Invictus: An Interview with Nick Youngquest
Taking Invictus to heroic new heights, the latest version, Invictus Intense evokes exhilarating freshness versus wild sensuality. Get to know the former professional rugby player, fitness influencer and face of Paco Rabanne’s Invictus, Nick Youngquest, as he talks the importance of self-care, his career and Invictus.
By Mayillah Ezekiel
How do you strive to be the best version of yourself?
Before, when I used to play sports, there was a lot of training involved, but now the way that I strive to be the best version of myself is through my yoga practice. Becoming a teacher was a big part of that. Also, it’s been interesting for me to still use the platform that I have now with the brand to make a difference in different ways. I ran the NYC Marathon for Team for Kids with Paco Rabanne, and I’ll be running NYC Half Marathon for the Human Rights Campaign.
How does yoga affect your mentality and does it help you stay motivated?
For sure, this is something I really wish that I’d practiced a lot more when I was playing sports because of its physical and mental benefits. It keeps you grounded in a way that no other practice does. Meditating and practicing everyday would have sounded crazy to me when I was 20 years old, but now it’s a big part of my life.
Being the face of a scent that represents a champion, how do you make sure to stand out from others?
It seems like whatever I do with the brand, I always have my shirt off. It does, in a way, make me stand out, but jokes aside, I think it ties back to the charity work that I do. I try to use my platform to make a difference by supporting multiple charities, rather than only posting selfies on Instagram for example.
Would you say that you are as competitive as your alter ego?
Not so much now, although my friends and family might disagree. As I got older, I learned to set goals for myself, but keeping in mind that it’s not about winning. During one of the marathons that I ran, coming down the last 4 miles, I saw men and women in their 50s and 60s run past me. I was pushing myself as hard as I could and seeing that was super humbling. I don’t have to be the first person to cross the line, it’s about achieving personal goals, finishing what I started and enjoying the moment as much as possible.
Do you identify with the character of Invictus?
Mister Invictus is very assertive and powerful. I guess I’m like him in some regards, but I’m also much more reserved in other ways. Practicing yoga gave me a totally different mentality and outlook on life, so 10-15 years ago, I probably would have been just like Invictus, but I think that as you evolve as a person, you change and your reasoning changes with that too.
Does your signature scent play a big role in your grooming routine?
I think it does; it defines who you are. It leaves a lasting impression on people. It always has been important actually - when I was 15 years old, the first fragrance I ever had was XS by Paco Rabanne, given to me by my mother.
What are a champion’s essentials?
The best champions to me have a level of humility that others don’t. Fashion wise - the spotlight is always on them, so of course they have to look good as well. The worlds of fashion and sports have changed a lot, because now, you also have to have the ability to represent brands and become in a way fashion icons.
A big part of being a champion is having goals. What are some of yours?
My short term goal is finishing my master’s degree in business. I do want to work more with charities, possibly working with the Big Brother program. I would like to have a family of my own eventually as well.
How did being a part of the campaign affect your life and career?
I retired from sports in 2012 and I started working with the brand one month later. It was such a different transition, going from sports to fashion. It’s been an enjoyable ride. It’s definitely taking my career in a direction I did not think it was going to go. Shooting the campaign is definitely a highlight. I was used to playing in front of thousands of people, but then shooting the campaign in front of 200 people was way more daunting than I thought it would be. I’ve also enjoyed being able to go to the different markets all over the world to visit the beauty advisors. The people on the front lines, selling the fragrance in stores, make it just as much a success as the people working behind the scenes.
PACO RABANNE -With blazing amber woods and a malt saltyamber accord as the base, this scent blends black pepper, cardamom, orange blossom and bay leaf, creating a sensual, more intense version of Invictus. Invictus Eau de Toilette Intense Spray ($105 - 100 ml).