The former actor Robert Pattinson has had a bit of a meteoric rise to fame as of late, especially since teaming up with designer Victoria Beckham on her new project, BE. In fact, just this past January, Victoria Beckham and her son, Romeo, presented the designer with a prestigious award for her innovative, sustainable approach to fashion.

And while we have all grown to love and appreciate the talented actor-turned-designer, it was no secret that he had a long list of impressive fashion credentials going back to his days as a model. As a young model, he graced the cover of Teen Vogue 16 times and was named the ‘most beautiful face’ in the magazine seven times. He also appeared in several high-profile campaigns for top designers including Isabel Marant, Dior, and Chanel.

So, in celebration of his incredible modeling career and the upcoming launch of his Victoria Beckham collection, we take a look back at his incredible fashion legacy and how he changed the game for future generations of models.

The Good Old Days

“People always ask me, ‘What was it like being a model back in the day?’ It was actually really good,” he told GQ in an interview back in 2016. “I did a lot of cool shoots, met a lot of interesting people, and it was cool getting recognition for something that [he] worked so hard at.”

The recognition he was receiving wasn’t simply due to his exceptional looks but also because of the way he carried himself on the shoot. In an interview with Clutch, he admitted that despite his efforts to remain humble and respectful, he was actually competitive and driven by ambition. This is probably why he was so comfortable being a model. It was an opportunity to show off his incredible looks while also being competitive enough to want to succeed. So, it wasn’t all bad.

Early Influences

As a child, Robert Pattinson was always surrounded by women. His mother, Liz, worked as a makeup artist and his grandmother, Annie, was a legendary figure in the fashion industry for her work designing wedding gowns. These women would inspire him to follow in their footsteps and become a makeup artist himself.

“I think it was more a case of just following what they did. I didn’t really know where to start or who to imitate. I just sort of did what I saw,” he told GQ about his approach to makeup. “When I was about 13 or 14, I remember having a conversation with my mother about fashion and makeup. I asked her what she thought about me doing makeup and she just said, ‘Well, I think it’s a great idea but you need to be careful about what you put on your face. It’s a temporary thing. You don’t need to overdo it.’”

Career Beginnings

Thanks to his grandmother’s influence and good looks, it wasn’t long before Robert Pattinson was pursuing a career in fashion. While still in high school, he started working as a teen model, appearing in international magazines such as Vogue and Teen Vogue. At the same time, he began taking classes at a local college, studying business and marketing.

In addition to his passion for fashion, he was also drawn to acting. He saw it as a potential way to further his modeling career and get exposure in front of the camera. Even though he didn’t have much experience, he decided to give it a try.

A Change Of Plans

When he decided to attend college, Robert Pattinson didn’t simply stop modeling but also abandoned his plans to work in fashion. Instead, he initially enrolled in acting classes before switching to art school. While he was grateful for the opportunity to further his education, he felt like a failure because he hadn’t followed his initial plan. He only stopped modeling when his grandmother fell ill and he was forced to take time off from school.

The Next Big Thing

It wasn’t long before Robert Pattinson was working again, this time for Isabel Marant. He had previously walked in the designer’s show as a guest and was given a model’s contract. His first job for the French designer was to walk in the runway show for her Resort 2018 collection. For the occasion, he dyed his hair brown and even wore a mustache.

He followed this up a few months later with an appearance in the runway show for her Fall 2018 collection. While he was satisfied with the outcome of the collection, he wasn’t happy with how the show was presented. He wanted to show off the models’ faces, not their behinds as the designer had done in the past.

A Model To Remember

It wasn’t just Robert Pattinson who recognized his talent as a model. Designers, photographers, and artists from all over the world took a look at him and saw something that couldn’t be ignored. In 2016, he was named the ‘most beautiful face’ in Teen Vogue 16 times and appeared in several acclaimed designs by top designers including Isabel Marant, Dior, and Chanel. Most notably, he was the face of Dior’s Amani campaign.

This was a campaign the designer had created in response to the Parisian attacks. It wasn’t an easy job. The designer wanted to show how fragile beauty is and how terrifying violence can be. To pull this off, she turned to a 16-year-old model named Kasia who is also a victim of these attacks. The two had never met but they shared the same sadness over the loss of life in Paris. So, in an effort to bring some joy to both women, Dior created a beautiful, albeit grim, portrait of Amani.

A Designer To Remember

While Robert Pattinson’s work for Dior was certainly memorable, it was his work for Victoria Beckham that will probably go down in history as his most important and influential project. Even back in 2015, when the project was first announced, everybody knew it would be a game-changer. Not only had he previously worked with the designer on perfume campaigns but he had even acted as a muse for several of Beckham’s previous projects.

So, it was no surprise that when he was asked to be a part of her new venture, he jumped at the chance. Together, they created a capsule collection for the designer’s autumn winter 2018 line. It was a natural choice for Beckham to turn to somebody she had previously worked with and enjoyed collaborating with. Even now, years later, the line is still considered one of the greatest triumphs in the designer’s history.