Danté Sainten has that rare combination of looks, talent and intelligence. Born to parents of West Indian decent, Danté is one of the world’s most exciting models and even though women keep lusting over his hypnotizing eyes and amazing abs, there’s still more to him than just a cute face. We caught up with Danté to talk about his career in modelling.

Dante1“Modelling gives you the opportunity to express yourself in different
creative ways.” says Danté Sainten

Zen: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?
Danté: My parents are of West Indian decent. Father was born and raised in Panama while my mother comes from Antigua/Barbuda. I was raised in Orlando, Florida, where I did all of my schooling and finished college before moving to New York City to pursue modelling on a serious level.

Zen: At what stage in your life did you realize you wanted to get into modelling?
Danté: It was in my 3RD year of college when I started taking random pictures for superficial reasons like “fun,” or “for the girls.” Back in college, I started to enjoy seeing the results from my photo work and became exposed to the beautiful artistic aspect and creative expression that is allowed through modelling and all that surrounds it. It soon became a passion of mine when I saved up some money and took a week long trip to New York City to determine whether this is something I should really take seriously. The trip was one of the best decisions in my life because since I started modelling I do not want to stop.

ZenWhat has been your most memorable shoot so far?
Danté: My most memorable moment so far was when I got the pleasure to shoot for Mercedes Benz South Africa. Everybody was great and the vibe was so cool on set. That moment had me thinking of the work it took to get to that point and that was enough motivation for me to keep grinding to go even further.

ZenWhat do you like most about modelling?
DantéI LOVE being able to travel. I also love being able to meet so many people from different cultures/backgrounds. I also like the versatility. You have high fashion, commercial, catalogue, runway, editorial, fitness, showroom, etc. Modelling gives you the opportunity to express yourself in different creative ways.  It’s almost like acting, but without words and vice versa (Laughs).

Dante3“Fabiani, David Tlale, and Ruald Rheeder are my favourite
African designers. Africa has plenty of hot
designers!” says Danté 

ZenWho are your top 5 favourite African models? (Dante’s favourite models)
Danté: I love the look of South Sudanese models Alek Wek, Ataui Deng, and Grace Bol. I’m also a fan of Yasmin Warsame, and even though he’s not African, I can’t forget about the one who paved the way for guys like me, Tyson Beckford.

ZenThe most challenging aspect about modelling would be…?
Danté: Hmmmm, I’d have to say the uncertainty!!!  You can go into a casting/go-see and feel like the job is yours buuuuut they may not like you. OR, on the flipside, you can leave feeling that you bombed it and you can end up getting that call saying you’ve been booked.  The uncertainty will boggle your mind at times, but it’s all worth it!

Zen: Describe your style to us
Danté: There’s really not one way for me to describe my style so I’ll just call it the “style of not having a style.” My style is very versatile and at times pushing the limits. Edgy too. There are times when I may think of something to wear, and when I tell a friend about it they’re like “ummmm I don’t know about that.” But after I put it together and wear it they’re like “thats pretty cool!

Zen: Who are some of your favourite African designers?
Danté: Fabiani, David Tlale, and Ruald Rheeder. I love the tailoring and “sleekness“of Fabiani’s clothes, viewing a David Tlale collection is like watching a performance artist, with the ideas and concepts he comes up with, and being from a tropical place like Florida, I naturally gravitate towards the bold colours and patterns that Ruald Rheeder uses. And there’s more, Africa has plenty of hot designers!

Dante “My advice to all aspiring models is to be patient. Your time will
definitely come. Be confident and comfortable with yourself.”

Zen: Which designers would you love to work with? Why?
Danté: It would be an honour to work with the 3 designers I named above (Fabiani, David Tlale, Ruald Rheeder).  I’d also love to work with Dsquared and Roberto Cavalli.  I’ve been following these designers for years and a lot of what I put into my personal style is moulded after their collections.

Zen: Which celebrity do you have a crush on?
Danté: Haha, I can only name one???  Well, I first got smitten with Sanaa Lathan when I saw her in “Love and Basketball.” And she’s been holding it down in my books ever since.

Zen: Single or dating?
Danté: Single.

Zen: 1 item you completely can’t live without?
Danté: My watch…gotta keep track of time!

Zen: Do you Fb, tweet, or Instagram?  Which social media networks are you always on?
Danté: Yes, you can find me at www.facebook.com/dante.sainten and recently hopped on the Instagram train too at www.instagram.com/kisan357 .  Come take a peek into my lil’world!

Zen: Advice for aspiring models
Danté: My main advice would be to have PATIENCE! You have to be consistent in your progression and remember that your time will definitely come. Research EVERYTHING to know what you’re getting into. Do not come into modelling naive. Be confident and comfortable with yourself. If you don’t love yourself, then how will the clients, audience, or booking agents love you? Always love who you are.

Zen: What do you think of Zen Magazine Africa?
Danté: Zen Magazine is great! Especially for someone international, like myself, Zen gives us the opportunity to stay current with what’s going on in Africa from fashion and the latest shows/events to various current events…I can also get good insights/tips on cool travel spots around the continent.  Thumbsup!

For more details on Dante, please follow him Instagram: http://instagram.com/kisan357
For more details on Dante, contact his agency: www.covermodelmanagement.co.za