Ever heard of Philippe Dumas, the 60-year-old star model with his endless stream of photos, fashion shows and who drives women crazy on the social networks? FAB reveals a few secrets about his life, his beauty routine and his magnificent beard.
Despite being in his seventh decade, Philippe Dumas can still do the splits, both literally and figuratively. The man has tattoos on one of his forearms and an extraordinary beard. Plus he loves doing ballet, weight-lifting and roller skating. After a career as a manager in cinemas, then in advertisement film production, instead of retiring he decided to give modeling a try… and it worked!
FAB: Tell us about your spectacular entrance into the world of modeling.
Philippe Dumas: In April 2015, I had to stop working. But so that I wouldn’t be inactive, I started working as an extra in a few movies – because I had lots of contacts in the world of cinema. With my beard, I stood out a bit. I was used for rather artsy scenes. Stylists and a few young people seemed to appreciate my look. I then signed up to agencies and tried out for casting calls. Last June, a few of my photos were used and posted by a mysterious user on Reddit. They created a tremendous buzz. Since then, everything took off: ads for Lip watches, fashion shows in Milan for Billionaire Couture, photo shoots and events with barbers, contacts in the United States, South Korea and Dubai, and soon a press campaign in London for the Canary Wharf area, and so on.
FAB: Your beard is a strong feature of your look. How long have you had it?
P.D.: My beard has become my business. It’s what allows me to work. I began letting it grow three years ago, first discreetly, just a little stubble. Then, longer. Perhaps it was to hide behind because I’m really shy. In the beginning, I dyed it to match my hair. At the time, I didn’t like my physique, but now I like what I see in the mirror. This beard brought me presence and maturity. I’m always stroking it and curling the ends of my moustache. It’s a stress-reliever. And thanks to it, people smile at me and remember me.
FAB: What has changed for you with this beard?
P.D.: It gives me self-confidence and a true identity. With the beard came a new way of dressing as well. I used to dress preppy and sporty, but now I’ve taken on a dandy look with suit vests (I’ve got lots of those), button-up hipster shirts or a loose thin tie, and I also have a soft spot for shoes, which I often wear without socks. Finally, I discovered the entire world and philosophy of the beard. There’s a real brotherhood of the beard. When we meet, it’s as if we know each other. We exchange tips on how to get a great beard or on how to place it when you sleep. There’s also a real fraternity among beard-wearers. In several countries, there’s a collective called Bearded Villains. It gathers all kinds of bearded men who try to do good for the community around them. I think this is fantastic. As for me, I’m going to be in the Just Allure fashion show in support of the Halte Sida organization and Movember to raise awareness about men’s health. This also means giving a little bit of time. Finally, I have an entire community of followers on Instagram, especially in Asia, Iraq and India. I’m blown away by how friendly their comments are.
FAB: What do you like about bearded men?
P.D.: There’s a certain manliness that exudes from those who wear a beard, a sort of wildness. Beards also provide old-fashioned elegance like that of Victor Hugo. Finally, bearded men have a particular charm. You can’t see if he’s frowning or smiling. He remains unbreakable and mysterious behind his beard. I often hear about Santa Claus’s white beard. This is sort of a storybook image, but it’s not really my favorite.
FAB: How do you look after your beard?
P.D.: In the morning, I comb it and put in a little oil for softness. In the shower, I wash it with a special beard shampoo product. I avoid eating melted cheese and I clean it after every meal. I have it cut exclusively at La Barbière de Paris. I switch between the small intimate salon in the 9th district of Paris and the larger, brighter one in the 1st. I really appreciate their skill, their advice and the expert eyes of Sarah Daniel-Hamizi.