From the shores of the Italian port city of Bari comes the gorgeous Nikco Fume, taking New York’s nightlife by storm with , intelligence, self-discipline, a great attitude and, yes, smoldering hotness. With Thotyssey, he discusses the path that brought him here, the ups and downs of modeling and gogo dancing, the Black Party, and just being Nikco.
Nikco: Nathan Ayon’s fashion show at ACME ended at 9:30pm (as a model walking in the runway, I had to be on site at 5pm for hair, make up, fitting and line-up). My call time for Frankie Sharp’s party at The Jane Hotel ballroom was 11:30pm, ending at around 3am. The two gigs were back to back.
Is it difficult to click from model-mode to gogo-mode so quickly?
I love both modeling and dancing, so I really enjoyed going from model-mode to gogo-mode. And the atmosphere at both events helped! Also, I love being versatile and busy…and I consider myself lucky as i have the chance to do what I enjoy doing.
(from the Strut! runway show, 3/29/2016)
That’s great! So, New York knows you well as a gogo dancer and model, but you were born in Italy’s port city of Bari, which looks beautiful in photos. What was your life like there?
I was born and raised in Bari, a very beautiful city in the South of Italy (right in the heel of the boot) and moved to the US when I was 22. I have always had a particular interest in dancing, modeling and entertaining – however, my life was different back there at the time. I was in college, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Yes, I’m a gogo/model who can work with numbers! Also, I was younger and trying to figure out what to do in life…like everyone else at that age.
I bet having a background in economics is pretty useful to you today.
It is useful, actually!
Did you already know English when you got here?
No. When I first moved to the US, I couldn’t speak English at all. I remember people on the street were asking my directions and all I could say was: “What!?” That was so embarrassing! I took English classes right before my master’s degree program, and after six months I was able to fully be in a conversation. It’s been really tough at the beginning, the whole process was hard…but I’m a very hard-headed and dedicated person, and I insist on something until I get it. And I learned.
So, what exactly brought you to the US?
When I first moved to the US I was actually in school, where I earned my Master’s degree in Marketing…followed by my career in the fashion industry, which lasted roughly five years.
Where did you work in fashion?
I worked for two well-known fashion houses: Versace first, I was part of the marketing team with the role of marketing analysis and events production. and then Brunello Cucinelli, where I was the Marketing Assistant for the first two years, and then Executive Assistant to The President.
They must have been telling you right away that you should model!
Haha, they always noticed and mentioned my sense of style. I mean, I’m Italian…style & fashion are in my DNA.
So what did come first actually, modelling or dancing?
Dancing, but I started modeling immediately after, so there is no big chronological difference between then two. I was feeling inside that’s what I wanted to do, so as soon as I started with dancing I put myself in front of the camera as well.
Where was the first place you danced?
Well, I originally started with lap dances at FairyTail Lounge in Hell’s Kitchen…even though that’s not exactly what I wanted to do. But I knew that would have taken me somewhere else; I knew it was just a way to start. My first actual gogo dancing gig was at XL Nightclub.
Did you have any inhibitions at first about dancing in bars: getting stared at and touched, propositions, etc.?
Well, in the beginning [at FairyTail], that was new to me…and different. I was not used to it. I took it more like a way to socialize and get to know people, as the “getting touched” part usually comes after a first verbal approach. I won’t lie, I would have avoided doing it of I could…but, as I said, it got me started and put me out there. So I don’t regret it.
So now in your dancing, you’re able to put that space you need between yourself and the audience?
I mean, I love to interact and socialize with others, as I’m a friendly person. But, yeah, you are right…now there is a space between myself and the audience. Now I’m an entertainer, and it makes me happy seeing people watching and enjoying me, in terms of image and dancing.
Is it empowering to be the object of attention and desire by so many people in the room, or is it scary?
It’s very empowering to me, it makes me excited. It’s hard to explain it…I feel like I’m a completely different person when I’m on stage – all my insecurities go away, and the true me with no inhibition comes out. Adrenaline, energy and charisma concentrate in my system when I’m performing. This is what I like to do, so I’m happy. I was told people can see that, which makes me even happier! So, yes, I love being the object of attention.
That sounds addictive!
It is, I miss it when I’m not performing.
It must take a lot of work to maintain your physique, though.
It is hard to maintain a certain physique…it requires dedication, motivation, consistency and a lot of discipline. I workout five times a week, and I’m very strict in terms of nutrition. I’m super healthy and I like it that way.
Also, my swimming background helps. I’ve been swimming since I was six years-old…and I used to be a swimming coach back in Italy.
And what was your first runway show? Or was it a photo shoot?
I’m mainly a shoot model, so I first started with a photoshoot. The first photographer who ever put me in front of the camera for an informal shoot is Ryan Colford. Later I got featured in several NY magazines. I had many covers, including Odyssey Magazine, NEXT, and Get Out! (shot by Jeff Eason).
The biggest shoot I’ve been in is with Kevin D. Hoover Photography. I’ll be in his next book called Provocation [NSFW], coming out this summer. But i have many new projects/shoots happening very soon, which I’m excited about. Coming next is a shoot happening in Dallas for Mark Henderson [NSFW], in two weeks from now.
Do you feel like you have a signature look/expression when you pose for photos, or do you just always adapt to the moment?
I do have a signature pose, but it comes natural. I like to be myself during my photoshoots, which I think is the key for good results.
You posed nude for the Hoover shoot. What was that experience like, and are you okay with that being out there?
From my point of view, nudity is art. It’s not porn, it’s not perversion. It’s like putting out there the most pure form of art: body and beauty!
They’re beautiful photos!
Just curious, what did you do for Black Party weekend?
I had gigs back to back. I was dancing at The Monster in the West Village followed by Trade at UNDR, the party ran by Brian Rafferty Productions. That night, DJ Paulo and Kenneth Rivera were spinning for a special edition until noon on Sunday. What a fun night!
I bet! So, what’s the social interaction like between gogo boys at the bars and clubs? Is there a sense of comradery and brotherhood, or is there too much rivalry for gigs and customers?
I am a friendly person, so I’m very open to be a friend to other gogos. In fact, I have my favorite gogo brothers: Samuel Lemar and David Emmanuel. There are many other gogos that I like, and I have a nice relationship with.
However, as everywhere in life, there will always be people that are not so friendly…and I sense rivalry for gigs from their side. But I believe that things happen when and if they are meant to happen. I mean, if I deserve to be booked for a gig, I will. If I don’t, then I won’t…and maybe the next time I will. I live my gogo life in a very serene way.
Amen! How about the wilder aspects of nightlife and partying? Is it hard to not get sucked into that too often?
It is hard, especially if you like that kind of environment (like I do). I love music and dancing, so it’s very easy to get sucked into it. Especially in NYC, which is the center of so many parties and a very active nightlife scene. However, dancing quite a lot for the gigs that I’m booked for, in addition to my fitness activities, make me feel the need to take one or two night/days off. It’s very important to rest my body, considering what I do, as I always want to give 100% when I’m on stage, for both myself and those who are watching me.
Very disciplined! And I hear you placed in the Top Five for the Andrew Christian model search at XL. That’s an amazing achievement!
Thank you! Yes, that is correct, I was so happy about it. Even though I didn’t win, I’m so happy I’ve participated. It was my first model contest ever, and it’s been an amazing experience…from the tension of the pre-show to the actual show. I thought I was going to be embarrassed that night. Actually I was very myself on stage, I did my runway with a touch of my personality. And I guess it paid off. I’ll always keep memories of that experience with me!
Personality is everything! Holly Dae was telling me that you’re delightful to work with. And speaking of our fair queens of NYC, I see that coming up, you’re with Honey Davenport at Manster in Monster (April 2nd), with Epiphany at Atlas (April 16th), and Maddelynn Hatter & the Real Deal girls at the Ritz (April 20th).
I love them all! Also, working at the Jane on Tuesdays is giving me the chance to work with many more drag queens…I recently had the pleasure to work with Bob The Drab Queen, and we already love each other.
Also, I had the chance to know Maci Sumcox, she is such q sweet heart. She showed so much support during my Andrew Christian model contest. I was in Maci’s music parody video.
That looked like a lot of fun! And I see you dance at the G Lounge soon as well. That’s a great space for a dancer to work in, right?
G Lounge is a great space, I like dancing there. I haven’t been there since the beginning of February, but I’ll be back on Sunday, April 17th. Also, I’ve been modeling at G Lounge for Drink & Draw…and I’ll be back back modeling for it towards the end of April.
Has anyone drawn you really well there?
That’s great! And how about any summer plans?
I got booked to dance every weekend in Fire Island, Pines…starting from Memorial Weekend until the end of the summer. I’m so happy and excited about it. I think this summer will be amazing. I can already feel the heat!
I would love to dance at other circuit parties this summer, especially during Pride. I’m working on it!
Okay, one last question… if you could do a shoot for any designer or line you wanted to right now, who would you choose?
I would love to shoot for Marco Marco and its campaigns. I like the sexiness of the brand.
Spoken like a true Italian! Thanks for talking to us, Nikco!
Nikco can frequently be found dancing at Frankie Sharp’s weekly party at the Jane Hotel on Tuesday nights, and for Beef at Easternbloc on Friday nights. He’ll also be at Manster in Monster on April 2nd (Saturday), Sinful Saturday at Atlas Social Club on April 16th, G Lounge on April 17th (Sunday), and Real Deal Wednesday at the Ritz on April 20th. “Provocation,” a book of photography by Kevin D. Hoover featuring Nikco and other models,is now available for purchase. You can follow Nikco on Facebook and Instagram.