Between walking a Gucci show in Milan to entertaining the world with comedy videos on TikTok, Calum Harper is a natural performer. Born in Gloucestershire and currently living in London, he began his career in 2020 during Covid-19 lockdowns. Boredom created an ambition and sparked a goal in Harper — to get his face out there. He applied to modelling agencies online, started posting on social media, and the rest is history. Three years later, we’d say it was a mission well accomplished.
Known to the public primarily by his TikTok account, which has 1.7m followers, Calum uses this platform to let people into his life and the modelling industry. While he’s serious and as high fashion as ever when walking runways, it’s his ability to make viewers laugh that has prompted the world to fall in love with him. He’s adored for his “public diary”, as he calls his account full of day-in-the-life vlogs and behind-the-scenes content, and how grounded and true he remains to himself. At only 20 years of age, Harper has managed to captivate both the luxury fashion industry and his Gen-Z peers — bridging the gap, defying expectations, and creating his own space.
We talk to Calum about his early career ambitions, first modelling moments, TikTok virality, and goals for the future.
Read the interview…
Hey Calum! Where are we speaking to you from?
Hello Wonderland! You are speaking to me from my home in east London.
What did you have for breakfast?
For breakfast this morning I put a cheeky bowl of porridge with fruit straight in my basket. Yes I have an obsession with porridge!
Could you talk us through your modelling journey? What was the first modelling job that you got, that made you feel secure in your career?
My modelling journey started in 2020 in the peak of Covid. My childhood dream was always to become an actor and when I was super bored in lockdown, I was trying to think of ways to somehow get my face out there. And that was when I applied to all modelling agencies in London and fortunately I got accepted to one. 2 years later after developing my look and gaining confidence, I changed agencies to Menace Model Management, run by possibly my favourite human ever, Patrick. He took me on and it was the best decision I have ever made. Within two weeks after signing I made my London fashion week debut and before I knew it I was able to travel to Tokyo, Japan for modelling. He completely changed my life and I am forever grateful to Patrick and the Menace team. Since then I have travelled to Milan, Paris and New York where I walked on the runway for truly incredible brands such as Gucci, Zegna, Heron Preston and Ludovic de Saint Sernin. To this day I still can’t believe it. It truly is a dream come true and I’m so grateful.
It’s interesting because while you make comedy videos, you also open viewers up to the behind-the-scenes of being a model. What made you want to start showing this side of your life?
I decided to start showing the behind the scenes of my modelling work because I just thought it would be interesting for people to see a true and transparent insight on it. I just try to add abit of fun to it!
Do you remember what it was like having your first viral TikTok?
My first viral TikTok… this is crazy. As I said earlier, when I signed with Menace Models my life completely changed. But this wasn’t just in the modelling side of things. The first TikTok that went viral for me was when I vlogged the very first casting that Menace sent me out on. And that was the very beginning of my vlog type videos yep yep yep!
What’s the most gratifying or fulfilling aspect of sharing your life online?
The best part about sharing my stuff online is when I recieve messages from people telling me how my content really helped them through a tough time where they just needed a laugh or bit of positivity. That’s what it’s all about for me. Knowing that I bring some type of joy and positivity to someone’s day is really what motivates me to keep on creating my vlogs.
Could you see yourself venturing into long-form content, like YouTube?
I do have a YouTube! It’s @calumharper18. However I’m yet to start posting long form videos. At the moment I am absolutely love making the short and quick 1/2 minute videos on TikTok. It suits my personality an absolute treat ahah!
Do you have any goalposts or accomplishments that you ultimately want to achieve? In modelling, TikTok, and beyond?
My goals for the future, hm there’s a lot! In modelling I want to continue progressing with runways and working with amazing designers. But my main goal is to land a worldwide campaign and be on a billboard. I always love walking through Milan Malpensa airport because it’s full of fashion campaigns and I’ve always wanted to be on one of them! With TikTok, aslong as I can continue making content that brings a little bit positivity into someone’s day, then I’m happy! But beyond that, as I said earlier, my childhood dream was to become an actor. So my absolute number one dream would to start working in that industry!
What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in the online space? What do you think is important to know?
To someone who is starting on the online space… I would definitely say patience and trust the process. If you were to watch some of my earlier videos, crikey they are just diabolical. I was so bad at talking to the camera and I was scared to express my genuine self. But overtime I became much more comfortable and confident when talking to the camera. So be patient but keep going! Also when it gets to the time to maybe start looking at a social media agency, really do your research. It’s so important that you find an agency suited to you and your content! I feel incredible fortunate to have found Cadence Talent as they’re so supportive of not just my content but me as a pasty ginger human. The founder Ben Pawson is truly the best. We are taking new strides in the fashion industry and it’s an incredibly exciting time! I can’t express my appreciation to Ben and the Cadence team for everything they do for me.
Lastly, in five years time how do you envision your life?
I truly don’t know how I see the next 5 years of my life going at the moment, things are changing just so rapidly all the time which I’m so grateful for! I hope to break into the acting industry whilst continuing to progress with my modelling and TikTok. But long as I’m happy, healthy and bringing a joyful and positive energy to everyone around me, then that’s all I care about going forward 🙂