Candid talks to identical twin Australian models, Emm and Llew, who feature in the new print issue, The Dream Issue.
We sort of have a thing for twins. Remember when we put British twin actors, Matthew and Jeffrey Postlethwaite on our front cover a few print issues ago?
In our current issue, The Dream Issue, Emm and Llew feature in Cerulean Illusion, an editorial shot by fashion photographer David Reiss, who says, “It was a very surreal and beautiful experience working with Emm and Llew. It was not so much that they are identical in appearance but the true mental and physical connection they had was a wonder. And their understanding of a presence in front of camera separately and together added strength and intimacy to the story.”
We sat down with the brothers to find out how they got into modelling, if they’ve ever done anything cheeky (as twins) and what’s in store for 2018.
How long have you been modelling?
We started modelling at 19 have been doing it for just over two years now.
How did you get in to it?
Emm and Llew: Our modelling career started while holidaying in Thailand and being followed by a strange man. We were on private property and not really meant to be there so thought he was coming to shout at us. No matter how fast we walked he kept following, so eventually we stopped and, after learning he was a photographer from LA and signing a contract neither of us read, ended up doing what can only be described as a rather ‘intimate’ shoot on a depressingly crowded Thai beach. He turned out to be a great bloke and encouraged us to sign with an agency in Australia, which we did four months later, having forgotten modelling existed while working on a sheep and cattle station in Central Australia – a place not known for its love of fashion.
Did one of you get signed first, then the other? Or did you both get signed together?
Emm and Llew: We both got signed at the same time after finally meeting with Bridget from Finesse Models (our mother agent). We were really nervous about not being signed, but mum was there feeding us encouragement and outright lies about how handsome we were – as mothers tend to do, so luckily we risked it!
Where do you live?
Emm and Llew: We live on a little block of land in Adelaide, South Australia, with our dad. We have gained a reputation as being the worst farmers because we have a single merino sheep, a goat that is so old its horns have fallen off, and about eleven wild kangaroos that jump over the fence and visit us every evening.
What do you do when not modelling?
Emm: At the moment I am working as a garden landscaper to save up for my second trip to Ghana, West Africa, where I have started a clothing label that provides jobs to people freed from slavery and directly funds activists fighting to free children enslaved on the fishing boats of Lake Volta. *The clothes will then be sold back in Australia to bring new colour, energy and depth to the fairly monotone fashion scene here in Adelaide.
Llew: For work I also do garden landscaping. Unfortunately, I share a bank account with Emm, so while he travels I end up working to pay for it. Somehow I think I got the raw end of the deal, but he assured me it’s all part of being a twin and one day he will make me famous.
Do you do catwalk?
Emm and Llew: Yes! We prefer to call it ‘runway’ though, especially around our mates in an attempt to sound more masculine. Runways are probably the best part of modelling as the energy is great as everyone is excited and nervous. You get to meet new, interesting and eccentric people and there often is free food and drinks at the events.
What brands have you modelled for?
Emm: My favourite was SM Youth in Manila, I got flown there for a two day shoot which was exciting. It was also my biggest job without Llew and it’s not until you write it down that you realise how mean it sounds, but booking a job without your twin is a wonderful feeling indeed.
Llew: I enjoyed modelling for Kevin Murphy, mainly because the campaign was shot in Melbourne, so I got to visit my grandparents. Gran cooks all our meals and still washes and folds the dirty laundry each day – something dad refuses to do.
What are your favourite brands to wear?
Emm and Llew: Probably Zara and H&M because they’re reasonably stylish and still very affordable.
What would be your dream job?
Emm: Mine would definitely be a Versace campaign with Llew (and perhaps a female or two) where you end up having your photo on a massive billboard in Milan, ideally next to the Duomo!
Llew: I would love to do any big campaign with my brother particularly in Europe, like Milan or Paris.
How do your friends and family tell you apart?
Emm and Llew: They all seem to tell us apart quite easily. It helps one now has bleached hair while the other has natural. When we were younger it was hard; we can’t even tell who is who in photos sometimes! Mum used to say Llew looked like a gnome and Emm looked like an elf. Having no idea what either a gnome or an elf look like, we can neither confirm nor deny the analogy, but hopefully the reader may find this insightful.
What’s the cheekiest ‘twin thing’ you’ve ever done?
Emm: We’re usually pretty good, but this one time driving from Melbourne to Adelaide (around 700km) we decided to test just how far being a twin could go. I was tired having been driving for a while, so Llew decided to drive even though he was still on his learner’s permit and not legally allowed to drive without a qualified instructor. Soon after he started driving, we were pulled over by the police so in a desperate attempt to avoid a fine, Llew gave the policeman my license and became ‘Emm’ for the longest five minutes of our lives. I ended up doing most of the talking from the passenger seat as Llew was struggling to form words, but luckily after saying, “you seem a bit nervous mate”, the policeman left without Llew blowing his cover. We laughed about it afterwards but we were absolutely terrified of being caught at the time!
What’s the biggest difference between the two of you?
Emm: Personality. I am much more outgoing and do most of the talking. I have become so used to talking on behalf of Llew and saying ‘we’. Even when I’m on my own I often use it instead of ‘I’out of habit, which makes me sound a little childish at times.
Llew: I think the biggest difference is I have a girlfriend and he doesn’t have one. Perhaps it’s because he can’t get one, he certainly couldn’t keep one, but despite all that I think it illustrates that I’m the more sought-after twin.
Do you shoot together often?
Emm and Llew: Yes, the majority of our shoots are together. It’s quite easy shooting with your twin and you are so comfortable with one another and being in each other’s ‘personal space’. Also, being a twin is our ‘point of difference’ and separates us from the other, much-better-looking male models out there. A wise man once said: “without the other, you two actually look quite unremarkable”. That man was our father.
What’s on the agenda for 2018?
Emm: In terms of modelling, I will lay low for a few months while I focus on my clothing brand. Hopefully after three months in Africa, I will acquire a new persona and look that agencies and brands find marketable and be able to sneak a season in Milan and Germany this June and July. That is being quite optimistic, but walking in Milan remains my modelling dream.
Llew: I think I will continue garden landscaping (while I pray for my meagre amounts of Bitcoin to increase in value), but shall definitely keep my mind open for a career path that I may actually enjoy. My plans are to stay in Adelaide for the year, although I may move to Melbourne so my girlfriend can study acting. Hopefully I am able to continue modelling as it is so much fun and certainly beats digging holes and mixing concrete all day.
All photography by David Reiss, fashion by Sarah Birchley, grooming by Xeneb using Kevin Murphy and MAC Cosmetics, production by Su Fen Cheong, Photography Assistant: Craig Francis, models: Emm and Llew from Viviens Model Management. Shot on location in Melbourne
Get the new print issue (Issue 16) featuring Emm and Llew here.
See more Candid Magazine fashion editorials here.
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