From being a café owner to modelling to co-founding a well-known modelling agency, Hadri is a man who has dealt many cards. Graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and Marketing in RMIT University, Melbourne, where Hadri took up a part-time job in the neighbourhood’s coffee shop. There, he fell in love with the process of making coffee. After his return to the motherland, he opened a café of his own called Thursdvys. Other than being involved with the coffee business, he keeps himself busy with a number of modelling gigs which got him hooked. With his newfound passion, Hadri partnered up with two of his friends, TTFGA and Usher, in starting up Topboi Citizen, a modelling agency that’s unlike any that the industry has known.
In this interview, we speak to him about how he started Topboi Citizen and his sources of inspiration.
Speaking of cafes, how did the name Thursdvys come about?
I came up with the name Thursdvys after I experienced a string of significant events on that particular day of the week. On a particular Thursday night, I had a dream where one of my teeth fell out and according to a Malay superstition, that meant that someone you hold dear to your heart will soon pass away. And true to that superstition, my father died three weeks later—also on a Thursday. He actually didn’t really like the idea of me opening a coffee shop when I told him about it after I came back from Melbourne but after his passing, I found out that he had previously applied for a FNB licence without me knowing. So as a tribute to my father, I named it Thursdvys, adding of course a quirky change to the traditional spelling.
How did starting Topboi Citizen come about?
I was actually featured in one of our local magazines and Ridduan, also known as TTFGA saw one of the pictures on Instagram. Since he dabbled in street photography, he created this project called Topboi, a series where he shot a number of local faces. I was the first candidate he contacted, together with a number of other boys. After he posted the photographs he took of me on his own Instagram page, brands started contacting me, asking me to model for their products. Years went by, series after series, we accumulated about 200 men whom Ridduan had previously photographed. After talking to the boys, I realised that they were really passionate about modelling. That was when I had a chat with Ridduan and Usher, discussing ways we can turn it into a business. What started as a community soon became a full ledge company.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Hmm, I think I get my inspiration from everyone around me. I’ve hired more than 300 staff and amongst them are teens that have just graduated from high school. They reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger, when I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue in life and didn’t know where to go. Surprisingly, a lot of the kids I’ve hired came from a broken family. I take it as a sign from God, wanting me to help these kids out, to give them a sense of direction, to be the father figure they’ve never had growing up. So, I think that itself has inspired me to continue what I’m doing.
Hadri is wearing a jacket, shirt and pants by Brunello Cucinelli; TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300