We sat down with Nick Mascardo - the small town Florida boy & winner of the Andrew Christian Trophy Boy Contest - to hear about his journey.
Why did you choose to enter the Trophy Boy contest?
I just saw the ad for the contest advertised on Andrew Christian’s Instagram. At first I thought nothing of it, but as the day went on I kept thinking to myself that it couldn’t hurt to try. I wasn’t too sure of myself, but finally that night I said, "Why not? What are the negatives of just trying?" I thought this could be the step I needed to get out of my comfort zone -- to finally come out to everyone and at the same time representing change and advancement in my life.
You say that applying to the contest was a way to "finally come out to everyone". Were you closeted before the contest? Did your family know you were into guys?
Closeted...ish. I didn’t make it really known to my old friends and it came to the point that I just made new friends who already knew so I didn’t have to explain it. I only found out about myself 2 years ago and needed an outlet. The contest made me have to reach out to the other side of my life and tell them, and luckily they were all so supportive! No, my family did not know. My mother called me up during the contest after the confession video aired and asked me over the phone if I was gay. It was so awkward to be asked “Are you gay? Last time I checked you weren’t!”
What does it mean to be a Trophy Boy?
To me, being a Trophy Boy is more than a title, it’s more than a contract. To be a trophy boy is a statement. It’s a statement recognizing self-growth, confidence and the ability to be a positive role model for everyone as a community!
What did you think of your competitors?
All my competitors were amazing! We all have a strengths and weaknesses. No one in my mind is the perfect model, but we can all strive to be our own perfect.
What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?
I care a little too much about what others think of me. I tend to take judgement on myself harshly! But I’m learning that although every opinion matters, my own opinion of myself should take priority. When it comes to strengths, I honestly think it’s my schooling! I majored in Marketing and minored in communications, so I’ve learned a lot about marketing products. So now I get to use that knowledge and advance in this career field!
What did you think of the competition?
At first the competition was just that -- a competition. But as it went on it became more. It became a learning experience. I found myself learning not only how to model in diverse ways, but I also learned how to brand myself, gain confidence to step out of my comfort zone, and marketing myself as a person. It honestly felt like going to college for the second time. The more I worked, the more I learned, the more I advanced towards a new chapter in my life -- a chapter that included Andrew Christian!
How did you prepare for the competition?
Believe it or not, a lot of research! I know it sounds nerdy, but I did a lot of sourcing! People only see what is given for them to see, but there’s a lot of stuff that happens behind the curtain that no one notices. I asked around a lot. I asked past winners and current connections in LA and online sources about the competition and what it took for the past winners to win as well as what Andrew looked for. So, the moment the competition started I was writing messages and making texts to prepare myself for any scenario possible. And what I realized is that there’s not something specific that Andrew looks for! He desires guys who have determination, belief, motivation, and the confidence to make a name for themselves and the brand!
How does it feel to have won?
Honestly, it is a huge weight off my shoulders! I have devoted the last 3 months to this contest. It feels like it’s a relationship! And to have won makes it feel like it was all for something! I have given Andrew Christian 110 percent in these past months and I am now ready to give them 200 percent moving forward. Winning this competition doesn’t mean I can relax, it just gives me a wider outlet to grow.
What's next for you?
Next for me is moving to California and pursuing every chance I get to work with the company! This has always been a dream of mine and I am not letting any opportunity run past me! I plan on modelling for a while with the company and hopefully get an insight into their marketing team! I would love to learn more about how they market and how they have built such an amazing empire.
What do you think makes you stand out from other models?
I would have to say dedication. Every day since I’ve enter the competition I’ve eaten, breathed, and dreamed Andrew Christian. It’s been the only thing on my mind and it’s obvious to everyone around me! The other models love the brand and represent it well, but this is something that I’ve been dedicating my time to achieve! Now that I have it, I am going to make Andrew Christian see it was worth it! Not to mention, I am the youngest AC model now! So hopefully I’ll learn some things and I may add a younger spin too!
How does it feel to be the youngest model? Do you think it comes with an advantage or disadvantage?
I like being the baby of the group! I feel like it gives me the opportunity to learn and get a hold on everything earlier than others, so I will have more time to move forward in this field! Plus, all of the models are already taking me under their wings and supporting the contest, so they’re like another family. I think it’s definitely an advantage!