Sebastian Matarrese isn’t one to be left pigeonholed. Hailing from Italy, it’s almost unfeasible to succinctly describe the 20-year-old talent: a sportsman in his own right with a strong penchant for music (and a million-dollar smile), he calls himself “solar, gentle and easy-going.” The moment we hit play on our convo he pauses, letting the hilarity sink. And even though he’s not keen to disclose as much as I wished when I request a brief introductory line, I just sense that he’s good. His passions may be pulling from a plethora of different influences, but it’s his natural prowess and fiery spirit that ties it all together. Sebastian is open to talk through his challenges as a model, explaining: “initially it was extremely hard, I lived by this obstacle quite badly at the beginning of my journey,” he says. “For me, height was the biggest battle to cope with in this industry as I’m not the tallest, even when I played soccer; today instead I no longer worry, because I do not see it as an obstacle but as an opportunity,” he explains, in full storytelling mode. Taking him to task on the trajectory that brought to where he finds himself now, Matarrese is more than proud to reveal it all, he’s adamant to his ambition and he aims to hold onto it forever. “Let’s say that I was pushed by the people around me, then I realized that I could try and get into this world after years of attempts and closed doors in my face. But I managed to succeed.” And on the success note, you’d be fooled for thinking his talent goes way beyond looks, but nudges on the complexities of social media that, sadly, in the modeling industry play a huge part. “Nice question,” he chuckles, “I think Instagram is a sham and people are taking this thing too seriously,” he highlights, “there is an incredible general flakiness to it: users pretend and boast of richness, show off their beauty, fake deeds and on. I mean, in a few words, I think people should try to better understand the social sphere and not always associate it with real life. But what is clear is that not only his proclivity swings around fashion, but there’s sheer introspection in those lines that is catchy and seems to run on a tandem. “Undoubtedly, my identity in this particular work environment feels stimulated thanks to social media, but on the other hand the normal Sebastian does not feel so comfortable to expose his private life,” he emphasizes, bridging the gap between realness and digitalized living. “Seeing people who flaunt their wealth can harm someone’s self-esteem, but as I said before you have to keep the two worlds apart to live better,” he says. This year, Sebastian has reached his climax having built his way up with steadfast tempo. “I’ve been able to prove to things that I would not even have imagined I could do,” he admits. Those words, with a soft giggle that lasted a millisecond, felt candid. It’s emblematic that great conversations have to come to an end, but before we wrap up, I’m left assured that his talent and humility will get him a long way. “behind this world there are so many efforts and so many sacrifices,” he reflects. “Take this road only if you are 200 percent convinced; try never to emulate anyone, because originality always pays off.”

Total Look Dior

Total Look Kenzo

Total Look Fendi

Total Look Bottega Veneta

Total Look Prada

Total Look Salvatore Ferragamo



Talent: Sebastian Matarrese @sebastianmatarrese at Boom Models Agency @boommodels
Photographer and Creative Director: Andrea Cenetiempo @andreacenetiempo
Editor: Chidozie Obasi @chido.obasi
Stylist: Valentina Rixo @valentina.rixo
Grooming: Martina Russo @martinarussow
Editorial Assistant: Ettore Mordenti @ettorisio
Stylist Assistant: Giulia Dipa @diparulez
Brands: Dior, Prada, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Kenzo, Salvatore Ferragamo.