11 of The Best Male Models
While it could be argued that designers, editors and stylists form the backbone of the men’s fashion ecosystem, male models are very much it’s handsome, chiselled face.
These almost otherworldly, living mannequins have been providing a way for labels to showcase their work while simultaneously shaping the sartorial decisions of us mere mortals, ever since the word ‘runway’ first began to creep into the menswear lexicon.
Now, in the social media age, these facts have never been so apparent. The world’s male models have greater influence in the world of fashion and beyond today than ever before. Which means that if you’re man who takes his style seriously, it’s imperative for you know who they are.
Keeping that firmly in mind, it’s with great pleasure that we present Ape’s edit of the world’s most influential male models – and why they’re worth keeping your eye on.
If ever there were a living embodiment of that quintessentially British essence of style the whole world goes crazy for. Veteran menswear maven David Gandy is surely it.
David Gandy for Marks & Spencer
One of the few male models capable of spearheading campaigns for labels ranging from Dolce & Gabbana right through to Marks & Spencer, and making them look equally appealing. ‘Dandy Gandy’ has forged a career off the back of his distinctive look, unique sense of style and deep-rooted understanding of menswear.
One of the most prominent male models alive today, Gandy also keeps the flag flying for tailoring. Which, in an increasingly casual fashion landscape, is something to admire.
Hannover-born Huebl has made light work of this male model business, having fronted campaigns for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and DKNY as well as being featured in every fashion publication worth its salt. The 38-year-old has also become a bona fide street style hero within his own right and even managed to win the affections of Olivia Palermo in the process.
Johannes Huebl for Galaxy Menswear
All of this is due in no small part to his seemingly effortless sense of style and ability to make even the most basic of outfits look fit for a spot of Fashion Week peacocking.
A familiar face on the London street style scene, Richard Biedul is a man who knows how to dress, yet isn’t afraid of taking risks.
He may be a former solicitor but when it comes to fashion, Richard is anything but stuffy. After all, who else could conceivably pair a seersucker suit with a Palace baseball cap and make it look totally natural? No one.
Richard Biedul for Drake’s and featured (top) for Chester Barrier AW17
When he’s not whipping Fashion Week photographers up into a frenzy of clicks and flashes, he can be found walking shows for British brands such as Oliver Spencer and Richard James, along with international heavy hitters like Canali. Not bad for a courtroom official who was scouted at a pub.
Probably best known as the face of Ralph Lauren, Tyson Beckford is nothing short of a fully-fledged, fashion industry veteran.
Boasting well over two decades of experience, the vast majority of which spent mingling in the upper echelons, the New Yorker has served as a key figure in the ongoing battle to make fashion more diverse in terms of both race and gender.
Tyson Beckford for Ralph Lauren, wearing a Rolex
As if that weren’t impressive enough, Beckford’s fashion credentials have seen him transition into television as the host of America’s Make Me A Supermodel. All things considered, it’s no wonder Vogue crowned him the greatest male model of all time.
A proud member of the social media generation, Luka Sabbat is one of a new breed of male models. Those giving their older peers a serious run for their money in the internet popularity stakes.
As well as historic fashion houses like D&G and Hugo Boss, the 19-year-old influencer has walked shows for more boundary-pushing names including the likes of Off-White, Raf Simons and more. He also helped to showcase several seasons of Kanye West’s YEEZY range.
Luka Sabbat for PacSun Denim
Born to a stylist and a designer in New York and raised in Paris, Luka was always around fashion. This background, coupled with his social media savviness, created a perfect storm – giving rise to one of the most influential figures in fashion today.
He’s been described as menswear’s answer to Cara Delevingne. A statement that should go some way towards colouring your understanding of just how influential this 20-year-old trailblazer is.
The young Brit was spotted by a retired model who suggested he should go in for an agency meeting. He was signed on the spot and within months found himself walking shows for Burberry, Armani and Stone Island to name just a few.
Kit Butler for Emporio Armani
This is made all the more impressive by the fact that Kit has just four years of experience under his belt. And when you consider his ever-expanding CV (and Instagram following), you can’t help but get the feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in years to come.
After enduring a childhood fraught with bullying, a young Shaun Ross found his niche in the fashion industry.
The first ever male, albino, professional model, 27-year-old Ross has been featured in photo-editorial campaigns for the likes of GQ, I-D, Vogue and paper. As well as modelling for Givenchy and Alexander McQueen.
Outside of his modelling work, the New Yorker has served as a vocal advocate of LGBT rights and the idea of making fashion more inclusive. If you’ve been paying attention over the past few years, you’ll have noticed runways becoming increasingly diverse and this hard-headed young model has been at the forefront of it all.
Most men’s old prom photos serve as nothing more than a source of mild embarrassment. Sean O’Pry’s, on the other hand, landed him a highly-lucrative career, modelling for the biggest fashion names on the face of the Earth.
The 28-year-old was scouted from his pictures on Myspace and quickly went on to help shape the face of menswear over the decade that followed.
Sean O’Pry for H&M
Hailing from Georgia, USA, O’Pry counts the likes of D&G, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Belstaff and Ralph Lauren among his clients, and frequently finds himself at the top of ‘Most Successful Models’ lists in all the most respected magazines.
The elitists may not like it, but streetwear’s vice-like stranglehold on high fashion is only growing tighter. This new paradigm has paved the way for a different type of male model, and skateboarding style aficionado Blondey McCoy is a prime example.
The Londoner will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has maintained even a passing interest in streetwear as the face of pretty much every Palace campaign. He’s also been handpicked by Burberry and Valentino, which saw him fronting a trench coat advert and working with renowned photographer David Bailey respectively.
Blondey McCoy represented by Kate Moss Agency
This would be enough to keep most people busy. But Blondey still manages to dedicate a significant portion of his time to making contemporary art and working on various skateboarding projects. Expect to see a lot more of him in the future.
No list of male models could ever be considered complete without the inclusion of Spanish tastemaker, style king and all-round menswear legend, Jon Kortajarena.
A resident of Shoreditch, one of London’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Kortajarena splits his time between fronting campaigns for high-fashion and high-street brands alike. You’ll also find him acting and keeping his 1.7m Instagram followers satiated with some of the most stylish shots you’ll see on social media.
Jon Kortajarena of VIEW Management
He often says that if he hadn’t become involved in modelling, he would’ve liked to get into photography. However, we’re sure we aren’t alone in thinking it would’ve been a crying shame for him to have ended up behind the camera as opposed to in front of it.
Lucky Blue Smith
In recent years, social media has brought a new platform to the world of fashion that beforehand would’ve seemed completely unfathomable. It’s something that older models strive to keep on top of. However, for younger trendsetters like Lucky Blue Smith, using social media as a tool of their trade is just second nature.
Signed at the age of 12, Smith has been in the throes of the fashion industry for eight long years. In that time, he’s walked runways for everyone who’s anyone and accrued a not unimpressive 3.3m keen followers on Instagram.
Lucky Blue Smith – managed by Simon Fuller XIX Entertainment and represented by IMG
Lucky Blue is part of a new generation of male models. A generation that have a wider reach than any that went before them. The face of fashion is changing, and this 20-year-old trailblazer is leading the charge.