VMAN Exclusive: Donovan

Meet Donovan: model, musician and skater.

Born and bred in San Clemente, California, Donovan Wildfong grew up skating on the coast, wearing crop tops to school and making music with his friends. At just twenty-years-old, he’s now part of three bands and just wrapped up a campaign with Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God.

In quarantine, Donovan has not slowed down. Two of his bands — Depress Mode and Pleo Shaman — have been jamming out and even released a full genre album The Hydrojets which is available on all streaming platforms.

Always on the hunt for interesting up-and-comers, VMAN spoke with Donovan to get to the know the artist-turned-model. 



How old are you, and where did you grow up? What was it like growing up there? 

My name is Donovan Wildfong. I’m 20 years old and I grew up in San Clemente, California. Growing up in San Clemente was fun when you were just with your close friend group and everyone was supportive and nice, but school was a whole different thing. I got ripped apart in school for wearing crop tops and painting my nails before it was socially acceptable. But other than that, San Clemente is the absolute best.


Why did you get into modeling? How did it start? 

I got into modeling because everyone I know was like, “Hey, you should model.” I never gave it a shot until a few months ago. I was really down in my life and decided to try it and now it’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a career.


Were you able to skate at all on lockdown? How did you pass the time? 

My lockdown-time was honestly not that bad. Basically all I did was go skate in the daytime. I’d find just a parking lot and I would just mess around and then I would go home and meet up with my roommate and we’d either watch a bunch of Jack Black movies or we’d record. Within quarantine, we recorded a full multi-genre album in the comfort of our own apartment and it’s on all platforms if you just look up, “The Hydrojets.”



Can you talk a bit about working with Fear of God? 

Working with Fear of God was so awesome. Jerry and the entire team are the most genuine group of people and they were so supportive. It was crazy because I was just the kid that’s never modeled and I was walking into a room with some heavy hitting models and I honestly was very intimidated. But I talked to all of them and they were just the nicest and most supportive group of people and it was one of the best experiences in my life. I’ve never done something like that, it was lovely. Love Jerry so much.


What are some of your other favorite brands or designers? 

Celine, YSL, LV and Gucci for sure.


How do you think the events of 2020 will (or already have) affect the fashion industry? 

I think that the 2020 events are gonna shake things up a bit in the future. I think a lot of people are still gonna be walking on eggshells and playing it safe in crowds, but at the same time when everyone is told “You guys can do whatever you want, no more being inside,” I think it’s gonna get so crazy, like it’s gonna be so wild.




You’re a member of various bands — what are their names and what type of music do you make?

I’m in 3 bands, the first one is called “Depress Mode” and it’s me and my great friend Riley Getz and we play soft sad surfish pop-rock and we got an album coming out very very soon. And my other band is called “Pleo Shaman” and I play drums in that band and the music is just rock and roll. The last band is my friend, and basically brother, Wyatt Newton and I. We recorded a whole album on my TASCAM 4track recorder in my room and it was so fun we both play everything on it and switch off singing, it’s really cool.


What are some of your career goals?  

My career goals would have to be following my heart and seeing where life takes me, but I would absolutely adore to continue modeling and from there I would push music and acting and art and all of my other passions, but modeling would definitely be what I want with my career.


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