Androgynous Male Models
In the last few years, the fashion industry has truly opened up in regards to diversifying the types of models they celebrate the kinds of identities they represent. From body positive models making a splash with huge brand campaigns with the likes of Aerie, to trans women and men being given the opportunity to grace runways they were never accepted on, the political and social need for identity to be amended and illustrated is making a difference.
A perfect example of how diversification is taking over the modeling industry would be to showcase the rise of androgynous male models. While fashion has always favored delicate, soft, features in the male models it primes for success, the willingness to smash gender roles has gained steam at a meteoric rate in the last few years, and it was pushed forward by the model Andreja Pejic.
After being discovered at McDonald’s at 16, and rising to fame as an androgynous male model thanks, in part, to a Vogue Paris shoot and locking down the highly coveted closing slot in a Jean Paul Gaultier couture show, Andreja was the first of her kind to showcase that androgyny could be high fashion.
To sum it up, Ford model Casey Legler, who identifies as female, but models menswear, puts it perfectly, stating “We have very strict ways in which we identify ourselves as men or women and I think that those can sometimes be limiting … Seeing me on the men’s board … speaks to a notion of freedom, you know. There’s something really bold about that … it’s saying there is also this other way and it’s really rad.”
Roger Garth is an Italian model that was born in the 80s. He is known in the modeling industry for his androgynous looks, and he has landed a plethora of highly coveted runway, magazine, and television campaigns due to them. He’s worked with the likes of Calvin Klein, Versace, Dior and Prada.
Stav Strashko was born in Tel Aviv, and at age 16 was scouted by an agency due to her incredible facial features and waif like frame. She’s strutted down the catwalk for Marc Jacobs, graced the pages of Teen Vogue, and shot with world renowned photographers. Elle magazine even pointed her out and labelled her as the “New York Fashion Week Breakout Runway Star.”
At 18 Roan Louch’s look was dubbed by Vogue as “awe-inducing” and ever since then he has had an incredible career as an androgynous male model. Represented by Re:Quest Model Management, he’s walked for the likes of Gucci Resort and he even became the face of John Galliano’s collection for Maison Margiela. Being compared to Cara Delevigne, the young star has taken the fashion industry by storm with his bushy eyebrows and striking features.
John Whiles first splashed onto the modeling scene when he donned heels and walked in John Galliano’s Maison Margiela AW15 Paris fashion show. Ever since then, the waif like male model has worked with and shot campaigns for Paul Smith and YSL, proving that his place in the androgynous of the industry has been solidified.
Willy Cartier is an incredible example of the perfect androgynous male model. Even while sporting a large amount of facial hair, the French model manages to exude femininity through his long mane and his exotic looks. There is simply just something extremely beautiful about his features that take your breath away. Manages by Success Models, he’s walked for the likes of Givenchy, and he’s shot incredible campaigns for Redline Magazine. He’s also rumoured to be a poet, which just adds to his sensual air.
Andreja Pejic is the model most associated with androgynous male modeling. After having undergone reassignment surgery, she changed her name from Andrej to Andreja. The androgynous Australian model found her big break after Carine Roitfeld had her photographed in womenswear for Paris Vogue. This was the first time to industry has done such a thing, with a model that looked like Andreja, and because of that an onslaught of editorials followed in her footsteps. Andreja shook up the industry so much, her cover was banned by Barnes & Noble for fear their customers would think that she was a naked woman.
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“One thing I’m certain of is that I’m human. If you cut me, I’ll bleed. If you’re mean to me, you’ll make me sad; if you hug me, I might cry or smile; if you buy me white roses, I’ll really like you; if you’re good in bed, I’ll have an orgasm. I laugh, I breathe and I search for love, happiness and meaning, just like you do. I question life, society and sadness, as I have no doubt you all do, too. Instead of thinking about the many different ways of politicising my transition, my body and the other secondary aspects of my identity and life, I like to lie in bed looking into the cold night, pondering bigger ideas. I’m doing it right now; it’s a full moon tonight…” If you’re bored you can read the rest of the essay I wrote for @vogueaustralia by clicking the link in my bio.☺️
Though he dreamed of being a painter, Californian male model Miles McMillan was soon discovered at NYU and he quickly switched up art classes for the catwalk. An already celebrated, albeit new, model, Miles has shot for H&M, French Connection, Tommy Hilfiger, and he has graced the pages of Vogue, Porter, and Details magazine. He has also gained celebrity in mainstream media because he us happily dating world renowned actor Zachary Qunito.
Like Andreja Pejic (mentioned above) Siobhan Atwell, born Seth Atwell, made the decision to fully transition after a few years in the industry as one of the most famous androgynous male models. Her long, brown mane, large lips, and bushy brows, have had her compared to the likes of Kendall Jenner and Angelina Jolie. These striking features gave her the freedom to pose as both men and women, and when she burst onto the modeling scene just a few years ago, she became the muse and inspiration for other gender-fluid advocates like Shayne Oliver.
David Chiang was born in Taiwan, and he has been modeling since 2010. He was scouted when he was 13, and moved to Canada in order to pursue more modeling opportunities. He’s walked for incredible designers like Alexander McQueen, Armani, Dior, and Diesel. He has even caught the eye of mogul Karl Lagerfeld, being described as “a really beautiful Chinese girl.”
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Jaco van den Hoven
Dutch model Jaco van den Hoven was discovered in 2009 in Amsterdam, and his flawless features (including those incredible blue eyes) have made him light up runways all over Europe. Having walked in Paris and Milan fashion weeks, and shot for the likes of GQ, Jaco is a celebrated model because his features are both soft and strong. He is the perfect example of a androgynous male model.