For many of us, college is a time filled with microwave meals, sweatpants, and a palpable lack of anything resembling glamour. For 19-year-old London-born Nick Hissom, the experience has been one of fantastic parallel realities—as he alternates between his studies at the University of Pennsylvania and his other life as an increasingly in-demand male model. “I take all of my classes on Tuesday and Thursday, which leaves my schedule free for work,” says Hissom, who lives on campus in Philadelphia. “I’ve been going to New York most weekends for jobs, but this semester I’m taking lots of film and philosophy classes, so I’m focusing on getting perfect grades.” After he was discovered in 2009, while still in high school in Switzerland, Hissom initially signed with Ford and soon found himself traveling around the world, often with only a pile of schoolbooks to keep him company. “I’d like to break the stereotype, to be able to say to people that models aren’t dumb,” he says. According to Hissom—who has appeared in ad campaigns for Van Der, modeled for Tommy Hilfiger, and is now represented by boutique agency The Talent Net— all the commuting time actually gives him a chance to do homework. But academics and fashion are only two of his many pursuits: He hopes to release his first pop single through a Serbian record label this summer, and has other long-term plans as well. “I feel like my ideal career would probably be in the hospitality industry,” he says. “I love hotels and architecture and managing people. It’s a strange idea, model-turned-hotelier. Right now, I’m having a lot of fun doing what I’m doing.”
PHOTO: NICK HISSOM IN NEW YORK,OCTOBER 2011. JACKET AND JEANS: TOMMY HILFIGER COLLECTION. SHIRT: CK JEANS. NECKLACE: NATALIA BRILLI. BELT: STYLIST’S OWN. RING: KENNY. HAIR PRODUCTS: AVEDA, INCLUDING PHOMOLLIENT STYLING FOAM. STYLING: KAREN KAISER. HAIR: ANDRE GUNN FOR ORIBE HAIR CARE/THE WALL GROUP. GROOMING: KARAN FRANJOLA FOR CHANEL/MAREK & ASSOCIATES. SPECIAL THANKS: FAST ASHLEYS.