Attitude is what feels right
TED PUGLIA IS A CANADIAN MODEL WHO ALSO HAS THE PRIVILEGE OF TRAVELLING AROUND THE WORLD, VISITING SOME OF THE MOST EXCLUSIVE PLACES ON EARTH AS A LUXURY VILLA SCOUT FOR LUXURY RETREATS & AIRBNB LUXE. I HAD THE CHANCE TO WORK WITH TED OVER THE YEARS, COMPLETING VARIOUS EDITORIAL PROJECTS FOR SEVERAL MONTREAL-BASED PUBLICATIONS.
By César Ochoa
Published July 7, 2020
How did you start your modeling career? It was an interesting start. At the time, I was in my early twenties and volunteering with the Toronto Film Festival. On one of my shifts, I was approached by a scout on the street who thought I should consider modeling. In the moment, I was unsure, as modeling had never crossed mind. About a week later, I decided to contact them back, and things took off from there.
During your time as a model, what has been the most exciting project you enjoyed working on? Working as a model for over the past 15 years has allowed me to participate in a variety of projects – from print to runway, live T.V., book covers, music videos, and more.
If I had to choose one that stands out, it would be a S/S fashion campaign for designer Robert Graham in New York City. The shoot location was what made this quite special, as it took place high up on a water tower in the mix of the New York City skyline.
This being my first visit to NYC and my first international booking made the experience even more memorable.
Do you think modeling is a challenging career? The modeling world isn’t for everyone. Besides a person’s ‘look’, I think a lot has to do with a person’s personality type – whether they will thrive in this environment. I could imagine this experience being quite difficult for someone who may be more of an introvert. With modeling, you need to be comfortable with letting your guard down, exposing your vulnerabilities, and OK to pick up and leave on a whim. For me, I was able to adapt well. Once I got past my first few years, I became more comfortable and confident.
You are also a Market Manager for Luxury Retreats & Airbnb Luxe, so you practically spend your time scouting the most exclusive properties on the planet, which sounds very exciting. Are there some similarities between your work as a model and as a Market Manager? Yes, I’ve been working as a Market Manager now for several years. I got quite lucky finding a fun job with an awesome company. There are definitely some similarities between the two, a major one being the travel component. I’m constantly on-the-go and on a mission to find the world’s best luxury villas and private islands.
“DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY.”
What is the most exciting trip you have done as a Market Manager? There’s been so many! A destination that has become my second home over the past few years is Hawaii. When I took on managing the Hawaii islands about four years ago, I began visiting the islands about three to four times a year. One of my favourite trips took place in Maui, visiting some of the top beachfront estates on the island and getting to hangout with one of my music icons, who was looking to rent one of the properties I work with. If you have not been to Hawaii or Maui, make it a to-do! The beauty of the island is captivating.
How has COVID-19 changed the industry? COVID-19 has been quite devastating for the travel sector, since many borders have been closed. We are happy to see travel starting to trend again. However, it is not so much international trips but a spike in domestic travel – nearby stays. This has been a big shift, as travellers are now staying closer to home but renting for longer stays.
As Airbnb is a leader in the travel industry, it was amazing to see how well they have been able to pivot and respond to the crisis. With their mantra being “Belong Anywhere,” we saw human connection become more difficult to achieve, so they quickly worked on ways to develop new products, such as Airbnb Online Experiences, which has been a great success to date.
These current times are uncertain. However, there is one thing that remains constant: people desire travel and want human connection.
For people who dream of being a model, what advice can you give? Go for what you want! Like anything, it takes work and practice. You will hear “no” many times, but that’s OK.
TIPS: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Be open to meeting many people from all walks of life. Find an agency that represents your values. Be good friends with your booking agents. Be respectful and punctual. File your taxes on the money you make. Send mom all your work, as she likes to see it. And never do anything your not comfortable with.
As a model, who is your role model? Or a model that you admire? There are so many talented models I admire and learned from. My idol and top of my wish list of people I want to meet is David Gandy. I’m also a big fan of Sean Opry, Simon Nessman and Garrett Neff. For the models that I have had the opportunity to work with, I admire Eric Belanger and Franco Cianflone, who are both Montreal-based models.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I see myself remaining in the travel industry. It’s something I love, a true passion of mine. Maybe one day I’ll own my own business and employ my closest friends and family. That would be the dream.
Photos: César Ochoa
Assistant: Luis London & Federico Suárez