“I believe everything happens for a reason and some things do not happen with a reason.”

Before we get deep-down on this, let’s begin it with the basics. Could you introduce yourself to us?

Hey Fucking Young! My name is Jari, I’m from a small, beautiful city called Bruges in Belgium. I finished high school as a car mechanic, but later I realized that my passion fell under the health care sector. After high school, I did some extra courses to gain a broader set of skills, and now I have my physical coach and nutrition certification. Until this moment, I am learning and growing my knowledge about our DEEP health (relational, existential, mental, physical, emotional, environmental), so I can help others to become more conscious and improve their lives. I am a person who loves being crazy; accepting my inner child has been a blessing, acting crazy, and playing around is something that makes life interesting. Playing in many ways whatever feels good, dancing like nobody is watching, making silly jokes, or just to play and move freely like a kid again. Life is already serious when you grow older, so knowing when you have to take on responsibilities is important. There are times where you have to take things seriously. Yoga and meditation have been a big help for me to stay healthy, strong, and with good mental wellbeing. I am all over the wellbeing of myself, my surroundings, and the world.

Who’s been the dream client to work with?

My dream since I started as a model was always to be the face of a fragrance campaign. The brand doesn’t matter, I like most of them. Must be so amazing to do and to work with such a production team. Also, there are just so many brands out there, so if any of them is reading this right now, make my dream come true *laughs.*

Favorite experience thus far?

For me, the best experience so far was the Bikkembergs AW17 campaign in Lanzarote. It was so many things that made it the best one to this day. First of all, Lanzarote is such a breath-taking volcanic landscape that left me amazed. Shooting there was incredibly magical to be honest, because not only the landscape was inspiring, but the people of the production and to be able to spend time with them working together was pretty great too. I left those days with a memory of how good work can be if you all get close together to get the result you want. It was a great experience!

Has education been an imperative cornerstone in your practice?

Education and is super important to me. If you don’t know something, you have to find it out! I have been educating myself a lot in the past four years. Not only I did online courses in physical coaching and nutrition, but I also educated myself on many levels, finding out how I can get what in really want while keeping my health and mental wellbeing as a priority. I felt like schools’ curricula need to be revised: I learned more important valuable subjects in the past four years then I probably have in the 19 years I have been in education. 

How’s it been for you since the start of your journey? Did you encounter any major hindrances when you first started out in fashion?

I would lie if I said no. In the last four years not only have I been a model and traveled the world, but I’ve also explored myself and who I wanted to be, finding my struggles, my happiness, and love. Understanding yourself takes a lot of courage. Facing your demon is even harder, too. The journey is not easy and was lonely most of the time. But I wanted to face my fears and struggles to grow from them and to learn. I am grateful I took on this journey of understanding the self and the connection with the world. Our individual existence is a lie for me, we are all part of this world. We are all affecting one another by the way we feel and behave. If you are not working on yourself with consciousness and there are no good guiders in your life, this industry as many others can be mentally draining and exhausting. This is exactly why I am working on my project to help people where I can.

Prior to becoming a model, what did your previous job entailed?

I never really worked much, I did some extra jobs here and there to get some quick cash if necessary. I took this freedom to explore the world and myself. I did not get rich as many think I did. For me, the lessons and freedom gave me my wealth, and now I know where I want to put my energy in. 

What do you do outside of modeling?

I focus on knowledge about self-growth, health, nutrition, mental well-being, movements, breathing, natural medicine, how to get back our feet, and how to be the most sustainable for our amazing planet. In that way, I can help people to change in a positive way. 

What do you wish you could have done differently throughout your journey?

I believe everything happens for a reason and something does not happen with a reason. There could be things I could regret or wanted to differently but that would have changed to outcome of who I am on this day. Not sure if that’s what I would want. I came to the understanding that living in the now is the most important, to be grateful for your past that made you who you are now and that I am excited about the unknown future. 

Any major inspirations?

This might sound cheesy but many people inspire me, mostly the people like me that did a lot of inside personal work and that use that power now to do great things for the world, artist or therapists, musicians or just good parents, all sort of people with a good heart and a clear mind can inspire me in different ways. I can be inspired by nature or animals, for me they live their natural purest way of being. 

What are the biggest obstacles you’ve had to deal with? 

Willing to see your negative behavior or emotions and to understand, examinate, and change them. We all make mistakes, and we are all imperfect. But what do we do to make it better? That for me was hard and it is until this day, we all have our pains and traumas to overcome. Being completely you and the give a shit about what people think has been hard for me too. Afraid to be judged by others while trying not to judge anyone myself neither. 

Who would you like to be remembered for?

I cannot influence people their way of how they will remember me. I learned that just doing my best and being a caring person is more important than what they will remember me for.  Genuinely caring for the people is what I want to be remembered of. 

Biggest remorse?

As said before, things happen or don’t happen for a reason, remorse is a waste of energy, acceptance is a blessing skill. 

What’s the wisest lesson you’ve learnt being in industry?

If you don’t understand yourself and your surrounding there is a big chance you will get sucked into a life that is created for you, but it will not be 100 percent your ideal life. 

Any advice to give the young wave of aspiring people, wanting to venture into your world?

You are good enough! Wealth and beauty come from within, social media is not a real-life and real life is about emotional experiences and adventures. Be caring and loving for yourself your friends and the world, we need you to be part of a big change to live a safe and happy future together. 

Final Words?

I want to end this interview with an amazing quote I heard in a documentary about the world. 

The quote reads: “My separate existence is an illusion; ecology is a flow. You and I are most definitely part of the flow. Everything we do affects the flow, and everything the flow does affects us. It doesn’t really matter what I read or what I think or write. Don’t judge me by my words, which are many, but by my actions which are few. Because if we wait for the meek to inherit the earth, there won’t be anything left to inherit.”

Talent: Jari Lievens @jarilievens_ at Independent Model Management @independent_mgmt
Photography and Creative Direction: Dino Junior Gulino @dino.zoor
Editor: Chidozie Obasi @chido.obasi
Styling: Yu Cai @eeeeeelenaaaaaa
Makeup: Nadira @nadira_ekr
Hair: Yu Nagatomo @yu__nagatomo
Editorial Assistant: Ettore Mordenti @ettorisio
Brands: Brioni, Givenchy, Lucio Vanotti, Bally, Bottega Veneta, Versace, Emporio Armani, Issey Miyake, Etro, Valenti