A fika with international model Roger Dupé

Fashion9one1 sits down for a “fika” with model Roger Dupé in a busy coffee shop in his hometown Västerås, about an hour’s drive from Stockholm.

Name: Roger Dupé
Age: Just turned 25
Family: 2 sisters and a brother
Occupation: Model
Professional career: Has done campaigns for H&M, NK, Philipp Plein, Macy’s.

Editorials for GQ France, Bon Magazine, Elle Sweden.

Walked for Philipp Plein, Corneliani, Andrea Pompilio, Tiger of Sweden and many more.

Right now, Roger is in the busy process of moving back to Stockholm, after
having lived in New York for some time, and is back in Västerås to collect some of his old stuff at his parents’ house.

I like to come back here as often as I can, he says. I am very close to my family, and still have a lot of friends in Västerås that I like to come visit. It’s nice to get away from my shallow world for a bit and just be myself.

When asked if he misses the small-town life, he laughs and sais that the world has too much to offer to stay in one place.

– I like the fast pace of working as a model and I enjoy having multiple things going on at once.

Roger talks a lot about time and awards his success to some extent to great timing.

– When I started out, the Swedish fashion scene was ready for my type of model, and my look was something that was needed.

By “my type of model”, he refers to the fact that he is one of the first ethnic models ever to break through at a large scale in Sweden.

– It felt a bit like a revolution, he says, describing his journey as “kicking the door in” for models of different ethnicity to enter the industry.

– There’s no denying that there are jobs that I could never get because of the color of my skin. But then again, there are jobs that Scandinavian-looking blonde models can never get either, for the same reason. It’s important to see things clear and not just get angry for the sake of it. It’s mostly about having the right look for the job.

Despite it being an issue he feels passionately about, Roger remains very laid back and drama-free when talking about the issues in his line of work.

– By the end of the day, it’s all about inclusion and equal opportunities. Philipp Plein recently had a campaign where they used only dark-skinned models. It’s a great thought dealing with the issue, and he deserves all cred for it, but that’s still excluding.

Rogers parents are from Ghana and Togo but he and his siblings were born and raised in Sweden. Although the family has relatives that they occasionally visit in Western-Africa, and they even own property there, Roger himself claim to be very Swedish at heart.

– Sweden didn’t give birth to me, my parents did. And Africa gave birth to them. But Sweden is what brought me up and that’s why I consider myself Swedish, while still being proud of my roots.

Even fashion-wise, Roger is very Scandinavian. He likes the scaled down look with minimalistic tendencies and not a lot of bright colors. However, he enjoys seeing a lot of ethnic influences sneaking in to trends today with colors and patterns.

Interview by Emma Åkermark

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