It’s so nice to have Nigel Barker back in our lives. The charming fashion photographer with a killer British accent has been one of our faves since his early days as a judge on America’s Next Top Model, and he really upped the ante last year when he became the host of Oxygen’s model competition, The Face. The more Nigel, the better, we say!
Now, The Face is back for a revamped second season, which includes a coach switch-up — out with Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha, in with Anne V and Lydia Hearst — and features Nigel in an entirely new role!
Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Nigel recently, where he sounded off on the new coach dynamic, how Kendall Jenner fares as a high fashion model, and what he thinks of the campaign against the “pedorazzi.”
Congratulations on a second season of The Face! Now that you’re back for round two, how are you approaching this season differently?
Well, first of all we have Anne V and Lydia [Hearst] this season. I’ve also been brought on as a confidante, which means I have the authority to go into situations and ask what’s going on and be a shoulder to lean on. I’m not a judge, so I’m not there to pass any criticism.
Do you feel like that’s a role you’re more comfortable with?
It’s nice not having to judge people. When you are judging, they are very guarded and concerned you’re casting an opinion on them. It’s sort of better to just help. Some people will open up to you much more. My background is as a photographer, so I want to be anything but intimidating and get people to open up in front of the camera.
How’s the dynamic changed this season with the addition of the new coaches?
Season 1, everyone was worried because they didn’t know how the show was going to work or what the dynamics were going to be. I think the new coaches we have came prepared to defend their positions. It’s all going to play out in a more interesting way, a more calculated way.
Speaking of fresh faces, Kendall Jenner just made her Fashion Week debuts in New York and Paris. What do you think of her going from reality star to high fashion model?
I think that she’s got the makings of a really successful model. She’s extraordinary looking, she’s got incredibly high cheekbones, great face, camera loves her, she’s got the height. And on top of that, she comes with a value and a built-in audience. The modern stars of today are so multidimensional. She represents that. The fact that she has Karl Lagerfeld’s endorsement [in the Chanel runway show], as he put her in his show, I think it’s a huge step in the right direction. What we’re going to need to see is how that will translate into editorial work. All the makings are there, and I definitely think she’s one to watch.
Shifting gears a bit, you’re a photographer but also the father of young children. What’s your take on the new campaign against “pedorazzi”?
I think it would be great if paparazzi didn’t photograph children. I know I’ve been photographed multiple times with my kids, and sometimes my son gets upset and tells them to stop. I’ve actually had to hold him back, and he’s only eight-years-old. Now, I think it would be fantastic if we could stop it, but I think it will be hard. But I’m in full support of it.
Catch The Face on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on Oxygen.
Are you watching The Face this season? What do you think of the new coaches? Tell us in the comments below.