Ruben Rua Releases Book "you Can Be Everything"
This November, Elite Model Look catwalk coach Ruben Rua released his first book, ‘You Can Be Everything’. He first became a model after he competed in Elite Model Look in Portugal 2005. Since then, he became a booker with Elite, starred in Portugal's Dancing with the Stars in 2014, won Best Male Model in the Portuguese Golden Globes four times over and became a presenter a fashion show on TV Channel TVi.
This year, he was spokesperson and coach at the Elite Model Look World Final in his home capital, and hosted the show’s television broadcast on TVi. We spoke to him about the epic World Final, writing a book for the very first time and following your dreams to become anything you set your mind to.
"Podos Ser Tudo" is currently available in Portuguese - click here to buy.
Tell us about the title of the book.
It was the last thing I decided about the book, and honestly, it was hard to find the right title. I believed it was going to come to me while I was writing, but it didn’t happen. I wanted something that speaks directly to the reader, and that would obviously be relevant to my life, and I believe what should be for everyone. Today, I couldn’t be happier. 'You Can Be Everything' sounds better everyday.
You’ve said that this book is a presentation of the most challenging project of your life, can you tell us why?
It was the first time I have written a book, so it was a whole new world for me. I wrote about the last 11 years of my life, about my story, which made it even harder. It is not an autobiography but to write 'You Can Be Everything' I had to go deep inside myself, revisit my memories and find the courage to share them.
The life of models captures people’s imaginations. Do you think it’s hard to represent modelling accurately?
I think the main word for fashion is backstage. If you work in this business, everything is easy to understand, but when you’re not in the fashion world, it isn’t. Most of the teenagers don´t know how to get represented by an agency, how a fashion week works, how a model starts to travel, who pays what. On the other hand, some people have a very dark, unsubstantiated view of modelling. I hope this books can help to clarify some of these things.
Do you feel it’s important to highlight the positives about the modelling world?
I think it’s important to highlight what is true about modelling world. Some people have a dark view. Some people think this is a pink world where everything is easy. I see another colour. Perhaps... blue?! (laughs)
Tell us about the guests you feature in the book.
In each chapter, I have one or two testimonies from someone that was important for me at that time or for that specific story. Casting directors, my first international booker, models, fashion designers, actors, TV hosts, my ex-wife, my parents, my sister and the Elite Lisbon director. Elite Model Look is also represented by Stephane Pescimoro, Director of Operations of the World Final. I think these testimonials give credibility to my words and complete my story.
In the book, you discuss a time in your life, starting with when you first entered modelling through Elite Model Look in 2005, through to the present day. How do you feel about featuring personal topics that are featured in the book?
Everything I do in my life I do it with passion, and I give everything I can. Otherwise, it makes no sense for me. When I decided to write this book, I decided to write it honestly. It’s the only way to share something so special as our personal story. I am fine with that. I know who I am, what I did in my life and what I want to achieve. I have been a storyteller for as long as I can remember, so I am really glad to share my story. The best is yet to come.
You are also a model booker - do you think having been a model helps?
You don’t need to be a model to become a great booker, but it can be a logical transition and of course it helps. If you were a model before you already know the market and the people, on the other hand, you know the dreams, the doubts, the fears and the questions of your boys or girls; as you were one of them before.
You studied Communication Science - do you think it has helped you in your work? Would you say education is important?
Absolutely. There is always space for knowledge and education is a very powerful tool. Going back to university to study was one of the best decisions of my life.
This year’s EML was a special one for you - what was it like to work so much on it and for it to be in your home capital?
I was "born" in Elite Model Look Portugal in 2005. I have been represented by Elite in the last 11 years of my life. In the last 5 years, I have been running the men division at Elite in Lisbon. I was the spokesperson and mentor in the world final of Shenzhen 2014 and Milan 2015. This year, Lisbon was the chosen city. I was once again the spokesperson and mentor. And…. guess what? I was the host for the television streaming on TVi! Don’t you think we really can “be everything”? (laughs). Dreams come true. Indeed.
A lot of the Finalists in Elite Model Look develop a special kind of respect for you as their mentor and catwalk coach. Is this something that comes naturally to you?
It is something I work for and I feel very grateful to them. Elite Model Look is a life changing moment... It was for me! Being part of this moment in someone´s life is unforgettable. I give everything i have and my boys and girls, and they give me back twice as much. The World Final of EML is something that stays in your heart forever. It´s much more than just a modeling contest. It´s about relationships, team work, sharing. This year we had 62 contestants from 36 countries. Can you imagine working with all of them in the same room? It's just great when I see them walking and shooting for the best brands and designers after EML. It’s just magical…
What’s the near future got in store for you?
In 29 years future changed my stories so many times that I am almost afraid to make plans! (laughs). But I will keep doing my best, working the most I can and hoping I can feel as happy and as accomplished as I am today. Let it go…