Prince Harry is a hottie in his own right. Alas, he is still a Prince. Thomas Knights always comes up in conversations. His hugely successful Red Hot brand of books, calendars, and sexy ginger guys are talked about in a very positive and well-deserved light.

Between a video premiere party in London and his latest photo shoot in Los Angeles, Knights took some time to share his story with us.

GT: You are based in the UK. Did you grow up in London?

Thomas Knights: I was growing up in Cyprus on an air force base in the 90s. My dad was in the RAF so we were posted there during the first Gulf War.

We moved back to the UK to a sleepy village in the Wiltshire countryside and went to school in Bath. I moved to London when I was 18 and never looked back. I lived in London, I feel like a Londoner.

GT: And what was that like compared to the London of today?

TK: There has been a huge change in the city. There are more high-rise and modern buildings, especially in the past 10 years. So much construction and massive urban redevelopment projects.

Nightlife has drastically changed too! Soho has become much more sanitised and there are lots of chain restaurants and shops.

Basically, the core of London is now polished and cleaned up, so the more interesting people, places and cultures now live out of the center of the city.

GT: Can you share some of your personal experiences as a ‘ginger’ child being singled out or bullied?

TK: I don’t really have many defining moments, more a general sense that I felt ‘less than’ and that I would never be accepted.

As a ginger kid in the UK, you were fed this narrative that you were different and that different is bad and shameful. You were never going to be cool and popular if you were ginger, so there’s no point in trying.

Ginger kids can be picked on and taunted and relentlessly worn down unless they fight back.

I was lucky because in my year (grade) there were two other ginger guys who were REALLY ginger (I was always a bit of auburn) so they got most of the ginger bullying.

GT: How did you learn these experiences at school? Did you fight back or withdraw?

TK: Back then, I agreed with the bullies. I was ashamed that I had ginger hair so I did not fight back.

There was no pride in being ginger. I just had this overwhelming hatred for it and as soon as I could, I would remove it from my life. And I did. As soon as I left school I dyed it.

GT: At what point did you say, ‘that is enough’ and start the process of doing this oppression?

TK: For about 10 years I used to colour my hair to the fact that I was ginger. Then, one time on holiday, my best mate suggested that we shave my blonde hair off to see what it looked like underneath.

When I came back to London I started to get compliments about my natural ginger hair, which really surprised me but also made me feel empowered.

Ginger men in a positive light. I started to feel proud and happy. It felt like an exciting idea and then I did some research.

GT: What’s the point of no return?

TK: I just could not be bothered dying my hair all the time. It was such an effort. I was beginning to feel more confident in myself and started to work out who I was.

There is no way out of this ginger kid at school, so the idea of ​​being true to myself feels new and exciting.

When you are young, that’s the same thing as you get, but that’s the same thing. Suddenly, being different is amazing. Being unique is an asset. It often takes a whole journey of self-acceptance before you hate.

It took me over 10 years to shave off my badly dyed blond hair, it can take a long time to come out.

GT: What was your initial plan of action and how did you come about formulating it?

TK: I was working as a fashion photographer, so I decided to make some portraits.

It was not easy. In the whole city of London there were only a handful of guys on the agency books. I wanted to paint them in a sexy light and make them look heroic, empowered, alpha males.

I found six guys and tried a variety of different colored backdrops. I also tried them with t-shirts on and it looked like a fashion shoot. As soon as I got to the top of her head, she suddenly became the star of the photo.

It just the boy, the blue background and the hair. It’s also felt branded. It is very important to have a good time.

GT: What can you tell us about the origins of ginger people? Is there a specific geographic area where this particular trait came from or is it a random shuffle of human genetics?

TK: The highest proportion of redheads are in Ireland and Scotland, with redheads making up around 12-15% of the population. But redheads are found all over the world.

The ginger gene has naturally mutated several times throughout human history, with the earliest time thought to be in Asia.

There is a pocket of redheads in Russia with a really high proportion in Udmurtia village. They claim to be the most ‘red-headed’ village in the world.

There is also a high proportion of redheads in The Netherlands and Australia but the USA has the most redheads in terms of population.

GT: Do you have a secret desire to star in a Hollywood movie or have another wish?

TK: I have dreams to make Hollywood movies. Currently I make music videos and fashion films and feel the next step for me to make a short dramatic film

I used to work as a projectionist in an art house cinema when I first moved to London and growing up with my friends, using my Dad’s video camera… so it has always been there.

GT: And finally, we must talk about the success of your photo projects that have been curated into exhibitions, books and calendars. What’s next for you on this quest?

TK: We are making a series of 2020 calendars this year. It’s a new decade, so they’ll definitely have a new twist. We just released our debut underwear range with a jock, trunk and hip letter in black, white and blue. I would love to bring Red Hot back to the news.

Was denkst du darüber?