THE ETERNAL APPEAL OF 90’s BEAUTY
While 90’s supermodels such as Naomi, Cindy and Kate are still able to withstand the pressure of modern-day influencers male models like Mark Vanderloo, Tyson Beckford and Marcus Schenkenberg are if anything in hiding. The fashion industry has allowed the girls to withstand the test of time while the male supermodel remains sadly forgotten, and with the look of men’s runways their physique as an important aspect of their beauty as well.
Today’s top brand runways are in demand for the ever young and ever skinny male model, with proportions hardly befitting even of a sixteen year old. Male models who are bigger in their size, often just by maintaining their healthy workout routine, are much harder to constantly book jobs. Working both in the fitness and editorial as well as runway domains of the fashion industry is a truly rare sight. Those who achieved that are far and in between, with around a decade old fashion career one of them is MMSCENE Issue 018 cover star Chad White.
For many, the fact men are not as payed much or treated equally as women in the model industry is just part of the cosmic justice, since it’s quite the opposite in every other industry. The model organizations often leave the men to tend for themselves. Not taking in account men as well start at a very young age, while at the same time they have to defend themselves with often predatory casting directors and photographers on their own. But a man is not to talk about such things, so leave to a teenager to process all of that on his own. In addition past the age of eighteen as working runway model, unless you are genetically ‘blessed’, the Paris runway waist size may turn into an apple a day kind of a torture.
Furthermore, we also rarely take in account the impact of the industry on the body of image of young men and teenagers looking at the fashion from the outside. While casting for MMSCENE I more than often had a difficulty of finding the clothes for a ‘fit guy’. Most of the time the samples available at showrooms are either in size S or XS. For many colleagues in our industry, S instead for SMALL stands for SAMPLE. It is impossible to count how many times in the last 10 years we had to change our casting due to the fact a male model can not fit a pair of trousers. Sure, you are gonna say there’s Chad or there’s David Gandy, and yes for few of those guys brands will go out of their way to find bigger sizes even if it takes pulling them out of store to dress these guys. On every other occasion you are stuck with samples, which only if you are lucky are available in a medium size.
Mid 2016 the industry’s most powerful member, IMG Models signed up in a breakthrough effort Zach Miko, a male plus size model. While the news went viral, Zach’s career sadly did not, still signed with the agency he’s hardly an influencer or in demand such as insta girls such as the Hadids. While he’s often put and often booked together with, hard to find politically correct term, fuller sized models – such as Tess Holiday who is without any malice demanding attention even for wrong reasons. To call Tess fat is more than easy, but to say Zach is also fat is beyond wrong. In fact Zach by many standards has an average size.
Basically, a year and a half later it is easy to conclude the male plus size model did not happen for one good reason. The fashion industry already has the category. Fitness models are the male equivalent of the plus size models – the image of Mark Wahlberg for Calvin Klein in 1991 ads is now simply said replaced by extremely skinny and no doubt twice younger male models. Sure fit guys are still idols for many, in fact the fit body and six pack are the terrorizing agony of many body conscious men who’s ‘favourite’ pass time is counting calories. But are the fitness guys this industry’s equivalent to the massively popular Sports Illustrated girls?
Just as Marky Mark or Antonio Sabato Jr and Marcus Schenkenberg were the poster boys of the 90s, the ‘Slimane’ sized Parisian runway boy is the industry’s preferred body type. Never too young, never too skinny while nowhere in writing is the motto of the runways.
Text by Zarko Davinic, MMSCENE Editor In Chief
Photographer Ron Ben
Photographer’s Assistant Ala Cho
Makeup Artist Caroline Connoly
Model Manny at Two Management
Wearing LEVI’s and Calvin Klein Underwear
Originally published in MMSCENE Issue 018, available in print & digital.