Successful career in LA: Fabian Arnold in interview

Fabian Arnold’s extraordinary story is characterized by numerous facets and exciting twists and turns. In this interview, we take a look at his unique career and learn how he managed to rise from his hometown of Cologne to become an internationally successful model and influencer. We dive into his story, starting with his discovery as a model in Sydney during his year abroad in Australia. From there, his path led him to metropolises like Singapore, Milan, London and Berlin, where he became successful not only as a model, but also as an influencer in social media.

Own business at 26: All about Fabian Arnold

But that was just the beginning: A bold move eventually led him from Germany to Los Angeles to advance his career on a global scale. In this interview, we will also talk about his experiences in entrepreneurship, his unique personal style and his impressive brand. Learn all about Fabian Arnold, who managed to make his dreams come true, here.

Here you can read more about Fabian:

Lukinski Villas

Germany - Spain - USA

From Backpacking to Model: Fabian’s Story

FIV: Hello Fabian! Perhaps you could introduce yourself very briefly in your own words so that our readers can get an impression of you. Who are you and what makes you and your brand special?

Fabian: My name is Fabian Arnold, I am 26 years old and come from near Cologne. After my dual studies as a businessman for insurance and finance in Cologne, I spent a year abroad in Australia, more precisely in Sydney, as a backpacker. There I was discovered as a model and started modeling in the fashion sector. Since then, I’ve lived in cities like Singapore, Milan, London and Berlin, which also led me to work as an influencer on social media.

After meeting with a modeling agency in Los Angeles in 2019, my dream of moving to Los Angeles came true. I was able to fulfill this dream after the pandemic in 2022 when I received a visa. Since 2022, I have also turned to acting and have already made two films. This year I have two more films coming up.

Own business inspired by Greek mythology

At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I was thinking in Germany what else I could do besides modeling and acting. Since I have always been interested in Greek mythology and personally have not found any underwear for men that met my needs and also had more to offer in design, I decided to start my own brand.

My goal was to create the best underpants for men. Our USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is clearly our design, not just our brand name. We also rely on innovative technologies like the double bottom to prevent holes between the legs, a reinforced support for a round silhouette and a fitted cut in the front to emphasize masculinity.

The dream of Los Angeles

FIV: What inspired you to move from Germany to Los Angeles to further your career?

Fabian: Since I more or less started my career abroad, I had little contact with the industry in Germany. In Germany, everything is very narrow-minded and everyone fights for themselves, so I don’t really get along with the social politics. I wanted to think bigger and go further out, and Los Angeles is of course the right place to play a role in the global market. Here, it wasn’t enough for me to be successful only in Germany.

I was eager to inspire and reach people all over the world. Since I already had my mother agency in Los Angeles, I had of course already laid the foundation to gain a foothold in Los Angeles. Another point is of course my physical disposition. Since the German model market is strongly focused on fashion and rather slim male models, I have better chances on the American market, especially in Los Angeles, because of my physique.

Also for acting, I could always identify better with the English language in films than making films in German and portraying characters.

Living in Los Angeles: advantages and challenges

FIV: What challenges did you face starting your career in Los Angeles and how did you handle them?

Fabian: Since I had already lived in Los Angeles in 2019, I knew what I was getting into and also already knew people on site. So I was not completely alone here. Los Angeles is a huge city with many artists and people who want to realize their dreams and come here to make a career. So it’s incredibly easy to quickly meet a lot of people who are also working in the industry and make a lot of connections through that.

However, it’s difficult to build real, deep relationships because everything is very fast-paced. All people come to Los Angeles to further their careers. That’s definitely also the biggest danger and risk, that you lose yourself in partying and superficial relationships and don’t find a stable footing.

How much does it cost to live in America?

In addition, the housing market in Los Angeles is extremely expensive. It is almost twice as expensive as in Germany, to find cheap maintenance and cheap apartments is almost impossible. Therefore, you have to reckon with about 2500 € per month just to get a single room. Food in the supermarket is also much more expensive than in Germany.

Therefore, one has to reckon with monthly costs of 4000 to 5000 €. Taking the step to Los Angeles is definitely not easy, especially if you are just trying to start your career. I would recommend everyone to start their career first and then, if it is going well, dare to take the step to America, otherwise it can break your neck.

“Sex Sells”: Important for your career?

FIV: What differences have you noticed between the German and US entertainment industries in terms of acting and modeling?

Fabian: Since I don’t have much experience in the acting industry in Germany yet, I can’t say much about the difference between acting in Germany and in America. But I can imagine that the difference is that in America people always think bigger and approach projects much more ambitiously than in Germany, for example. In Germany, there are also not so many investors who invest a lot of money.

As far as modeling and the entire entertainment industry is concerned, the motto in the U.S. is “sex sells,” and that’s also the biggest difference from the German industry. As a German, you are always taught to have values and to do the right thing. In America, it’s often just about doing good marketing to be perceived as a unique person and to become successful. People will do anything for that, like Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. She did it and now no one cares what she did in the past to become famous.

In Germany, something like that would simply not be possible. So you could say that in America you have greater opportunities by asserting yourself. In Germany, there is a very traditional hierarchy that you have to overcome first.

Development of Fabian’s personal style

FIV: How would you describe your personal style? Are there any trends or styles that you follow?

Fabian: It’s always difficult to describe your own style. Especially because I’ve been active in modeling and social media for six years, I’ve gone through different phases. In the beginning I worked as a Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch model, with long surfer hair and often topless with Calvin Klein underpants. At some point, that time was over and I wanted to evolve so I wasn’t just the typical “Cute Boy”, so I got more and more into the technology of cameras and video cameras.

Own production company and role models

As a result, I started my own production company, FXA Media GmbH. With my production company, I focused more on the commercial market and developed short films, motivational quotes, thought-provoking content and other formats on my own social media channels. In modeling, I’ve always tried to model myself after Nick Bateman, Zac Efron or Channing Tatum, who I looked up to when I was younger. In terms of acting and my current acting skills, I would say that I could pass for a German version of Channing Tatum or even a Jake Gyllenhaal.

I love doing comedy, but of course I also love doing deep dramas. Of course, since my last name is Arnold, I’ve always looked up to Arnold Schwarzenegger as a role model and would like to work with him in a movie one day. It’s time for Arnold 2.0 to take off in LA. I do my best for that every day, with acting classes, scene study and everything that goes with it, including stunt training.

From Billboard in LA to projects with Dior, Gucci and more.

FIV: What projects have made you most proud in terms of your career?

Fabian: Relatively high on my list is definitely the global campaign for Aussiebum, which I shot in Australia in 2018. The photo was then presented as a huge billboard on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. When I was in Los Angeles for a few months in 2019, it was an indescribable feeling to see myself on a billboard in Los Angeles.

Besides this project, of course, I had many other projects with brands like Dior, Versace, Gucci, Cartier and MCM. Overall, it’s been an incredible journey with a lot of great things happening that you can’t boil down to one specific project. I’m just incredibly grateful for all these opportunities to meet so many interesting people and put myself out there.

Fabian’s tip: Hard work pays off!

FIV: What advice would you give to young people who want to pursue a career in acting or modeling?

Fabian: One thing must be clear to anyone who aspires to a career as an artist: It’s a very, very long road, with many ups and downs. Often you feel like you don’t want to do it anymore and you don’t even know why you’re doing it at all. You have to work hard every day, because somewhere in the world there is always someone who can do it better, looks better and has more skills. You have to use every free second to improve yourself, develop yourself, read books and be present on social media. Even if you want to work as a fashion model, social media is now essential and you have to perform well there.

Own network and a clear vision

Nowadays, acting and the modern market is much more than just about the talent itself. You also have to deal a lot with marketing and building your own network. You have to be aware that it will be a hard road and you have to persevere. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged by people badmouthing you. There will always be people who criticize.

You should take the positive out of it, either by recognizing that they are envious of what you have already accomplished, or by accepting the criticism and thinking about how you can improve your work.

However, it is also important not to give too much weight to every criticism. Sometimes you have to stick to your own ideology and ideas and work on them. Having a clear vision is essential in any case.

Through experience to entrepreneurship

FIV: How has your experience as a model, influencer, and actor influenced your approach to entrepreneurship and starting your brand?

Fabian: Through my extensive behind-the-scenes experience with various fashion brands and my dual studies as a business administrator for insurance and finance with a focus on marketing and sales, I was already able to learn a lot about the entrepreneurship of fashion brands. My main goal was to create something that doesn’t exist in this world yet, instead of being just another street style brand for apparel.

In addition, I knew from my knowledge of influencer marketing that only brands with the highest quality and positive word-of-mouth effect can be successful. Since I can’t compete with brands like H&M or Zara without investors and a big budget, the focus of my brand is on quality and attention.

“You can always connect the dots in your life”.

Through my contacts in different fields and my own skills, I tried to work out the strengths and shape the brand around those strengths. As a male model and with many contacts with photographers, I knew I wanted to create a high quality designer brand to capitalize on the strengths of photographers and my model friends. Since I also know many magazines, my goal was to place editorials in these magazines.

Everything you learn in life you can apply in some way, and that’s also something I’d like to pass on. Even through my dual studies as a business administrator for insurance and finance, which has nothing to do with the fashion world or a new fashion company, I learned basic skills like creating Excel spreadsheets, conducting business negotiations, or understanding marketing and sales, as Steve Jobs once said: “You can always connect the dots in your life.”

Through my work in acting, I have of course also met many actors and personalities who can act as brand ambassadors for my brand. So I try to take advantage of all the areas that my contacts offer.

Nereus: A brand that conveys strength

FIV: What are the most important values or messages you want to convey with your brand?

Fabian: The name of the brand (NEREUS) was not just chosen at random. I must have taken a year and thought about which name was not yet available on the market and which name also had a meaning in mythology. Nereus is the god of the Aegean Sea in Greek mythology, which lies between Turkey and Greece. It is said that he had the gift of prophecy and people from all over the world came to him to talk to him and seek divine advice.

In addition, it is said that Nereus conveys strength and gives supernatural powers. This is exactly what NEREUS products are supposed to offer: Through innovative cuts, finest materials and great design, your self-esteem shall be strengthened and your self-confidence shall be increased to make you a demigod. That’s where the slogan “Half God, Half Human” comes from. On our website, we tell you a lot about the mythology and background of the god worlds.

The brand’s values are clearly defined: You can achieve anything you set your mind to if you work hard and are confident. This is exactly the feeling NEREUS wants you to have by wearing our underwear every day from morning to night, as it is the garment you wear every day. You feel more comfortable and confident in your own body when you wear something that feels great and is perfectly cut. With an innovative cut with a supportive bottom area and a sculpted front, it emphasizes masculinity and strength.

Characters with magical powers

FIV: How did your creative vision as an actor translate into the design and style of your products?

Fabian: I was always blown away by the movie “Percy Jackson” back then and love watching movies where a person gains magical powers, like in “Spider-Man”, “Captain America”, “Iron Man” or even “Superman”. Since water has always played an important and fulfilling role for me and I have always loved to move in water, it was important for me to use the trident as a symbol of strength.

A dream, of course, would be to one day make films about NEREUS in which I myself would be an actor. On the waistband of the underpants you can see a battle of demigods and creatures, reminiscent of a Greek mythology war movie such as “Troy”, “300” or even “Sparta”. All the content, the model images and also the campaign videos are all shot in acting and move heavily into editorial, away from just modeling in front of a white wall.

More than just packaging!

FIV: Is there anything else that makes Nereus the new best underwear for men?

Fabian: Another special feature is of course the packaging, which is not only meant to be thrown away, but can also be used as a coffee table box or for the bookshelf due to its unique design and quality with the certificate of authenticity. The first black box “Season One” is very limited and after the first season will of course come a second season, which is completely white.

Then comes the third season, then the fourth, and all together form a pattern for the bookshelf or even the coffee table. We’ve been thinking not only about the products, but also about how to reduce packaging and increase its use to leave a positive environmental footprint. Our goal is clearly not to create just another fashion brand, but to take the right step, to act as a role model and not just focus on profit, but to act according to the motto: Do the right thing.

Briefs and swim trunks: this is what you can be excited about

FIV: What products are planned next?

Fabian: The next products planned are a dark gray and a light gray version, as well as briefs and a new waistband. In addition, we will push with momentum into the area of swim trunks and also Speedos.

We will also move with momentum into swimwear, sportswear, apparel, jewelry, beauty and interior design.

In addition to the underpants and other products, another highlight is the Members Club, which works similarly to Amazon Prime. There you get discounts and free shipping, but also access to a limited art collection where you can buy limited art prints from the Nereus collection. Currently, these are available worldwide as one-of-a-kind pieces. Our vision is also to create a coffee table box and calendar.

More from Nereus can be found here!

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