A few weeks ago I was in line at Whole Foods at Union Square when I saw two tall boys the next lane over. As the electronic voice called our register number, I progressed until I was right next to them. I had a closer look before I spoke to him—I had to make sure the front was as good-looking as the back! As is usually the case with gorgeous people in New York, 21-year-old Michael was already signed with an agency. He had intense eyes, a wide smile and a sweet personality. I decided then and there to shoot him for this feature. I had no idea he was the VMan Model Search winner a year ago. Double trouble!
NATALIE JOOS Where are you from?
MICHAEL WOZNIAK I’m a Florida boy. I was born in Clearwater but grew up in central Florida, Tampa, Orlando and even spent some time in Miami because my brother was going to school there.
NJ What is your heritage? Is your name Polish?
MW Yes, I have Polish, German, Puerto Rican and Italian in my blood.
NJ How did you start modeling?
MW I was in Miami with my brother and found out that my ex-girlfriend had been sending photos of me to various modeling agencies. Then Ford called me and said they were interested in signing me but also told me about this VMan competition. They set up a meeting for me with the agency in Miami and a couple of the New York agents came in to meet me as well. A few weeks later I found out I was a finalist and eventually won! This was a year ago.
NJ And what have you been up to since then?
MW My life has completely changed since then. Before this, I was a full-time student with a golf scholarship.
NJ Golf? How fun! I’ve never heard of a golf scholarship.
MW It’s pretty common in Florida.
NJ Do you still play now that you’re in New York?
MW I am still on the team, but I’m taking most of my classes online.
NJ You take online golf lessons?!
MW No no, my academic classes! I go to Chelsea Piers to keep up the golf tempo. And there’s a place in Queens I go to for putting and stuff.
NJ So how has your life changed?
MW Besides a lot of traveling and modeling, I’ve also recently been making a transition into soccer! Since the start of my modeling career I’ve had time and opportunity to try new things. And now I’m spending most of my time with soccer training. The footwork I’m learning with soccer is also useful for golf. I don’t think that I would’ve ever gotten into soccer if I hadn’t come to New York to model!
NJ what’s up with your tattoo?
MW It’s a verse from the Bible. It’s been half-removed. I’ve had a few laser treatments.
NJ Why did you remove it?
MW Evolution of the mind, simply put. My perspective kept changing but now I’m appreciating it again. And I like it faded. I was raised in a very Christian household. Now I don’t believe in religion as much. I much more believe in the concept of love and God. I think God = love.