outside of Time Square. "Walk Model" will also be in Dallas,Texas. You can go to my website www.walkmodel.biz, for more information. "Walk Model," stands for quality and I can wholeheartedly guarantee that.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who would like to be a model or start their own business?
Julius: If you're trying to be a model,don't fall for the scam of using your money to pay for pictures. If a modeling agency wants you,they will pay for your.
pictures. Stick with the people who really support you. If you want to start your own business,make sure your paperwork is in order.Take your time,don't be in a rush.Because if you rush,you will miss somethings that are vital. I have had my company in development for years,because I wanted to make sure that things were right.I didn't want to rush it out and fail. If I had to do this all over again,I wouldn't hesitate,because this journey has been gold.