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vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

Malcolm Omoruyi was born in Canada, and at the age of 6, his family moved to Nigeria—a transitional culture shock that he credits changing him for the better. Eventually, Omoruyi moved back to Canada and settled down in Toronto with the hopes of pursuing a University degree in Commerce and IT. During his time at Ryerson, he was scouted for modeling, and once again the course of his life was altered for the better.

He’s now 25 and has quickly risen to success in the modeling industry working with notable brands and publications such as GQ, OVO, Jumpman, and Kollar Clothing. He has a natural confidence and charisma that translates on and off-camera. Never one to slow down, he juggled school full-time while working at a startup and meeting the demands of a budding modeling career. Omoruyi knows all about pursuing your passion no matter the obstacles and has valuable advice to offer. We caught up with him over Zoom and discussed how mentorship has helped him, the struggles he’s overcome, and how to find self-confidence. Read the full interview below.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

Malcolm Omoruyi was born in Canada, and at the age of 6, his family moved to Nigeria—a transitional culture shock that he credits changing him for the better. Eventually, Omoruyi moved back to Canada and settled down in Toronto with the hopes of pursuing a University degree in Commerce and IT. During his time at Ryerson, he was scouted for modeling, and once again the course of his life was altered for the better.

He’s now 25 and has quickly risen to success in the modeling industry working with notable brands and publications such as GQ, OVO, Jumpman, and Kollar Clothing. He has a natural confidence and charisma that translates on and off-camera. Never one to slow down, he juggled school full-time while working at a startup and meeting the demands of a budding modeling career. Omoruyi knows all about pursuing your passion no matter the obstacles and has valuable advice to offer. We caught up with him over Zoom and discussed how mentorship has helped him, the struggles he’s overcome, and how to find self-confidence. Read the full interview below.

“Overall, my struggles have been people rejecting me and having too much on my plate.”

“Overall, my struggles have been people rejecting me and having too much on my plate.”

What are you doing when you feel most passionate?

I feel most passionate and alive when I’m doing something that I was told I could not do. There’s this [saying] that, whenever someone’s in the zone, they’re in a state of flow. I have a passion or drive whenever I’m in a situation that I was told I couldn’t do or “it’s not for you.”

What is the first moment you felt successful in your career?

To be honest, you never really feel that way—I think that’s why you keep going. However, a moment when you feel that way is when you achieve a goal. So for me, it’s graduating from University [and] I had a goal [that] when I graduate I want to have a worldwide campaign. It just so happened that year, I had the campaign for Nike and Jordan all over the world.

What struggles have you had to overcome to pursue your passion?

When I first started modeling I went through a number of agencies. The top 3 or 5 at the time all declined [to sign me] and said things like “no the look is not in style yet” and “we have someone just like that.” Then, the next year, I got re-scouted by Dulcedo in Montreal and Toronto. Other struggles would be balancing a full course load with school, working at a start-up company, and at the same time trying to go to New York and London for fashion week. Overall, my struggles have been people rejecting me and having too much on my plate.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

What are you doing when you feel most passionate?

I feel most passionate and alive when I’m doing something that I was told I could not do. There’s this [saying] that, whenever someone’s in the zone, they’re in a state of flow. I have a passion or drive whenever I’m in a situation that I was told I couldn’t do or “it’s not for you.”

What is the first moment you felt successful in your career?

To be honest, you never really feel that way—I think that’s why you keep going. However, a moment when you feel that way is when you achieve a goal. So for me, it’s graduating from University [and] I had a goal [that] when I graduate I want to have a worldwide campaign. It just so happened that year, I had the campaign for Nike and Jordan all over the world.

What struggles have you had to overcome to pursue your passion?

When I first started modeling I went through a number of agencies. The top 3 or 5 at the time all declined [to sign me] and said things like “no the look is not in style yet” and “we have someone just like that.” Then, the next year, I got re-scouted by Dulcedo in Montreal and Toronto. Other struggles would be balancing a full course load with school, working at a start-up company, and at the same time trying to go to New York and London for fashion week. Overall, my struggles have been people rejecting me and having too much on my plate.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi
vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

How has BLM affected modeling culture, and after the last year, do you think there’s been a change?

For a white model versus a black model, there’s definitely a huge shift in opportunities— especially in Canada. The white model is more privileged in the sense that their look is more commercialized; however, I see things have been changing lately. Even for myself, I’ve been able to take on more modeling roles which prior would have been given to the white model.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I don’t have any regrets, I believe everything happens for a reason. Some advice I would give my younger self is to have better friends and people around you. It’s like the saying “show me your friends, I’ll show you who you are.” The biggest thing for anyone who’s successful is the people they surround themselves with. Those people will have a huge persuasion on who you are and what you do.

Have you had any mentors and how have they helped you on your journey?

I didn’t really grow up with a father. I grew up with a bunch of single moms and I was very lucky that a lot of people took a liking to me. I had a football coach in high school named Paul and he was a mentor in the sense that any business ideas or questions I needed I would reach out to him. In University, we still kept in touch and would grab lunch and he would help me think of the bigger picture and things that I couldn’t see for myself. At the same time, I was working at a restaurant and I was helping this gentleman named Frank. He owns one of the biggest venture capitalist firms in New York, and he became a mentor as well. Anything I needed as far as references, getting ideas out, reaching out to new people, starting a new business—he’s there. Also, seeing how my mom carried herself as a single mom with multiple kids. She got up at 8 a.m. every day to go to work and came back at 5 p.m. put dinner on the table and never complained once.Seeing that really motivated me.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

How has BLM affected modeling culture, and after the last year, do you think there’s been a change?

For a white model versus a black model, there’s definitely a huge shift in opportunities— especially in Canada. The white model is more privileged in the sense that their look is more commercialized; however, I see things have been changing lately. Even for myself, I’ve been able to take on more modeling roles which prior would have been given to the white model.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I don’t have any regrets, I believe everything happens for a reason. Some advice I would give my younger self is to have better friends and people around you. It’s like the saying “show me your friends, I’ll show you who you are.” The biggest thing for anyone who’s successful is the people they surround themselves with. Those people will have a huge persuasion on who you are and what you do.

Have you had any mentors and how have they helped you on your journey?

I didn’t really grow up with a father. I grew up with a bunch of single moms and I was very lucky that a lot of people took a liking to me. I had a football coach in high school named Paul and he was a mentor in the sense that any business ideas or questions I needed I would reach out to him. In University, we still kept in touch and would grab lunch and he would help me think of the bigger picture and things that I couldn’t see for myself. At the same time, I was working at a restaurant and I was helping this gentleman named Frank. He owns one of the biggest venture capitalist firms in New York, and he became a mentor as well. Anything I needed as far as references, getting ideas out, reaching out to new people, starting a new business—he’s there. Also, seeing how my mom carried herself as a single mom with multiple kids. She got up at 8 a.m. every day to go to work and came back at 5 p.m. put dinner on the table and never complained once.Seeing that really motivated me.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi
vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

“The biggest killer for success is when you compare yourself to others”

“The biggest killer for success is when you compare yourself to others”

How has COVID-19 affected modeling and how are you adapting to the change?

For modeling, I’ve definitely seen some bookings decrease because 2019 was such a crazy year for me in the sense that bookings [were coming] out of nowhere and big campaigns. I was hoping to carry that into 2020, but I had a big summer. I got to shoot for GQ and a lot of bookings still came in. Due to COVID-19, I have the time to stay inside and work on my craft and opportunities by creating a company and expanding my knowledge on other things.

Modeling is a job that requires a lot of perseverance and resilience. What advice would you give to someone struggling with their self-confidence?

It’s all about timing. In life, everyone has their timing. Also, comparison—the biggest killer for success is when you compare yourself to others. Drake has a bar that says, “Mike never tried to rap like Pac, Pac never tried to sing like Mike.” One time when my self-confidence declined was when I was comparing myself to the competition and essentially replicating what they were doing in my mantra and regular routine. I noticed it wasn’t natural [for] me or confident and I had to take a step back and do what I do best. To find self-confidence, you need to be comfortable in your own skin, be happy with who you are, and it will show in your charisma and how you carry yourself.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

How has COVID-19 affected modeling and how are you adapting to the change?

For modeling, I’ve definitely seen some bookings decrease because 2019 was such a crazy year for me in the sense that bookings [were coming] out of nowhere and big campaigns. I was hoping to carry that into 2020, but I had a big summer. I got to shoot for GQ and a lot of bookings still came in. Due to COVID-19, I have the time to stay inside and work on my craft and opportunities by creating a company and expanding my knowledge on other things.

Modeling is a job that requires a lot of perseverance and resilience. What advice would you give to someone struggling with their self-confidence?

It’s all about timing. In life, everyone has their timing. Also, comparison—the biggest killer for success is when you compare yourself to others. Drake has a bar that says, “Mike never tried to rap like Pac, Pac never tried to sing like Mike.” One time when my self-confidence declined was when I was comparing myself to the competition and essentially replicating what they were doing in my mantra and regular routine. I noticed it wasn’t natural [for] me or confident and I had to take a step back and do what I do best. To find self-confidence, you need to be comfortable in your own skin, be happy with who you are, and it will show in your charisma and how you carry yourself.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi
vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

Tell us about a memorable day in your life that has stood out.

For modeling, it was when I got scouted. When I was in my second year of University, that was the worst time I’ve had in my life in general. Everything was going terribly—love life, school, and work. I would often go to parties alone because I’m a social person and I went to this party at the AGO and I didn’t know anyone there. I was walking around and that’s when I met Bobby Bowen. Everyone was trying to talk to Bobby and get his information to work with him. I walk by and he sees me and he’s like “you, I just love your face. Let me take a photo of your face. I want to work with you and help you.” He took a photo of my face and my Instagram, I didn’t think much about it, and at that time, I deleted Instagram. He saw me walking on the street [in Toronto] again and he’s like “hey, you again!” The next week he called me and told me to come to the studio at Nomad. I didn’t know Nomad was a clothing store, so we went in there and did the first shoot. He gave me a cheque, and at that time, that cheque was a lot for me. It was the easiest cheque I ever received, and after, things changed from there. It kind of helped me to get my head back in the game and gave me that entrepreneurial spirit.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

Tell us about a memorable day in your life that has stood out.

For modeling, it was when I got scouted. When I was in my second year of University, that was the worst time I’ve had in my life in general. Everything was going terribly—love life, school, and work. I would often go to parties alone because I’m a social person and I went to this party at the AGO and I didn’t know anyone there. I was walking around and that’s when I met Bobby Bowen. Everyone was trying to talk to Bobby and get his information to work with him. I walk by and he sees me and he’s like “you, I just love your face. Let me take a photo of your face. I want to work with you and help you.” He took a photo of my face and my Instagram, I didn’t think much about it, and at that time, I deleted Instagram. He saw me walking on the street [in Toronto] again and he’s like “hey, you again!” The next week he called me and told me to come to the studio at Nomad. I didn’t know Nomad was a clothing store, so we went in there and did the first shoot. He gave me a cheque, and at that time, that cheque was a lot for me. It was the easiest cheque I ever received, and after, things changed from there. It kind of helped me to get my head back in the game and gave me that entrepreneurial spirit.

Malcolm's Favourite

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vieren-black-diamond-watch-malcolm-omoruyi

Malcolm's Favourite

vieren-luxury-watches-black-diamond
vieren-black-diamond-watch-malcolm-omoruyi
vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi
vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

“For me, I’m so big on creating notes on what needs to get done. Every day I’ll make a list of things I need to get done, whether that be business or anything in general.”

“For me, I’m so big on creating notes on what needs to get done. Every day I’ll make a list of things I need to get done, whether that be business or anything in general.”

How do you power your time?

For me, I’m so big on creating notes on what needs to get done. Every day I’ll make a list of things I need to get done, whether that be business or anything in general. If it gets done it gets a checkmark. If it’s not completed, it will get an X. This is the most honest book of myself and also helps me measure my efficiency. I live [by] these books to a T. For time, this is how I put it in. Even if I’m seeing a friend—it goes in the book.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what’s next for you?

For the next five years, I definitely want to continue modeling and probably get into acting as well. I want to dive deeper into business, specifically artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Lastly, I want to increase my overall real estate portfolio and dive deeper into that at well. I’d also like [to start] my own company to feel more on my own two feet.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

How do you power your time?

For me, I’m so big on creating notes on what needs to get done. Every day I’ll make a list of things I need to get done, whether that be business or anything in general. If it gets done it gets a checkmark. If it’s not completed, it will get an X. This is the most honest book of myself and also helps me measure my efficiency. I live [by] these books to a T. For time, this is how I put it in. Even if I’m seeing a friend—it goes in the book.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years and what’s next for you?

For the next five years, I definitely want to continue modeling and probably get into acting as well. I want to dive deeper into business, specifically artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Lastly, I want to increase my overall real estate portfolio and dive deeper into that at well. I’d also like [to start] my own company to feel more on my own two feet.

vieren-power-players-malcolm-omoruyi

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