Paul Iskandar never imagined he’d be a model one day until he won the ‘Mister International’ last year and that’s when things started looking up for him.
Paul shares that he got his start as a model at the age of 17 after being discovered on TV playing basketball in Lebanon. After that, he started traveling a lot for various photo shoots, and then he ended up winning Mister Lebanon last year at the Mister International competition – that was the big break that propelled his modeling career to new heights. After winning the competition, he became quite famous, and he traveled around the world attending various high profile events via the Mister International organization. He currently has his sights on establishing a career in the US and in fact, he is planning on signing a contract in the US very soon. He’ll be based in Miami and New York after finishing his current contract.
StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Paul Iskandar to find out more about what it’s like to be a model and an Instagram star and here’s what went down.
1. Can you please give us a bit of a background as to who you are and what you do? Talk to us about your journey to where you are now.
My name is Paul Iskandar, I was born in Paris, of Lebanese parents and I moved back to Lebanon when I was seven years old. I started playing Basketball when I was younger, and I ended up receiving a scholarship in high school and university. At the age of 17, I started taking on modeling jobs after being discovered on TV playing basketball by my mother agency in Lebanon. After that, I started working on my fitness career, and I got a BA in physical education and sports. I managed the best gyms in Lebanon, traveled a lot for photo shoots and work and ended up winning Mister Lebanon – I represented Lebanon in the 2017 Mister International competition, and I won. After winning the competition, I became known on a bigger scale worldwide and I traveled around the world for work and attending events under the Mister International organization. I currently have a number of offers in the US, so I will be signing very soon after finishing my current contract in the Far East. I’ll later be based in Miami and NewYork.
2. What do you like most about being an influencer?
Being an influencer for me is being able to reach a much bigger audience, and the most important thing is being able to leave an impact – A positive impact because that’s what matters the most. I love sharing my personal experiences and stories to inspire new talents and the rising generation.
3. The downside to being an influencer?
Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Being smart and selective with your choices and smart with your decision will reduce the risk of disadvantages or as we call it “downside.” On the other hand, being an influencer means being open and being genuine which is what makes you lose your personal and private space somehow.
4. What’s your favorite social media platform?
My favorite social media platform is Instagram so feel free to follow me on @pauliskandar21.
5. What’s your best advice when it comes to growing your Instagram account?
Every person wants more followers and more fan base, in my opinion, the more real and genuine you are the more people will interact and follow you. Be yourself and focus on a particular subject to get the attention of the audience.
6. What powerful strategies did you use to grow your Instagram followers to how it is now?
Being Mister Lebanon and Mister International helped a lot with building my Instagram platform. Participating in the Middle East version of “Dancing with the Stars” and playing pro basketball in Lebanon helped me reach more people even more. Various appearances on national and international televisions also helped my Instagram profile more. On a personal level, I always try to be real.
7. What hashtags would you recommend that really helped grow your account?
Hashtags selection is really important on Instagram, and the hashtags you use should depend on what your account is all about: fitness, modeling, traveling… your hashtag should rely on whatever topic you want to target. That’s my strategy.
8. Is your family supportive of you being in the limelight?
Traveling a lot and interacting with different people and societies is something amazing. The more I travel, the more I meet interesting people. I would say my family is the base of attention and they left the most significant impact in my life.
9. What are your plans? Inside your career or out of it.
Moving to the States is my next plan, and it’s coming to life very soon. Working on my acting career is a priority while keeping the balance and not neglecting my fitness and modeling career.
Lightning Fast Round:
1. What do you consider beautiful and why? Keeping the balance between your looks and your inner soul, because it reflects and it shows. If you have a bad attitude you will look bad; balance is beautiful, kindness is beautiful.
2. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Skydiving
3. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d be…” a pilot because I’m afraid of heights.
4. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? Overthinking. I think I plan too much and I tend to overthink… a lot! I won’t change that because it’s working for me.