There were many memorable male modeling moments/trends in 2012, here are some of our favorites.
1 – THE RISE & RISE OF MR. GANDY
This was certainly the year when David Gandy broke out into the world’s consciousness. Sole male model at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony? Yes, that was him (some fellow supers? Naomi and Kate). Regular blog for major fashion publication? Check (past two years for Vogue UK by the way). Own iPhone apps? TWO of them now, for style and fitness. And the requisite charity work? David was named ambassador of The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (collectively say, awwww). There’s nothing we like more than a male model who both loves his job and is always on his game. David also belongs in the second category of….
2 – THE BEARD BRIGADE
We can name over a dozen faces who rocked some awesome facial hair for 2012, everything from a ‘stache (Jarrod Scott) to the full on beard (Aiden Shaw). Familiar faces like Tony Ward, Ryan Burns, Patrick Petitjean, Ben Hill, and RJ have made this look their own for years but they face competition with the new generation led by Will Lewis, Xoan, Johnny Harrington, Justin Passmore, Henrik Fallenius, Panayiotis, Paraskevas and Tom Bull.
3 – MODEL / SLASH
Everyone knows the male model slash musician/actor or DJ. This year, quite a few, went outside that box and delighted us with their projects. Cesar Casier’s Model Kitchen (a gorgeous coffee table book filled with images and recipes from Cesar and friends like Milla Jovovich, Karlie Kloss, etc) goes on sale next week at Colette in Paris and online at Net-a-Porter. Rising young star Travis Smith, last seen in fall’s Versus campaign, is not content to just sit around waiting as so many newbies are inclined to do. His iPhone/iPad app, which is surprisingly easy to use, Model Folio, organizes images into a professional looking portfolio that allows models to personalize their portfolios for the different markets and clients. Thomas Penfound, best known for his two seasons as the face of Burberry, comes out with a quietly sophisticated line of shirts he designed for S/S 13. And though it’s been a long time since he was a top model, much congratulations go to editor and art director Magnus Berger for his appointment as WSJ’s new creative director.
4 – TATTOO YOU
We’re certainly no strangers to young men and tattoos but this year’s new faces sported some pretty serious ink. Mikkel Jensen and Miles Langford stand out as two new faces that had some intense body art but the one that even non male model enthusiasts remember was certainly Bradley Soileau and his forehead tattoo in Lana del Rey’s Born to Die video.
5 – GIRLS AS BOYS
One of the top stories of 2011, Andrej Pejic, may have some serious competition in his tradition of straddling the men’s and women’s markets. The always game changing Hedi Slimane chooses Dutch beauty Saskia de Brauw as the face of Saint Laurent S/S 13 Men, proving as we’ve always known that chic knows no gender. French artist and former Olympic swimmer Casey Legler is signed by Ford New York, the first time ever a woman is signed to the men’s board. She’s interviewed here by Time Magazine.
Shot by Steven Meisel for Lanvin F/W 12
6 – THE NON MODEL MODEL
While the celebrities have been cutting into the working models’ jobs for quite a number of years now, this year’s round of campaigns garnered quite a bit of press with the heavy hitting trifecta of Chanel, Prada and Lanvin using celebrities and other non models. Prada, continuing their recent spate of celebrity fronted imagery, used not 1 but 4 known and not so known actors; the grizzled faces of Gary Oldman and Willem Dafoe on the catwalk and in the campaign was certainly a sight to see. Lanvin’s fascinating fall campaign had one of the most diverse and interesting casts in ages. The campaign was a definite hit with us and in out in the blogosphere. The use of Brad Pitt, however, to front the iconic Chanel No 5 fragrance for 2013 campaign for women, was a head scratcher, to say the least, but hey, it certainly generated a lot of buzz.
7 – CHILD MODELS
As if male models don’t have it tough enough, the pint size progeny of famous faces are horning in on their action. Hudson Kroenig’s (son of Brad Kroenig) walks on the Chanel runway and Romeo Beckham’s charming antics in the newest Burberry ad has the whole world cooing in adorableness. Hard to compete with that!