NOT JUST A MODEL, FELIX GESNOUIN IS AN ARTIST AND AN ENTREPRENEUR IN HIS OWN RIGHT. HIS INSTAGRAM IS FULL OF NOT JUST HIS WORK IN FASHION BUT HIS VISION OF ART AND THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT. IN 2014, HE LAUNCHED HIS T-SHIRT BRAND CARNE BOLLENTE WHICH ISN’T JUST ANOTHER BASIC T-SHIRT BRAND. IT’S A CONCEPT THAT IS ABOUT BRINGING TOGETHER A SEXUAL REVOLUTION AND MESSAGE.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY KRISTIINA WILSON
FASHION NELLY GONCALVES
WORDS FELIX GESNOUIN
“The idea of rebellion is something that is essential to my way of life. It’s in a sense for me the only way to exist as an individual. Especially in our society today which is more and more pushed to a standardized existence. If you look on social media, in your daily shopping or anywhere you set your eyes in the metro you are exposed to signs that push you to be part of a group, of a mentality, of a #squad, without ever truly questioning your inner-self. It’s really all about building an image that you can relate to without really having to work on. Questioning your relationship to all the publicity or the branding that you are exposed to is necessary, and if you really wish to live the life you want to live without being imposed any of these trends, then you have to resist them. This is for me the deep sense of rebellion. We are living in a world which is dominated by invisible rules on how to present yourself, on how to be politically correct and all.
Sometimes though it’s essential to think outside the box and take a step back on our lifestyle. Portugal for example has had an extremely revolutionary policy when it comes to treating addiction by decriminalizing all first and second class drugs, this in a sense is an extreme position compared to a lot of countries. It has proved today to be one of the most efficient solution to drug consumption. There are many examples of amazing people which are what they are today because they crossed the line of what is commonly acceptable. I understand nonetheless the irony that, being a model and working for an industry in which you sell yourself for someone else’s image, it’s a bit of a joke to say that you want to be yourself.
I was really asking if I had the right to break the codes and be my real self. When you start this job at a young age you don’t really have the will power to express yourself freely on the job, and it takes a bit of courage to stop pretending and really be the person you want to be. I started posting a lot of collages on my Instagram, they were kind of weird selfies, I got a bit of criticism from some people telling me it was too weird, that it wasn’t good for my career in the modeling business, but at the end of the day I had some wonderful response to o, and I know that there isn’t a lot of other models out there risking themselves into this, most are sticking to the green juice and workout routine.
I’m now trying to continue acting in a rebellious way through my t-shirt brand which I launched with 3 of my friends called Carne Bollente. We started the project three years ago, on an alcohol infused night, thinking it would be a great idea to embroider sex-scenes on a t-shirt. One thing lead to the other and this apparently turned into a real company! We’ve tried to keep our childish roots by keeping to what we like, following our heart’s and not following the common advertising rules of the industry. The idea is that if we aren’t having fun while making this project than it’s really no point doing it. It’s really the way I think the millennials tend to think, we don’t really want to respect the rules established by our parents, and we really like to keep things viral. We don’t want to work on something that isn’t aligned with our ideology. I really hope that in the future Carne continues to go on in that way, we have a new collection coming out in July, and we have a few really cool collaborations underway today.
Our plan is to explore all the different aspect of sex, from the softest stuff to the hardest, heterosexual, homosexual, trans and orgies, we really want to look around all these themes, pushing it deeper really.”