Freshman Matt Hill has gone places on the fashion ticket.
After graduating high school at age 16, Hill, from Apex, took a nontraditional gap year.
Hill went to Asia to walk runways and pose in photo shoots.
That career took him from Taiwan to Thailand, to the Philippines and to Singapore. But it has most recently taken him to the September issue of the Philippines version of Cosmopolitan magazine, as “Hunk of the Month.”
“I was very fortunate to get this job for Cosmopolitan,” Hill said.
“The magazine is important both in the Philippines and in the U.S., so I am proud of myself.”
Hill’s interest in modeling started the summer after his freshman years of high school when he traveled to Taiwan with his family.
The landlord of the apartment where he and his family were staying set him up with the “We Models” modeling agency in Taiwan.
After he graduated, Hill moved to Taiwan by himself to begin his career. In Taiwan, he lived in a small apartment with several other models. He lived off of a weekly allowance of about $150, in addition to his paychecks.
He said that during a typical day, he would work out for three hours, drink three protein shakes and go to castings, and at night he would go out to social events to meet photographers and other models in the industry and make connections.
Although he does not plan on taking time off to model now, Matt said he wishes he could have modeled for more than one year.
“I’m glad my parents support my decision to model, but they also want me to get an education,” Hill said, adding that it is common for a model without a college education to either become a talent agent or an actor.
“Modeling makes a lot of money while it lasts, but you need a real job after the modeling career is over,” he added.
Until then, Hill said he has adapted his daily routine to fit into the schedule of a college student.
“I still go to the gym for one hour a day to stay in shape,” he said. “But I have not thought about extending my modeling career in the United States.”
Hill and his brother, Davin, a junior at UNC, live together now and are becoming closer after being apart for a year, he said.
And although some might assume Matt has a better sense of fashion, Davin said he disagrees.
“I definitely have better style,” he said, laughing. “We don’t actually shop together, but I would like to say that I influence his style choices.”
Matt Hill said he has not had trouble with ladies at UNC, but his modeling career is not the first thing he brings up in conversation.
“Although I am really proud of everything I did, I don’t usually mention I’m a model until I absolutely have to,” Hill said.
“The conversation begins when they ask me why I graduated early, and then I drop the model bomb.”
Aside from the modeling, Hill said he learned a lot about himself and the world and that his year abroad was the best year of his life.
“My favorite thing about modeling abroad was traveling to different countries and experiencing other cultures,” Hill said.
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