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24-07-2017
  1
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For Male Models, It is Game Over
Came across this interesting piece today on the state of the male modeling industry (sector within industry?) which is largely irrelevant. It's interesting to read about how agencies are adapting to all these social media changes and that scandalous bit on an agency acting more like an escort service??

Quote:
– By Khahlil Louisy





In the nineties and early aughts, men like Evandro Soldati, Tyson Beckford, Mark Vandaloo, and David Gandy, were part of a group of male models who personified everything the world expected, from those rare creatures of masculine beauty, who managed to generate excitement and fascination both in and out of the fashion industry. Those men were statuesque and with defined, if not slightly exaggerated physical features. And because this was before cosmetic procedures were rampant and easily attainable, their bodies were natural and obtained through a mixture of genetics and hard work. Their lifestyles were extravagant, often dating their female supermodel counterparts, celebrities, scions, and moguls, and enjoying all the lavishes and excesses that their worlds offered. They made people around the world dream, creating illusions through the images in which they were featured, through which many escaped the realities of their own existence. The clothes those men wore evoked desire in other men who aspired to live similarly extravagant lifestyles. The life of the male model was a fantasy that people chased. And isn’t that what fashion is supposed to do? But those rare men who stood slightly taller than most other mortal men, with their square jaws and chiseled cheekbones, are now being replaced by regular, unrefined boys and with that, the fantasy is being extinguished.



Men’s fashion is becoming excruciatingly drab. There is little excitement around menswear designers and the shows they stage at the various fashion weeks, but also, the thrill of seeing a collection that challenges our thoughts are no longer. In fact, most collections are melding into a mosh-pit of singularity, reflective of the current mood in fashion, which seems to be anti-everything: anti-beautiful, anti-design, and anti-establishment. And to communicate that message, male models are being replaced with anti-models – young boys plucked from the streets and with no distinctive physical attributes. The male model is increasingly being wiped out of castings and replaced with very young and unremarkable teens, who seem to be perpetually moody. When that is not the case, casting directors and brands turn to so-called social media stars to model the clothes, with the expectation that an increased number of eyeballs will land on the brand and convert into sales. But these social media stars possess almost no real talent in front of the camera and therefore, not able to create the kinds of images that could transport one into a different world, the way Markus Schenkenberg, Mark Vandaloo, or Alex Lundquist could. As a result, fashion imagery is increasingly becoming surface, which vanishes from the ether within a few hours of publication. So now, not only are we are left with collections that are insipid, but also castings that lack depth, with models who are incapable of bringing life and excitement to the clothes.



The fashion industry is increasing its demands on talent, which has led to a number burn outs in recent years. Models can no longer be just models, appearing on runways, in advertising campaigns, and sometimes becoming spokespeople for brands. They are now expected to be marketers, content generators, and publishers. Those who fail to conform to this new direction, are simply discarded. Major brands like Dolce & Gabbana have largely replaced their casts with the offspring of celebrities and social media stars. Their shows have become spectacles of selfie-taking teens, who distract from the collections – but maybe that is the intention. Other shows are increasingly going in that direction with their casting or bring in young men directly from the street.



Models must now have considerable follower counts on social media to book jobs. Some have said to me that when they attend casting calls, increasingly, they are required to state how many followers they have on Instagram, which acts as a screener of sorts for who will be seen by the casting director. This has led to agencies advising their models to use various application programs to purchase followers and engagement, including comments and likes on images posted, across their social media platforms.



The considerable demand lays not only on the models but also on the designers, who must now find ways of increasing their social-media following, in order to remain relevant among the teens of the world. Many are now social media stars themselves, including Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing, who has a whopping 4.6 million followers on Instagram, due in large part to his close association to the Kardashian clan and Karl Lagerfeld who boasts 4 million. In addition to having to design multiple collections per year, they are now tasked with thinking about social media and content strategy for their brands. It is not surprising therefore, that these designers choose to cast people who already have large numbers of followers.



Many designers are beginning to photograph their brand’s advertising campaigns themselves, perhaps to more accurately reflect their vision for the brand and their personal view on the fashions they are creating. While Karl Lagerfeld has been photographing Chanel and Fendi campaigns for a number of years, the recent uptick in designer-turned-photographer can be attributed to when Hedi Slimane who, while Creative Director at Saint Laurent Paris, began photographing the brand’s campaigns. Domenico Dolce followed, photographing ads for Dolce & Gabbana, with Stefano Gabbana on styling duties; new comer Brandon Maxwell has also been photographing his own campaigns; and this season, Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing took the camera into his own hands.



So what does this transition and disruption in the fashion industry mean for models and the agencies who represent them? As the industry evolves, so too are the business models of the agencies, many of which now represent talent outside of modeling, to include social media stars and bloggers, because their mainboards aren’t booking enough jobs to sustain their businesses. In New York, there are whispers of an agency who operates partly like an escort service, booking their male models on dates with wealthy men and women, though no concrete proof has presented itself to corroborate those rumors.



Models, especially male models, need to find innovative ways to remain relevant, which may mean repackaging themselves as multi-hyphenates, which is what designers are now becoming. From current trends, it appears that models need more than just a face, they must also possess the ability to create and market content, because the rapidly evolving industry demands it of them, as norms are being challenged. One thing is certain, the fashion industry isn’t likely to return to that era of beautiful and statuesque models who used only their bodies and lifestyles to sell clothes and represent brands. Unless something drastic happens to change the current course of things, the true male model and everything that he once represented, will simply be a relic of the past.

bonneny.com

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25-07-2017
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Not surprising at all. This all started with womenswear anyway at the beginning of this second decade - the rise of the instamodels, casting girls that can't walk for shows which less than ten years ago required strength and pizzazz.

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25-07-2017
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Yes, male models from these days are not the same as the ones from the 00's, 90's or 80's. They all don't look like CK underwear models anymore. You can still find fit & Abercrombie style models walking for many shows ( Versace, Armani, Balmain, Jeremy Scott etc) though. Male fashion carries more diversity of bodies than years ago. And not all the girl have a crush on muscled macho guys, no ?

The idea of "model" is wrong anyway. Because the customer will rarely have the body of a model. Either statuesque or skinny, all those models used by designers embody an ideal of body that is not real. So I am not shocked.

And it's the same with female models. We used to have bombshells and now most of the it-models are extra-skinny, pale, fragile looking teens. I'm still surprised when I follow a model on Instagram to see how she can look on the runway ( sexual object, cinched, on high heels ) and out of the runway ( quirky girl next door ).


Maybe those models have no with no charisma, and we dont have the time to know their charisma, because they are picked to be forgotten easily and replaced after 3 seasons. That said, male models last longer because society still finds a grown man in his 30's, 40's, 50's sexy and are likely to get more opportunities as they grow old.

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Last edited by IloveDiorHomme; 25-07-2017 at 03:55 AM.
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26-07-2017
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This has to be one of the very best articles I have ever read in my life that summons extremely well the reality of men´s modeling nowadays and what it used to be in the golden era of the 90´s, the words he used, the references he made, the names he dropped, the changes in agencies: EVERYTHING was accurate and sooooo true!!!

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22-09-2017
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One particular key changing event is the rave of alternative model agency rising in 2011. It was the time , synchronizingly, from Georgio Armani to Raf Simons, Anna Sui to Rick Owens started favoring TIAD type of street looking models over. The social media game was less of a factor in male modeling market changes. It happened in the early 2013 that noted models of the previous season got completely wiped out by a new gang in the next season, when the social game didn't started until Lucky Blue started his modeling life around 2015. But it sure did hit a crucial strike.


Last edited by Pricciao; 22-09-2017 at 04:33 AM.
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22-09-2017
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Sorry but this is all just blabber from an inexperienced writer.

I'll try to come up with hard FACTS(TM) to support my argument instead of just taking everything at face value.

I for one AM GLAD that male models today need not the body of a beautifully sculpted Greek statue to get jobs. There's still a market for those types of models but it's nice for the industry to be INCLUSIVE for once. That fantasy should be extinguished as it is unrealistic. Time to get our heads out of the cloud and buckle down to what's realistically attainable.

Men's fashion has been excruciatingly drab? Well I'm sorry if guys don't dress up like a Brooks Brothers mannequin EVERYTIME they go out. And do they HAVE TO wear high tier designer brands? Argue all you want about Supreme but it's what caters to a large population of men of all age groups. There's still the occasional GUCCI sneaker thrown in there, an LV cross body. For the more avantgarde, something from Comme des Garcon SHIRT perhaps or Balenciaga or even Dries van Noten. I think men are spending more and more designer brands rather than grabbing something from Adidas or Nike and go. I for one think men's fashion is exciting with brands like Gosha Rubchinskiy and JW Anderson.

Please name those Other Shows that cast guys directly from the street. Even brands like Acne Studios, Sunnei, Christian Dada, Palm Angels ALL GO TO AN AGENCY AND BOOK MODELS THERE

And I hate it when everyone blames the "Social Media Star". The only Social Media Star in campaign right now that I know of is for Dolce and Gabbana.

Neil Barrett? Willow Barret 2k Instagram followers and William Allen 755 followers

Dior Homme? Christophe t'Kint 1k followers, Dylan Roques, a house favorite, 6k followers.

Louis Vuitton? Luc Defont 5k followers

Calvin Klein? Jonas Gloer 10k followers, Jared Manhardt 1.2k, Luc Defont 5.2k, Fernando Albaladejo 2.5k followers

Prada? other than Jonas Gloer
Kaissan Ibrahima 982 followers, Joaquim Arnell 1.6k followers

Coach? Oscar Kindelan 12.5k followers

Gucci? Lorens Miklasevics 500 followers

Now for those models bordering on 10k and above followers you might think WOW! A FOLLOWING! but those are just peanuts when compared to the hundred Ks of social media stars and yet brands never took them in for a campaign.

"Models now must have considerable follower counts on social media to book jobs" Please refer to the above and tell me if they have considerable follower count. Oh you meant runway? Let's take a look!

Finnlay Davis, 1st most booked male model, 15.3k followers

Willow Barrett, 2nd most, as previously mentioned 2k followers.

Dylan Fender, 3rd, 7.5k followers

Myles Dominique, 4th, 1.1k followers, Burberry campaign

Kohei Takabatake, 5th, now keep in mind this guy is really new, 1.6k followers
BUT
he has walked:
Tommy x Gigi which is supposed to be a social media starfest
Emporio Armani which is supposed to be fit, gentleman vibes
Dolce and Gabbana (SURPRISE!) social media starfest
FENDI
Valentino
Balenciaga which is supposed to be TIAD type
Coach
Calvin Klein

To conclude, MALE MODELS ARE FINE AND ARE RELEVANT. You sure as hell don't need a social media following that people are so quick to point at. Brands like Saint Laurent and GUCCI don't even pick male models that are in-demand among male models. So what male models aren't muscly guys that have basic Armani faces. I welcome the diversity and this article is horribly misinformed.


Last edited by arvage; 22-09-2017 at 06:42 AM. Reason: added a bit more
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22-09-2017
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How is the writer horribly misinformed?He gets his information from the people who work within the industry .Male models are indeed not fine and not relevant anymore .The male models will be the first to confirm that.Look at how mens fashionweek is on its last legs , mens fashionmagazines are closing down with no other mensmag coming to take their place.This also isnt about diversity/asthetic either which seems to be your core point.With the rise of the social media star fashioncompanies have seen a way of cutting costs down and raising their profits .The models are the first ones to feel that pinch.There is a reason why there is such a high turnover amongst male models and why their dayrate has gone lower and lower.

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22-09-2017
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There is followup on that article
https://bonneny.com/models-versus-influencer

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22-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modela View Post
How is the writer horribly misinformed?He gets his information from the people who work within the industry .Male models are indeed not fine and not relevant anymore .The male models will be the first to confirm that.Look at how mens fashionweek is on its last legs , mens fashionmagazines are closing down with no other mensmag coming to take their place.This also isnt about diversity/asthetic either which seems to be your core point.With the rise of the social media star fashioncompanies have seen a way of cutting costs down and raising their profits .The models are the first ones to feel that pinch.There is a reason why there is such a high turnover amongst male models and why their dayrate has gone lower and lower.
I would accept your argument if you've provided me with facts. Again, there are no brands to back you up there. Prada has a cast that's majority new and unknown even amongst male models, GUCCI constantly uses roughly the same models over and over again (Bakay Diaby, Oliver Hayes, Xie Cheng Lin), Saint Laurent picked completely fresh faces (Louis Marzin, Dalibor Urosevic) for both campaign and runway. Where are the brands using social media stars other than Dolce and Gabbana?

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22-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arvage View Post
I would accept your argument if you've provided me with facts. Again, there are no brands to back you up there. Prada has a cast that's majority new and unknown even amongst male models, GUCCI constantly uses roughly the same models over and over again (Bakay Diaby, Oliver Hayes, Xie Cheng Lin), Saint Laurent picked completely fresh faces (Louis Marzin, Dalibor Urosevic) for both campaign and runway. Where are the brands using social media stars other than Dolce and Gabbana?
You refer to the writer as inexperienced and the piece blabber and yet you fail to present a strong case to defend your position. Newsflash, the $2 trillion dollar fashion industry isn't made up of only these top 10 brands you keep bringing up.

If the writer has his information wrong, then so does everyone who works in the industry, including the male models, because they all say the same thing.

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22-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatDudeOverTher View Post
You refer to the writer as inexperienced and the piece blabber and yet you fail to present a strong case to defend your position. Newsflash, the $2 trillion dollar fashion industry isn't made up of only these top 10 brands you keep bringing up.

If the writer has his information wrong, then so does everyone who works in the industry, including the male models, because they all say the same thing.
I may be wrong. I can and will admit to that as soon as I see actual proof. Name me the brands that use socmed stars. Everyone's saying it but is it really happening? Back up your statements with much more solid proof than "the writer works in the industry" As far as these 10 brands go, they ARE NOT hiring social media stars.

You yourself said "the $2 trillion dollar fashion industry isn't made up of only these top 10 brands you keep bringing up." The writer has raised how many brands? Let's see. Balmain and Dolce and Gabbana. Chanel is irrelevant because no male models. FENDI? Nicolas Ripoll as campaign, 12.9k followers, measly comparison towards socmed stars and NO socmed stars for runway. So you want to take the mention of 2 brands over my 10 to be a more accurate representation? Okay.

And yes there are other brands out there, but if the big ones aren't doing it, why would the smaller ones do?

Let's take H&M
Thibaud Charon (a model with 0 social media) is the star of the main campaign

UNIQLO?
Roberto Sipos, 23k followers, decent following but still nowhere near as socmed stars.

TOPMAN?
Benoit Michel, a TIAD model, 871 followers. Alton Mason, 30k followers. Alton blew up starting purely from modelling and that GUCCI campaign as well as FILA with Dilone. Roberts Semjonovs, 1056 followers.

Yes the casting directors may ask how many followers the models have BUT by the looks of the campaigns and runways, I say, most of it are unaffected. and again I'm not just making up random points, I have facts to prove my point. The writer raised the statement of runways being street casted (what brands?) and having runway jobs casting social media stars. As far as all the runway shows go, unless it's Tommy Hilfiger, Balmain or Dolce and Gabbana, the other $2trillion of that industry are NOT doing socmed stars for their runway or campaigns.

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22-09-2017
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Male modelling is dead. The writer has hit the nail on the head.
The only male "supermodel" I can think of who is relevant today is Jon Kortajarena. Other than that there is no one. David Gandy last decade along with Matthias L etc but today ask the random person to name a male model and they'll be stumped.

Like what the article says, mens fashion is so boring and drab. Most relevant brands in mens fashion pretty much only produce suits and nice semi-casual wear like Armani or Ralph Lauren. Other than that the average consumer doesn't care. The only people who buy over the top mens wear (ie pieces from Balmain and DG) are a very small handful of celebrities (ie Kanye) as well as fashion bloggers (ie Bryan Boy).

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23-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billiejbob View Post
Male modelling is dead. The writer has hit the nail on the head.
The only male "supermodel" I can think of who is relevant today is Jon Kortajarena. Other than that there is no one. David Gandy last decade along with Matthias L etc but today ask the random person to name a male model and they'll be stumped.

Like what the article says, mens fashion is so boring and drab. Most relevant brands in mens fashion pretty much only produce suits and nice semi-casual wear like Armani or Ralph Lauren. Other than that the average consumer doesn't care. The only people who buy over the top mens wear (ie pieces from Balmain and DG) are a very small handful of celebrities (ie Kanye) as well as fashion bloggers (ie Bryan Boy).
It isn't dead. It moved on. The term "supermodel" for males is no longer relevant. You can't have one model portray hundreds of different brands in an age where fashion is out-differentiating one another. You want a Gucci boy? Think Jack Chambers or Alton Mason. Calvin Klein? Jonas Gloer or Fernando Albaladejo. All of this information is out there ... (***edited). They haven't worked for a brand outside their muses for a long time.


Last edited by BetteT; 23-09-2017 at 10:27 AM.
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27-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arvage View Post
It isn't dead. It moved on. The term "supermodel" for males is no longer relevant. You can't have one model portray hundreds of different brands in an age where fashion is out-differentiating one another. You want a Gucci boy? Think Jack Chambers or Alton Mason. Calvin Klein? Jonas Gloer or Fernando Albaladejo. All of this information is out there ... (***edited). They haven't worked for a brand outside their muses for a long time.
I think the point is more so that no one cares. Before the social media craze took over, you had models that had a fabulous launch season by dominating the runway and then booking several campaigns. Models of that calibre have been replaced by social media friendly models like Jordan Barrett, Luka Sabbat, or Lucky Blue Smith. While a model like Jonas Gloer may have an impressive portfolio, it's not going to land him the type of press the latter generates.

Finally, what are the chances that this current generation of "traditional models" is going to turn out a Clément Chabernaud or Sean O'Pry?

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28-09-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefashionisto View Post
I think the point is more so that no one cares. Before the social media craze took over, you had models that had a fabulous launch season by dominating the runway and then booking several campaigns. Models of that calibre have been replaced by social media friendly models like Jordan Barrett, Luka Sabbat, or Lucky Blue Smith. While a model like Jonas Gloer may have an impressive portfolio, it's not going to land him the type of press the latter generates.

Finally, what are the chances that this current generation of "traditional models" is going to turn out a Clement Chabernaud or Sean O'Pry?
I see the point of everyone not caring. That argument is valid but for people in the know of the male modelling industry, these campaigns and runway jobs happen for a reason and if you pay attention you'll know which models are being booked again and again, which agency hosts the best model to book from etc. It's exciting for me but not the general public. So it's a very niche interest in today's age where every kind of information is thrown at you at every possible angle.

But for the social media friendly models, see that's where it gets very conflicting. While Jonas Gloer doesn't generate that much press, his face is seen more on the catwalk and campaigns than the 3 you mentioned. In my opinon, I think the social media star epidemic is blown way out of proportion (in the male model department). No, they're not booked for shows everywhere. No, they're not the faces of that many campaigns. Therefore, they aren't replaced.

But because they generate such a buzz, people think that male models are replaced but tune into any of the shows aired during men's (or even women's for that matter) fashion week and see if they are actually walking. I can open a magazine right now and see Cameron Dallas for D&G. But not for Coach, GUCCI, Dior Homme, Calvin Klein, Prada, Neil Barrett, Loewe, Juun.J, VERSACE, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, Paul Smith. Those brands are still using traditional models.

Also, while they generate a lot of press, not all brands want that kind of press - as shown above where I listed various brands and who were in their campaigns.

For your last question, I think the idea of success for a male model has changed. You don't need to be in a music video with Taylor Swift to know that you've made it. I think male models are happy enough when they get a campaign, or e-commerce and editorials where they get to fly to exotic places. For males, they're happy with whatever job they get. They don't aspire to be on the cover of so and so magazine or brand. They're very lax in every sense of the word. If they turn out to be the next Clement, it's their luck. They know that the industry is shaky and there aren't as many job opportunities as women's. Their idea of success is much lower than what the general public sets it if not entirely different. Or at least that's my take on it.

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