interview by MAREK BARTEK

Model William Ernult has collaborated with numerous brands in his career, and not only in modeling, but also as a social media star after his TikTok gained such success and recognition. Through this, he glimpsed the possibility of achieving his ultimate childhood dream, to become a singer, an artist, to express himself through music. 

You started your career as a model at a young age and have worked with prestigious brands. How has your journey evolved over the years? 
It’s true that I started very young. Initially, it wasn’t easy. I had to go through hundreds of castings before I started getting my first jobs. I had to find agencies around the world to work regularly with and make a living. Over the years, as more brands started to trust me, I got more work. Having increasing visibility also helped a lot. It allowed me to work even more and today, I would say that I am quite stable.

jacket, top and trousers DRIES VAN NOTEN
necklace, ear cuff and rings PERSTA PARIS

What inspired you to tap into photography and social media as well?
At first, I was passionate about landscape photos I saw on social media. Photographers like Jack Harding and Karl Shakur greatly inspired me. I wanted to blend the beauty of fashion with that of nature. Then I discovered analogue photography and the emotions shot on film made me fall in love with photography even more. 

With over 1.7 million followers on TikTok, how do you maintain a connection with your audience, and what kind of content resonates the most with them?
I gained all these followers very quickly and even today, I still find it hard to believe. I think the most important thing on social networks is to do what I am passionate about, stay authentic and true to myself while being consistent. I believe that is the main secret of social media. 

Managing a successful modeling career with a significant social media presence can be challenging. How do you balance these two aspects of your professional life?
Indeed, it’s a daily challenge. I treat these as two separate professions. I think one needs to be passionate to do both jobs simultaneously. I organize myself to do my shoots for my networks and make myself as available as possible for modeling jobs. I’m lucky to have agents worldwide, who manage both my modeling and social media careers well. 

coat and jersey AMI PARIS
necklace and bracelet MICHELSON MEN

You’ve collaborated with quite a few renowned brands, doing both modeling and social media content creation. How do you choose the brands you collaborate with? What do you look for in a partnership?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work with prestigious brands. It’s an honor for me to have their trust. I choose to work with brands that appeal to and inspire me, and that have an interesting story to tell. 

Your journey has taken an interesting turn with your pursuit of music. Can you share more about your dream to become a singer and how music fits into your overall artistic expression? What does music, not only in general, but also the idea of creating music mean to you? 
For me, music is a way to express myself, my feelings about love, sadness and longing. It’s mainly a form of therapy, allowing me to connect with people who live and feel the same things as I do. For me, music joins fashion, photography and video. All these are parts of me and I live for it. 

Given your background in fashion, how does your experience in the industry influence your approach to music, especially in terms of visuals and presentation?
My 8 years of experience in fashion have taught me a lot, both technically and in terms of artistic vision. I’ve developed a certain eye and now know what I like and dislike. I know my style and what I want to show my audience. I think the hardest thing for an artist is to learn to know themselves and be in perfect harmony with themselves. 

suit, socks and shoes PRADA
rings and gold necklace PERSTA PARIS
silver necklace MICHELSON MEN

Now that you’ve collaborated with major brands, are there any dream collaborations, whether in modeling or music, that you aspire to in the future?
I love the house of Gucci. I have not worked with them yet and hope to collaborate with them one day. I’ll let the future decide what will happen. For musical collaborations, I listen to so many different artists. But for the next collaboration, I would love to succeed in making a track with my best friend, who I grew up with, who also makes music on his side and whom I am the biggest fan of.

With your diverse interests, what advice do you have for aspiring models, content creators or musicians who are looking to build a presence on platforms like TikTok?
My advice to future models is to attend open, free castings like Elite Model Look, where I was discovered. Most importantly, don’t give up and don’t wait for everything to come to you. You should approach agencies and agents in several countries. Modeling can be very tough initially. Some might start working immediately, while others may take longer to find work. 

As for TikTok, the secret is regularity, perseverance and above all, being yourself. People sense when you are playing a role. You must stay true to yourself and show your true passions, both to endure over time without burning out and to build a genuinely engaged and interested community.


photography EVAN MURPHY
interview MAREK BARTEK