Nick Youngquest talks Victory, being a former rugby player turned model and coach, as well as the face of Paco Rabanne’s Invictus range.
We manage to get an exclusive interview with the Invictus brand ambassador and spoke to him about the latest release by Paco Rabanne – the Invictus Victory – and more.
As a former rugby player, victory (and defeat) have been part of your life, so what does victory mean to you?
As you move through different stages in life, the idea of victory and defeat changes overtime. When I was much younger and I was playing professional sports, the only thing that mattered was winning, but now I understand that victory comes in so many different forms. It doesn’t necessarily mean I have to be dominant over someone or defeat someone else. I now run marathons for charity and honestly, I am never going to win a marathon. However, I feel so much more victorious when I finish a marathon and complete the race with children smiling because they are running with me, than I ever did when I won games in sports.
We are also victorious every day. I feel victorious when I wake up in the morning, I log on to my computer and I start studying with my graduate school at university, because this is something that I have chosen to do, I chose to become better and I chose to learn. I think, once you can see all of that, you’ll have larger wins and you can really take them in and live them deeply.
Tell us of one victorious moment in your life and tell us why it has been important for you?
The way I see victory, the way I live victory, the way I reflected on victory has changed but for sure becoming a professional athlete was a victorious moment for me. I have worked very hard as a young person to get to the places I got to, so stepping into the professional platform was a super important part of my life.
To be honest, I know it sounds corny but one of the most victorious moment of my life was doing Invictus. I come from a vastly different profession before and working with Paco Rabanne has been fascinating for me. I have the chance to see such a different side of the professional life: working with hundreds of people on sets of tv commercials and doing some of the fantastic stuff we are doing with charity around the world. It really has been an amazing journey for me, something that I am very proud and I am very grateful for. Also stepping out of a relationship to a place where it was uncertain where I was going, felt like a very victorious moment. It’s like getting out of a comfort zone, this is what scares us and this is where fear or anxiety comes in.
Can you describe the feeling of a victory?
It’s the result of all the hard work, the sacrifices and the challenges along the way. In your mind, you know all of the steps you have taken to get to the victory, to reach the pinnacle or what victory means to you. It could be as easy as waking up in the morning or making your bed, playing for your country in football, or running the New-York City marathon. It’s a combination of everything that happened in your life to the point where you think: “I did it, I am here.”
Like victory, defeat is part of the game too, what have you learned from losing?
You learn so much about yourself when you lose! In sport, I can guarantee if you lose a game on a Saturday, on a Monday, at training you have to watch your performance and see what you did wrong. We are constantly challenged to achieve perfection through defeat and also through victory, because even if we win, we can still be making mistakes.
This is why I put so much emphasis on the small things and understanding on how to become better. Defeat is not failing, if you experience defeat it’s because you had the willingness to put yourself out in an environment where defeat was a possibility, that’s fantastic, that is what living is all about.
Do you have a Victory role model? If so, who is it?
As a young person, I was so involved and deeply into sports that most of the victorious people I looked up to were sports people. Kelly Slater for instance or Stephanie Gilmore an Australian surfer too. I am fascinated by her expertise and her ability to transcend multiple years and be so successful. But I am also amazed by her desire to fight for women’s rights and equality in surfing and in sport more broadly.
As I grew older, Martin Luther King became an idea of someone who is victorious, although we are still going through struggles and social inequality, especially considering race. But what he was able to do in such a short period of time was so inspiring, it gives me the sense of victory in a different way. I want to evoke social change myself with the things that I support and the social advocacy that I do.
Let’s talk about perfumes now. The new Invictus Victory is the only eau de parfum of the Invictus family. What are your thoughts about the new fragrance?
I love the mix of freshness and intensity. It reveals sensuality but also has a strong energy. It smells really good.
What is your relationship with perfume?
I wear perfumes all the time, and I’m lucky enough to have a very good selection of perfumes thanks to Paco Rabanne! I always loved perfumes since I was a kid. My mom always wore perfume and my grand-mother too – my earliest memories as a child are associated to it; I was one of those guys who was stealing his dad’s perfume.
Applying perfume, it’s like a reward, we work hard and we want to smell nice, for ourselves but also for other people. Voila! Now that I work in the industry, I understand more the different notes and what it takes to make a perfume. When I put it on, I think about the amount time and work dedicated to it. It’s inspiring.
Do you have a favourite scent from the whole range?
I don’t have a favourite, all the fragrances can be used at different times. Throughout the range, there are subtle different things, always playing on the juxtaposition of freshness and sensuality. I love the versatility of the fragrances, it’s great for males. If I see Invictus Legend as a fragrance that I might wear on a first date, someone else might see as an everyday fragrance, that is so great, it reveals who you are. The one you chose to wear can really point your own individuality.
Priced at RM400 for 100ml, Paco Rabanne’s Invictus Victory can be found in leading retail stores.