A new story by TheMenStyle.
Photo Kristina Lewis
Model Donny Lewis
Production-Styling by Oliver Rauh
Where are you from and what place do you call home today?
I am a Texan, from the U.S.A. Home is where the heart is so, I guess my home is scattered across the globe. LOL
How did your career start?
Reluctantly. I was scouted when I was 16 or 17 but I really wanted to focus on my academic and athletic career. I thought I might give it a try just to see what it was like, hopefully make a bit of money for school. I actually really enjoyed it and started off doing some nice work like Guess jeans campaigns, so I just kept going.
What would you point to as the biggest obstacle so far?
That would have to the rise of Covid and the devastation it has brought to so many in all walks of life. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have changed the industry.
What is your most striking experience as a model?
That has to be the realization a few years ago of just how impactful the fashion industry is on the planet, and not in a good way. It was something that I just did not realize and since I have been very motivated to do my part to help change that in the fashion industry from the inside out.
Which job gave you a special pleasure to do and with which stage partner did you have an interesting chemistry?
Wow, how to narrow down that list! I have been really fortunate to work with a lot of great people, like Brazil’s own Raquel Zimmerman for Valentino, but I guess as a Texan, the Luchesse boots was really special for me. They are a handmade in Texas company that I have worn my whole life. I did that with Jessica Miller and photographer Daniel Jackson. It was cool to shot on a set made to look like Texas at a studio in NY.
Which fashion professionals do you identify with and admire?
This is another long list! I suppose as a model I admire David Gandy, though less for his modeling career and more for the business and brand he has created from the modeling business. Fabion Barron is my favorite creative. He just seems to always have his finger on the pulse of style. I also love the photography of Mert and Marcus, having worked with them several times, I can attest to the fact that they are fun and they just create amazing visuals. I also really admire Amber Valetta for her career as well as her work to help drive sustainability in fashion.
We know that you have worked for major brands in the luxury market. Do you have a special relationship with one?
Well, that has to be Giorgio Armani. I have been working with them since the beginning of my career all the way to currently. It is always an honor to work for them, be it doing a show or a campaign or lookbook. I am very grateful for my long standing relationship with the entire Armani group family.
You are today more than just a model, and are also seen as a sustainability activist and influencer. Can you see the importance of this title in a world so full of fake news and haters?
I think that it is because there is so much fake news and greenwashing in the fashion industry that makes my role so important. People need to know that there is someone that they can trust to give them the real story, and real solutions that are ongoing in the field. I am honored to be that for as many as I can and help all who are interest find the best information possible to make the best buying decisions possible.
Your popularity young men is surprising. Can you explain the reason for their identity with you and your content on social media?
I really don’t know, perhaps they like the style or the information. I also find it surprising that about 60% of my following are men between 18-25. They don’t interact much they leave that to the ladies as far as I can tell. The women are far more talkative and engaging with the content.
How does Donny Lewis like to dress? Would you know how to talk about your style?
I would describe my style as Classically Sustainably Chic. I don’t buy a lot of new cloths. I am fortunate enough to have many clients that keep me clothed with my favorite pieces of their collections and when I need or want a new piece anyways, I try to buy vintage. Living the motto of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Though I do have a t-shirt and casual wear line of DVS Fashion in cooperation with wonderful zero waste, zero carbon Rapanui and Teemill. When I need things like that I buy from myself as proceeds go to charity. It’s a win, for the environment, win for my closet, and win for the fight against MS and for mental health.
How do you take care of mental and physical health in such difficult times?
Exercise and meditation. I also, try to do things that give back to the world. Doing good deeds is a great way to boost your mood and help a cause.
In your opinion, after going through this whirlwind of emotions due to COVID 19, will we go out loving the next one more? What do you want to learn for the next generations?
There are so many lessons we can take from this tragedy. One that I hope we can all get behind is that we don’t need as much stuff as we thought. The important things in life are the people that make it worth living. Another big thing is that we are all more alike as humans on this planet than we are different, no matter what issues seem to be pushed to create division, we are all in this world together.
I used the lockdown times over the last 2 years to create a new platform to support the environment:
weTRYBEtter.com This is a program that allows you to upload images of your planet positive deeds, like swapping, or recycling, even just picking up trash or riding your bike instead of taking your car, we will then take each image and put it into a large canvas collage of 1 million images turning that into an NFT to be sold for 10 million dollars. The money will directly go to charities and organizations already doing great work. I hope this project unites all of us and our common goals even more.
How is your relationship with your followers? Can you have a frequent dialogue to understand what they most like to see on your profile? Or do you just like to remain natural and be you?
I have a really nice relationship with my followers. I try to be as active as I can be with messages and comments, getting to know as many as possible. The content that I put out is based purely on my goals and
mission to raise awareness for a more circular fashion system. It seems to be understood and embraced by my TRYBE.
Finally, I would like to say that there are many admirers in Brazil. Have you already come to our country? Do you have any history with our culture?
I love Brazil! I have only been twice and both times were for work but both trips were amazing. I am still waiting for the right time to be able to get back to Brazil just to experience it all on my own terms. Hopefully, soon!