It’s widely understood that models face constant pressures to look a certain way and never stop taking the selfie of their lifetime despite, understandably, wanting to appear at their best by keeping it grounded. For some, it’s only dream-like stuff, but for others the limelight gets real. This occasion sees Lindberg taking center stage, with a dripping future yet to come. With a quick-witted industry overview and endearing relatability, Owen’s the type that phrases straight-talking dialogues of a riddled past that shines his candid way of setting a scene and telling a story I’m certain captures his listeners.

Now gearing up for the new decade, we caught up with the talent to recount the craziness of life, inspirations, and see where he’ll be taking things in 2020.

Before we get deep-down on this, I’d like to kick this off with the basics. Could you introduce yourself to us?

Hey FY! I’m a 20-year-old kid from Arizona. I was just a normal boy after high school until I tried getting into modeling by posting some photos on my Instagram. At the end of 2017, my best friend – who’s basically my brother – died and it drove me to take a trip to LA where I was then rejected by EVERY single agency (no overstating). Then after my girlfriend broke up with me, my dog died, and many other hardships made me decide to buy a one-way ticket to New York City in May of 2018. I’ve been here ever since and although it hasn’t been easy at all. I’ve managed to beat the odds and do what others couldn’t. Although my story has just begun really. 


You’re based in NYC. How’s the Big Apple treating you?

It’s good although currently, this coronavirus is throwing a wrench into my plans lol. 


You used to live in the “hood” – how was that? And how did you manage to reach your goals?

I mean it wasn’t that bad I’m still here. It could always be worse, but I just remained positive and didn’t let my surroundings get to me. I never lost sight of where I really wanted to be.


How did you venture into the fashion industry?

By accident lol. It found me, but I was curious. 

In a recent conversation, you talked about rejections and the importance of having a grounded identity to achieve goals. How do you tackle denials?

I mean it’s tough for sure, after a while you hear enough “no’s” it really does gets to you. That’s where true self-confidence comes into play and you just have to realize who you are and it’s their loss so fuck them. 


How’s it been for you since the start of your journey?

It’s definitely been a rollercoaster and it hasn’t been easy lol, a lot of obstacles and people trying to throw me off of my path but I’m here doing my thing. 


How much has culture and the politics of current times impacted you and your career choices?

Well now currently with this disease it’s making it impossible to do jobs, but before I’m unsure whether politics really affected it. I’ve always been open-minded and curious to explore other cultures. 


How do you feel mental health destabilizes you and what does it mean to you taking into consideration the modern events of nowadays?

I’d say mental health is so key, and especially in this industry and the social media world and fast life, it’s very toxic to someone’s mental health. So, the key is to take care of yourself (physically, and mentally) and mainly just having a good support system and having genuine people around you.

Has there been a life-changing episode that shaped something you never thought you’d be able to see and experience?

Honestly just the entire past two years have been unreal and I feel like I’ve aged so much in that time span due to everything I’ve done.


Have you ever advocated for a cause in mental health?

Not officially, but as I grow my platform I’d like to. I’d love to do public speaking, currently, the most I do is just inspire and motivate all my followers through my posts, stories, and I also love going live and talking to people. 


What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion means feeling like the man in whatever you’re wearing and when you do, others will recognize it as well. It doesn’t have to be the most flashy or expensive but just visually appealing and well put together. 


If you could describe your concept and perception of “manhood” – what would it be? Manhood today is not what it was but that’s perfectly fine, it’s just the definition is changing, I guess. But to me being a man means taking care of business and doing what’s right even if people make you feel weird or bad for doing so. It means standing for something and taking care of your people. 


In an era stormed by the thirst of digitalization and social media appearance, being constantly exposed to the public’s eye must result quite daunting, particularly with the level of saturation present in such field. In a nutshell, what are your key thoughts in regard to the whole Instagram thing?

Lol, I can’t hate on Instagram because I wouldn’t be here without it. However, you can’t let it get to you because at the end of the day you’ve got to realize it’s not real, and it’s hard to make that distinction but sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and be like “hey chill out man, this is all pretending.”

What does culture signify to you?

Culture is what makes life enjoyable and it’s a reflection of our own individuality and uniqueness. Whether it’s food, music, art, or more.

Do social media propel your identity? Or do they destabilize it in a way?

Social media is whatever you make of it, it can bring out the best and worst of people, myself included. 


Could you say that spending plenty of time on social media does affect your self-esteem?

Yes, but only if you let it. I’m a confident person so I might not be the best to ask.


Do you feel somewhat empowered through your social media channels? If so/not, how come?

Yes and no. It’s cool when all these people are hyping you up and saying you’re hot or whatever, but when they hate or are negative I try to use that as motivation as well. It gives me fuel to add to the fire. 


What are the things that really matter to you?

Peace, health, happiness, and real friends! 


What’s been the most rewarding aspect of your career thus far?

Proving the doubters wrong and getting on a billboard.


Any major inspirations?

Helping people! I love talking to younger boys and girls and just giving advice! Also being a big-time actor, also I wanna get into casting because I got a good eye for faces. 

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

Being rejected by every agency in LA and majority of agencies in NYC and Milan, toxic people trying to bring me down, and just the constant distractions and downfalls of this industry. 


Who would you like to be remembered for?
The boy that never gave up and remained positive. Even though many people counted me out and thought I was finished or tried to label me as one thing or box me in or treat me like an object, I prevailed. 


How do you feel like your legacy will be left in the world?

A good and respectful legacy for my family and my younger siblings. 


Biggest remorse?

Nothing, life is what it is.


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

The ones who care don’t matter and the ones who matter don’t care! 


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

This lifestyle really isn’t cut out for everybody, but if you really have a passion and a dream pursue it until the end and don’t listen to anybody even if it’s your best friend or your parents. They can sometimes be the biggest haters. Also, stay away from anyone who tries to manipulate you. Trust in actions, not words.

Photography and Creative Direction: Tom Buck @tbuck9
Talent: Owen Lindberg @owenlindberg at @theboysny @nextmodels