Pietro Boselli, Model and Engineering PhD


"I started modeling when I was 6 years old—it was in 1995 for an Armani Junior campaign. I was the face of the brand for four years and then took a break. [Male models] have this gap from 11 to 18 years old where they can't really work—girls don't have that, but guys do. Those years, I just focused on school. I went to university for mechanical engineering, did my degree in three years, and then everyone told me to just go and do my PhD. So I did. My thesis was on the computational design of terabytes. Basically it's how you predict the flow of fluids, in this case in terabytes and then you modify the geometry of the terabyte in order to maximize the efficiency. It’s very mathematical, so I became a lecturer in mathematics courses at the same time.

At the same time I started working on my PhD, I started getting back into modeling. Students started noticing and my Instagram kind of exploded. My first reaction was just to get away from it because, suddenly, there’s press and all these requests and all I wanted was to focus on my research. But it also gave me the opportunity to think about something else every once and a while—since a PhD is all about focusing on one thing for a very long time. It’s good to see the world from a different perspective and travel. Modeling gives me a different type of knowledge—it’s a different type of outlook on life.

My thing has always been to not to listen to anyone. I never listened when people said, 'You can’t do modeling and be a student.' One of the things I heard the most was, 'You should stop working out like that,' for all sorts of reasons—they think I look too big or won't fit in clothes. But I just work out because I love it. I’m not trying to achieve a particular look or be a sample size. For me, it gives me satisfaction to see myself in a good shape and it gives me energy. And the years I spent working in academia, you would use your head so much—your brain is a part of your body! A lot of people don’t think of that. If your body is healthy, your brain is healthy.

In terms of beauty routine, I used to be the guy who used one bar of soap to wash his hair and body and that was it. Soap, toothbrush, and that’s it. In a way, I haven’t strayed from that. For skincare, the most common thing for me to do is just moisturize with something like Lab Series Max LS Matte Renewal Lotion. I also have the Lab Series Future Rescue Repair Serum, which is very thin and doesn’t make your face feel greasy. For someone who travels and gets on planes all the time, it’s good to keep your face fresh with something like that. Halfway through a flight, I like to go to the washroom and add some more moisture to my face. Otherwise it gets way too dry.

Then I always shave—I don’t have much facial hair, so it looks better when I’m clean-shaven. I use disposable razors from Wilkinson Sword. I never get razor bumps, not even with those, that’s why I use them. A gel shaving cream is also good. King of Shaves Shave Gel Sensitive with Aloe + Tea Tree feels really fresh and doesn't make too much of a mess. You can use it to wash your face with it as well. I like when a product is more things in one.

And I’m absolutely obsessed with flossing. I go crazy if I don’t have floss on me after a meal. In the pocket of any of my jackets, you’ll find floss. I also prefer small toothbrushes because I feel like you can reach better. One of my best friends is a dentist, and he gives me the TePe Mini brushes. I don’t even know where he gets it.

My deodorant has to have no smell. This Dove Invisible Dry is actually supposed to be for ladies, but it doesn't have an odor and it doesn't stain my clothes. If I'm wearing fragrance, I want to smell like that, not my deodorant. I recently started wearing Loewe 001, which is their only scent for men. In a way, it’s woody and warm without being too much. It’s not pungent. It’s good for every day. My other one is Gucci Guilty, which is a bit spicy. It’s warmer than the Loewe, so it might be better as a evening fragrance actually.

For me, my beauty routine is nice because it gives me a routine. It’s not like if I go a week without it, I’m going to die. But it does make me feel good, and it is becoming more acceptable for men to join in. For example, Lab Series just made this tinted moisturizer with SPF for men—basically foundation for guys. But they market it as “Faster Sun Protection” to give it a rationale. I’m very aware that all of this industry is marketing, it’s multi-consumption, it’s luxury... But you consume because it makes you feel good. That’s the whole point of it and that’s OK."

—as told to ITG

Pietro Boselli photographed by Tom Newton in London on June 22, 2017.