When renowned brand Paco Rabanne decided that it needed a personality and strapping specimen to embody victory for its powerhouse fragrance, Invictus, they tapped sports star Nick Youngquest. Known most notably for his near decade-long rugby career and his time spent playing for the Castleford Tigers, Youngquest is now the face of Invictus successor, Invictus Intense. Equipped with all of the traits that Paco Rabanne rightfully selected him for, Youngquest sat down with Style Republic Magazine for an interview at Vancouver's Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
You’ve had an extensive rugby career – Paco Rabanne isn’t your first modelling moment either; what made you want to model in the first place?
Nick Youngquest: I think through the platform I have in sport, I always used to use that in a way to try and positively influence society – I advocated for the LGBTQ community in Australia, and I do various things for other charities around the world; that’s where the modelling thing kind of started. To be honest, when I retired from sport, I didn’t think I was going to become a model. I still don’t really see myself as a model because I’m not always in front of the lens like some of the other people I work with; I’m doing more of this sort of [press] stuff, so it’s quite nice and gives my role a bit of a different dynamic. I don’t feel as polished as the other models that I work with.
You really do come from what many people would consider to be the planet’s grittiest / “most masculine” sport – stepping into the modeling space has earned you some tough critics and headlines (some great ones, as well) – what has been the best part about that career transition for you so far? What’s been the toughest part?
NY: Definitely being in front of the camera. When you’re playing a sport you’re in front of the camera, but it’s a totally different environment. Being in front of the camera with a crew of what is sometimes hundreds of people was different – I was super nervous. I literally didn’t think that the first Invictus campaign was going to turn out the way it turned out – I was like, "this is going to suck and they’re going to replace me…they’re going to need to shoot this again," and when I saw it I was like, “Wow”.
Let’s talk about the new fragrance – Invictus Intense (I can only assume that the “intense” adjective means that you’re even manlier now than you were with Invictus). What would you say this fragrance brings to the table that maybe wasn’t at play before?
NY: For me this fragrance is a little moodier; there’s a bit more of a sensuality to it than there was with the first one. I was wearing Invictus everyday, whereas this is more of an evening / first date sort of thing. Even though Invictus Intense has the word 'Intense' added to it, I find it to be a bit less “in your face” than the first.
In the commercial ad, you’re portrayed with god-like status. To quote the fragrance press kit, “Invictus thinks only of winning,” and “Invictus is at the height of his power – unrelenting, ever more desirable - ready to win.” I think these quotes paint a very vivid picture and personality – but I’m curious: what do YOU want both men and women to take away from this campaign? And from the product?
NY: For me, in both commercials, there is a power aspect, but really it’s a playfulness. People take things too seriously, especially in today’s society – everything is so “full on” right now, at least it seems that way. But this [fragrance] brings a playfulness to life for me – even being powerful, you can still have a playful, and perhaps not so serious side. That’s the biggest thing I’d like people to take away from it. *