Male Model Street Style Guide
Move over, girls. Male models are quickly gaining their own faithful following, and a lot of it has to do with what they wear. Here’s an insider’s look at male model street style.
What Do Male Models Wear Off Duty?
Who better to ask than, well, the boys themselves? Earlier this year, Models.com featured Laszlo Ricciardi as a new face dubbing him the “boy with matinee idol good looks” who is the “complete package.” So, what clothes are required to live up to such promise? ”I normally don’t wear something too crazy/funky. I think it’s better to dress simple for castings: black pants, white T-shirt or shirt, black dress shoes… nothing too fancy,” Ricciardi tells me. “The brands that I really like are Acne, April77 and Naked & Famous… Well, I don’t usually buy clothes because of the brand, I go with my feelings!”
Felix Bujo, who’s appeared on the pages of GQ Italy and Vogue Italy, and has walked for designers such as Louis Vuitton and Lacoste, tells me that “to a casting I just wear my personal style, which I think is appropriate… no brands, no distractions. Big jobs I’ll wear a shirt; massive jobs a suit; otherwise, if it’s a quiet day with only one or two castings I’ll look up the current image of the brand and dress and groom myself accordingly… Everybody thinks I’m really tall when they see me; I never got why because I’m pretty much the same height as all the other models, but anyways, I make sure I wear shoes with thin soles.”
When it comes to his male model street style, Felix says that “off duty, I always want to be as comfortable as possible, still looking nice — you never know who you’re going to bump into. I don’t do much shopping though, since I have the luck of working in this industry and often come across nice clients that are generous with their products, so I mostly wear what is given to me, which is of course only the pieces I like… I like khaki-brown leather, beige and white shirts or tees. Brands I would buy if I’d go shopping would be Scotch & Soda, Aether, Naked & Famous, Wolsey, and Brunello Cucinelli.”
Beyond The Streets: Models As Style Icons
Models, first of all, look impossibly good in clothes (heck, it’s their job to). Their street style is part their own and part influenced by working with some of the world’s most creative people, which makes for excellent inspiration. By paying attention to what they wear – even emulating it – it makes people feel a little closer to the fantasy. Also, many aspiring models look to them for cues on how to dress.
However, the growing interest in male model street style has a lot to do with the fashion model becoming a style icon in his (or her) own right, at least within a niche model-obsessed community. Take Erin Wasson, for example, who’s successfully branded herself as a tomboy supermodel. Her icon influence has led to projects like designing a line with RVCA, styling Alexander Wang collections, and her rad apartment being featured on The Selby. All of this adds up to a brand her fans want to buy into because she’s just so holy-shit cool — and, in this sense, her model “style” takes on a broader meaning.
Model Diaries via New York Mag: Cole Mohr and his male model friends
With the boys, the recipe is similar but the ingredients are different. For example, Josh Beech designing his own jewelry line wouldn’t set tongues wagging, but his indie band, Snish, makes him (and by extension, what he’s wearing) a lot more follow-worthy.
Dissecting The Look
You don’t necessarily have to be a male model to dress like one. At the very least, understanding this emerging trend can inspire you to improve your own street style. To master the male model street style look, I first asked Corey Kelly, stylist at NET-A-PORTER, about what he usually sees models wearing off duty. “Two words: casual effortlessness. Every time I see male models they’re usually dressed in really comfortable ensembles that exude a don’t-care attitude that an average Joe wouldn’t be able to pull off. This has always been so puzzling to me because the initial thought that comes to mind of what a male model wears off duty would be something more refined, clean and sophisticated. But, the truth is the opposite since half of these boys happen to be skateboarders or something of that sort.”
One thing models need to do is pay attention to fit. Obviously, fit refers to clothes that highlight your body’s strengths (broad shoulders, long legs, skin tone). But, models are a rare exception because they can actually play with fit to exaggerate certain body parts. For example, skin-tight jeans worn with a relaxed-fit sweater will make your legs appear even skinnier.
When asked about an advisable look to wear to a casting, Kelly says, “I don’t think male models should arrive to castings looking like they’ve just arrived from a mosh pit — only certain guys can pull that off. I do think male models should represent themselves in the best way possible. There’s no need to get all dressed up in something that’s going to take away attention from the bottom line: you. Fashion-victim-y emsembles take away the attention from your face and body. Male models should dress in something that showcases their natural assets, something like a simple fitted T-shirt and a great pair of form-fitting jeans. Clean and casual should be the look.”
Generally speaking, focus on slim jeans (in black or dark blue with no crazy designs like whiskers or douchey Ed Hardy prints); basic V-neck tees in heather gray, white or black; leather boots, or classic sneakers like Cons or Vans; and something vintage, like a rucksack to throw your portfolio in or a vintage biker jacket.
What about brands? “Well, let’s keep it real: Most male models are living on a budget, so brands like Uniqlo, Top Shop, H&M, and Zara work best for any male model thanks to their reasonable prices and consistant on-trend merchandise,” Kelly says. Other recommended brands include Cheap Monday, Acne, OAK NYC, Levi’s, Vans, Cons, Dr. Martens, and ASOS.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Sometimes all you need is some visual inspiration. With that in mind, here are some male models worth looking into: Josh Beech, Sean O’Pry, Felix Bujo, Simon Nessman, Clement Chabernaud, Cole Mohr, Laszlo Ricciardi, Yuri Pleskun, and Charlie Westerberg.
Male Model Street Style: Background
As you know, in the ’90s supermodels were household names, but in the late ’90s and early ’00s there was far less media coverage on fashion models, let alone male models. If you were as interested in models as I was you’ll remember how difficult it was to find magazines or television shows that spotlighted them. But in the last few years things changed. While everyone and their mothers may not know who Joan Smalls is the way they would a Naomi Campbell, the industry has given models an outlet to be adored by their followers.
We also have the internet to thank. With platforms like Twitter, now we can read about a model’s life as it’s happening. Meanwhile, Scott Schuman’s style of photos also captured models off duty, or M.O.D., a term Alexander Wang cleverly coined. Then, blogs like Models Off Duty surfaced, giving us yet another thing to be obsessed over: what they wear.
However, all of this predominantly focuses on women. What about male model street style? Sure it’s out there, but it’s still hard to come by – say, like how it was in the late ’90s. So, since you’re interested in this (which I’m assuming is why you landed on this article), this is my way of contributing information to what I think is a worthy subject.