Tell us about yourself! Name, age, interests,
Hey, my name is Philip Charnouby. I am 22 years old. I played football for many years, also professionally when I was younger, so I still follow football closely. Besides football I have a big interest in training, which I also spend a lot of time on now. Besides that, I love skiing and I have found a fondness for books after I started travelling more due to modelling. And music, I can’t live without music!
How long have you been modelling for
I started modelling in the summer of 2012 so I have been modelling for 5 years now, but I have only started modelling full-time from September 2017.
Tell us about where you are from?
I am originally from Copenhagen, although my ancestry is both Danish and Egyptian. However, I have lived in Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden growing up, where I have attended international schools. So my passport may be Danish, but in my mind and my heart I am a citizen of the world, and I consider my mother tongue English rather than Danish.
Are you single? Or in a relationship?
I am currently single.
What inspired you to become a model?
Before I was scouted I hadn’t considered a career in modelling. Back then I breathed and lived football, but due to injuries I had to turn down football, but that opened up the door for more modelling. What inspires me to keep going as a model now, that I also have a greater understanding of, is the opportunities that it provides. I get to travel more than I probably would doing anything else, and I get to meet inspiring and creative people every time I go to work.
So far in your career as a model, what has been your favourite modelling job and why?
My favourite modelling job must be the commercial I did for Agent Provocateur I think it was actually the first job I booked through Core. The whole job was a great experience where I got to shoot in Morocco. Driving through the mountains and eating at local restaurants on the way to location, and then shooting in the Sahara. Finally the last day it started to rain (it was in the middle of November), but anyway I got to experience the Sahara desert in sun and heat, rain and storm. The trip home was also an experience itself because the enormous amount of rain had washed away bridges so we couldn’t get to the airport… Anyway, it was the first time I travelled outside of Europe to work and the first video shoot I did, so there were a lot of firsts for me on the job, which made it very exciting. And in the end I am very proud of the result as well!
What do you study or what do you want to study?//what other jobs do you have apart form modelling?
I just graduated from business school in June 2017 with a BSc. in Business Administration. I was unsure if and what I wanted to study a Masters in, so I decided to give modelling a shot full-time and hopefully see the world and become some experiences richer that I can take with me into the future, and what I decide to do when I find my calling.
What is your favourite city or place in the world and why?
When I lived in Stockholm one of my football coaches once asked me where I considered home as I had lived in 3 different countries and spoke 5 languages, was it Copenhagen or Stockholm or a third place. After considering the question for a few minutes while the conversation proceeded, I came to the conclusion that home for me wasn’t necessarily a city, but the football pitch. The football pitch is pretty much the same anywhere, it is green with white lines and there is a goal at each end. That used to be what I called home and still is to some extent, because when I put on my boots and have a ball at my feet I am oblivious to the rest of the world and it is only about the moment that I am in. In a world where we are almost always available and online, being offline doing something I love is something I cherish.
What is the most important thing to you that you can’t live without?
I probably wouldn’t survive with my iPhone, haha. It serves as my camera, music player, diary, and my connection to my friends and family when I travel.
What futuristic thing do you wish your clothing or accessories could do?
It would be pretty cool if my clothes could clean themselves overnight so everything would be clean and available when I get up in the morning. That would definitely make packing for travels much easier and lighter. Oh and if socks could find their own partner that would save me a lot of time!
What is your favourite clothing brand?
I think it is difficult to point out one specific clothing brand, but if I have to I would probably choose Sand Copenhagen. They have something for almost every occasion and the fit is perfect for me.
What is your most treasured possession?
My most treasured possession is a teddy bear that I have had since the day I was born. He isn’t in the best shape anymore but he still sits on my shelf at home. He went with me around the world when I was younger, and was also my best and most trusted friend.
What characteristics do you value most in people?
One of the characteristics I value most in people is empathy; “Try walking a mile in someone else’s shoes”. For me, empathy is one of the drivers of close friendships and interpersonal relations. Something that is very important to me as well is humility. Especially in an industry like the fashion industry, but also in life, staying grounded and being humble is something that I value a lot in people. Finally, I value pride as well. In combination with humility and empathy being proud of who you are and what you have accomplished is important for me in order to find a balance in life.
Do you think that humans as a species have gotten better through the generations or worse? Why?
I think that as humans evolve and our history as a species grows patterns emerge that may suggest that we are neither better nor worse as a species. I believe that history repeats itself and therefore as a species, humans will always try to overcome the challenges that present themselves with the knowledge that is available. Technology and names and places may change, but in the end I don’t think we are very different from the ancient Egyptians or Greeks or the Romans.
What is your all-time favourite TV show or movie?
The Gladiator with Russell Crowe! Every time I watch it I can find new meaning in it depending on the challenges I am facing in my life at that point in time. But it also serves as a reminder, in a beautiful way, that no matter who we are and what we do, we are certain that we are going to die some day. And that certainty is something that gives life purpose and gives time power.
Which animal is your spirit animal?
As I have a stag tattooed on my ribs, that is probably it.
When do you find yourself singing and dancing?
I sing and dance all the time. I usually limit dancing to when I go out or when I am alone in my room, but sometimes I dance a little when I am at the gym and my jam comes on in my headphones or the same when I walk down the street. I usually don’t sing in public, at least not so anyone can hear it, but otherwise all the time. When I am in the shower, at home, in the car.
What is your greatest fear?
This is a question that I have been asked several times, and each time is as difficult as the previous. There is a distinction for me between being afraid of something and having respect for something or wanting to avoid it. There are a lot of things that I don’t understand and want to avoid such as poisonous spiders and snakes. Sometimes I worry about what my future will bring, but I am not afraid of the future. I think that when I find that I am afraid of something, I try to rationalize and understand it, at which point the stress and build-up of emotions that are created by the fear become more malleable and controllable or disappear.
What do you believe makes a successful life?
In my opinion, there are two different aspects to a successful life. When I think about the future I would define my life as successful if I have enough money to provide me with a freedom to do what I want to do, such as travel and live comfortably and not having to think about how much money I spend on every little decision in life. At the same time I would like to earn my money doing something that I enjoy. But there is also a daily success in life that is defined by happiness. Waking up with a smile because you had a good day yesterday and slept well is a success for me, because it lays a positive foundation for the day ahead and defines the way you view the world.
Who is the most important person or influencer in your life, and why?
The most important person in my life is probably my dad. He is a source of inspiration and advice, and I know that I can always count on him to tell me his opinion, whether we agree on the subject at hand or not.
Do you tend to take on leadership roles in social situations?
I am not afraid to be independent and voice my opinion in social situations, whether it goes with or against the general opinion in the group. For that reason among others I tend to take on a leadership role, although it may be subtle at times and is not something that I actively pursue.
How do you spend a typical Saturday night?
When I was still together with my girlfriend I typically spent my Saturday nights with her having a nice dinner with one of our families or at a restaurant and then watching a movie or talking into the night hours. Lately, I tend to spend my Saturday nights with friends, having dinner together and usually ending at night clubs.
What really makes you laugh?
My youngest cousin really makes me laugh! He is 2 years old and does the most random things sometimes, and he is often the first person to laugh at it.
Are you spontaneous, or do you always need to have a plan?
I would consider myself very spontaneous. I almost never plan more than a week ahead.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I will be 27. I hope I will have or have had a rewarding career in modelling. Regardless of whether I will still be active as a model I will be engaged in other projects as well and looking for new ways to challenge myself. But at the moment I am living one week at a time, 5 years is a long time and a lot of things can change.
What three words would others probably use to describe you?
The people that know me best would probably tell you that I am very determined (when I set a goal I don’t stop until I have reached it, at which point I have probably already set a new, more ambitious goal). They would probably describe me as being caring/considerate. Finally, they would probably describe me as thoughtful or reflective, in the way that I am always thinking and reflecting on something I have seen or heard.
What does the perfect casual outfit consist of?
The perfect casual outfit is a pair of sneaks (Nike Racer or Adidas NMD), a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and a hoodie.
Would you rather donate your body to science or donate your organs to people who need them?
I would probably donate my body to science. It may not help someone in immediate need, but could provide help for more people in the future.
Why do you think society places such a high value on beauty?
I think beauty is valued highly because of the positive emotions that it provokes. Beauty can be a source of pleasure, inspiration and respect. I think it is also associated with pride and perfectionism and is a symbol of accomplishment.
Do you prefer being outdoors or indoors?
What is your favourite comfort food?
Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough J
Which historical figure would you most like to be and why?
I would love to be Walt Disney. Personally I love Disney movies, and I don’t think I know anyone that has not seen a Disney movie at some point in their lives. Being able to touch so many lives and entertain and inspire people of all ages is very admirable.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I have done some crazy things skiing, testing my own limits riding through forests and other off-piste rides. But shooting nude portraits definitely took me out of my comfort zone. The romantic in me still believes that some of the craziest things we do are for love, and I have done some ridiculous and irrational things for love.
If you had to teach a subject, what would it be?
I would probably be most capable teaching maths, but I would prefer to teach psychology.
What’s the most important thing you learned from your parents?
The most important thing I have learned from my parents is respect. My understanding of respect has developed over the years, but they taught me to respect others and myself no matter the situation. I have learned afterwards that like gifts, respect is only something you can give; you cannot demand it and if someone else does not give it to you, you cannot receive it. So respect starts with giving.
Thank you so much for sitting with us, we really enjoyed doing this interview with you.