July 15, 2024


We Do Shopping Right

Charlie’s a fashion world darling

His face is helping to sell one of the world’s best-selling fragrances.

The handsome hunk captured on the global image with top model Karen Elson, wife of White Stripes’ singer Jack White, promoting Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest perfume Classique, is none other than Skipton nightclub owner, Charlie Weaving.

His agent just happened to be in top fashion designer Gaultier’s company and mentioned Charlie as a potential model for his high-profile perfume campaign. He met with the company and was booked on a five-year contract, earning £54,000 a year.

“You deal with it in the correct way and you spend it in the correct way,” says Charlie.

He’s had his share of high calibre cars; a Ferrari and a BMW X5. His current motor is a swish BMW 7 series but his biggest investment is his business – the swanky Rooder nightclub launched more than a year ago.

Considering he’s only 24, Charlie appears to have a pretty sound head on his shoulders as both a model and entrepreneur.

He tells me he runs his business with military precision. I can believe it. He says he’s respectful in his own business and on modelling assignments too. He always arrives on time when many of his fellow models are probably still getting out of bed.

Attitude obviously counts. Models throughout the world would love to profile Gaultier’s perfume campaign, but Charlie was the chosen one.

To him it’s just a job and that probably reflects how modest this guy is. There are no airs and graces as we speak, no big-headed wit.

He left school with no GCSEs but plenty of ambition. His first ambition was to leave Lancashire, where he grew up.

“I’d left school and I thought there was more to life than Lancashire. I wanted to get away. I had itchy feet,” says Charlie.

Dazzled by the bright lights of London, he enrolled on a hospitality course at a college in the capital. His parents are hoteliers so he’d always been used to travelling and moving around.

Catering was certainly a consideration. I ask whether his parents influenced that decision. “They’ve always given me a lot of freedom,” says Charlie. “I’ve always been sensible. I wasn’t particularly interested in hotels so they said, Go do whatever you need to do.’ I’d grown up in hotels. I enrolled at catering college and was there three months but I needed money to survive so I went out looking for a job. I found one giving out flyers for a nightclub in Covent Garden. I used to get £1 for everyone who went in. I did so well I gave up college and started doing that full-time!” laughs Charlie.

The Millennium was certainly a year for celebration for Charlie when he went to work at a club in Soho as a door picker’ – selecting suitable clientele for the club.

“I’d stand on the door and pick and choose who was coming in. We wanted a nice socialising environment,” says Charlie.

The venue’s downstairs location provided privacy for celebrities away from the prying eyes of the press. “The first night I worked there Posh Spice and Madonna came down. My eyes nearly popped out of my head!” laughs Charlie. “I knew then I was in the right place.”

Recalling the moment he came face to face with Victoria Beckham, Charlie says: “Posh said: There are a lot of stairs to go down, can you hold my hand?'” Charlie, was, of course, more than willing to assist the fashion icon.

Working within that environment brought him into contact with London’s movers and shakers. “The fashion people would come – it’s all one circle – and after a few weeks a man came and asked if I wanted to do a photo shoot. I asked how much it was and was told £100 a day,” says Charlie.

Charlie’s first assignment was for a high-profile American teen magazine. Shortly afterwards the casting team who worked with him on the shoot introduced him to Storm, the international model agency which catapulted Kate Moss and Elle McPherson to supermodel stardom. “Within two months I was in Tokyo for two months,” says Charlie. “It was a 26,000 dollar contract. They paid for my flight, accommodation, food and a driver.

“I was doing everything, catalogues to high fashion. Everything you could possibly imagine.”

He recalls regularly flying off to global locations for a few hours’ shoot and spending months on assignments in destinations some can only dream of visiting.

Charlie has also worked the catwalks in the countries synonymous with style – the fashion capitals of Paris and Milan. He’s even shared a runway with supermodel Naomi Campbell! And he wasn’t fazed by any of it.

“I felt it was meant to happen. I’ve never been scared of anything, I was excited and keen to get on. I didn’t want to be stuck in a village not seeing the world. I wanted to get out there and experience things and make my family proud,” he says.

“It’s been such an experience travelling and it has been invaluable to my business.”

It’s also given him some ideas, although he says he doesn’t know whether Skipton is ready for what he has planned just yet! His ambition, since returning to his Northern roots, is to develop Rooder, the nightclub within his parents’ Rendevous hotel complex in the town.

“I came back up North to be with my family and also to have a better quality of life,” says Charlie.

Initially he opened the Rood bar in Barrowford, near Burnley, but changes in the licensing laws forced him to turn it into a restaurant which he has since sold.

“My family bought Rendezvous three years ago and my father said it would be a perfect location for a nightclub,” says Charlie. “It’s a family business. We’ve always been a close family.”

Keen to retain the reputation from his previous business, Charlie christened the nightclub Rooder. “Rood is door backwards, it’s red in Dutch and it’s a bit naughty!” he laughs.

I ask how he manages to model – he was due to take part in a catwalk magazine shoot for a top magazine at Selfridges in Manchester when we spoke – and run a nightclub. “The whole thing is running like a military operation!” he laughs.

As well as the day-to-day running of the club and helping out in the hotel, Charlie is involved in booking some of the UK’s high-profile DJs, including K-Klass and Brandon Block, contacts he made during his days on the doors of London’s celebrity social scene.

And he was recently shadowed by a BBC film crew for his part in an Inside Out documentary to be screened soon. “They (the BBC) were shooting one of the DJs in the nightclub and the producer said: I believe you are a model’ and asked if they could do a documentary on me. Being the self-publicist I am, I said yes!” laughs Charlie.

Surely so much work demands plenty of playtime? “I go to Thailand and Dubai twice a year,” says Charlie.

“I can’t stop. If I did I’d be bored!”