Today's Women's Wear Daily offers an exciting glimpse into the agency-indebted, Champagne-fueled, studio-in-East-Midtown glamourous life of male modeling in New York City. Male modeling is just like female modeling, only the paychecks are smaller, your dad doesn't respect it, and the brass ring is a non-paying job with a designer who never learns your name! Let's meet our three protagonists — all new faces with some early success behind them — and play Which One Is The Zoolander?
Meet Matt McGlone, 25. (His picture is on the top right.)
“Since I did Calvin,” he said, “I haven’t had to even say yes or no to any catalog work. It’s been crazy fast.” He had a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers hanging from the neckline of his Henley shirt and a glass of Champagne in one hand. “I’m here to make a career,” he said. “I’m not here to try it out for a couple of months.”
McGlone has read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance "many times," and keeps a handle of vodka in his refrigerator.
Meet Alex Michels, 20. (Top left.)
Michels was not drinking Champagne—“I don’t like alcohol,” he said, “it hurts my belly.”
When he isn't modeling, Michels works in his grandfather's rubber and plastics factory outside Walnut Creek, California. On the assembly line, he reports he gets "covered in cooling fluids." He is also a survivor of Abercrombie & Fitch.
“I would open the door for people,” he said. “This was back when I was a chump. Before I was high-class with IMG. You got placed by the door on the main floor, depending on which manager found you attractive.”
Meet Marc Faiella, 22. (Center.)
“Opening and closing [Lanvin] is what put me where I am now,” said Faiella, who grew up in Holbrook, Long Island, and now lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “No one cares about the fifth or the sixth look.”
No-one. Do you hear him? No. One.
Meet Alan Cumming:
"It’s not enough to be young and tall and pretty. All the great models have some spark of personality. They shouldn’t be things to hang clothes on. You should want to be them. Or you should want to fuck them."
And meet, um, Jacobim Mugatu:
“One of the most important things, in my experience,” [Calvin Klein men's wear designer Italo] Zucchelli continued, “is how their agency is handling their career. If I have a new guy, and he is amazing, it takes three seconds for me to lose interest. If I see him in a catalog, I don’t want him anymore. I don’t want to see him in a catalog three months after my show.”
I asked him about Matt McGlone, in particular, given that he had recently walked the Calvin Klein runway in Milan.
“I don’t know them by name,” Zucchelli said, almost dismissively.
He doesn't know them by name.
Two of the three male models profiled in this piece dwell in tiny apartments in far East Midtown — where the greatest local cultural sites are the Queensboro bridge and a giant strip club called Sapphire. Here is a representative passage describing their living and alimentary situations:
The other day I visited Alex Michels’ one-bedroom apartment, which he shares with another model represented by IMG. The place looked like a teenager’s room. On a table near the flat screen he had a copy of the book World War Z and the Nintendo game Monster Hunter. In the bathroom, a sign above the toilet warned: “Do not overload with excessive amount of toilet paper.” Inside the refrigerator and freezer were eggs, tiramisu laden with fungus, and a bag of frozen blueberries.
Michels said he subsists mainly on chicken nuggets and ramen.
But don't think they'll be modeling forever. Faiella is studying fashion design at Parsons. Michels says he wants to be "a cinematographer-animator-voice-actor-video-game-artistic-designer." And as for McGlone, well, he's sticking with modeling:
"I’m not really good at too many things,” McGlone said, “but I feel like I could be really good at this. The thought at the back of my head is, it could always end in a heartbeat. It’s as simple as walking into a street and getting hit by a car. The plan is, this is my job right now. I’m going to do it at 110 percent, until it’s no longer my job."
Meet the Model Rookies [WWD]