In honor of Men’s fashion week in Paris, I would like to showcase two guys who are The Faces of Givenchy who have graced my camera: Manuel Ramos and Jonathan Marquez.
Manuel is with Request. And, he happens to be the very first magazine assignment that I ever booked for a now defunct magazine called Ballroom Rockstar. Yes, even, the first magazine that I ever booked sounds like a guide to find trannies in The City. Who knew, right? Wow. That was so long ago. I shot about 5 models for this editorial called “Fight Club”. It was styled by Charles Wade. All I remember about that shoot was Manuel. He was really shy and just UNBELIEVABLE looking in person. And, if you ever have had the pleasure of meeting him in person, you would be blown away. He is an old school model. And, I should clarify what that means. He is 6’3″; muscular; and, undeniably a man. These were the type of models that I grew up seeing in GQ and Esquire. Not the heroin chic twinks that continue to prevail (not that there is anything wrong with that either). But, also, Manuel is really really nice. I recently bumped into him. And, he is the same “kid” that I met on the set that day. Polite and cautious. I like that. Who knew that the one guy who got passed over would become the face of Givenchy. And, also, considered one of the Men who continue to embody the elegance and sex appeal of the label as he has been hailed in the current French Vogue. Not a bad rep. Below are the only remaining shots that I have that were saved before my old computer crashed.
And, then, there is Jonathan Marquez. Jonathan is with Click and the current face of Givenchy. And, as you know, I have been working on portraits. His booker, Carmelo recommended Jonathan to me. I knew who Jonathan was because I had seen the previous Givenchy show in Paris (online that is; how fabulous did that just sound, right?). I wasn’t sure what to expect because he comes by way of L.A. which can be “extra” (street lingo for “too much” or “Hollywood”) as we all know. But, he came in just steely, cool and very down to earth. We chatted a minute. A lot of people do not realize that he is a musician. So, we had a lot in common about just music and performance. And, then, he let me have it when he stepped in front of the camera. He stared into my lens as if it was his long lost lover. He was just awesome. He opined about Givenchy that day. And, two weeks later, he was on a plane to Paris to shoot the campaign. He was shocked more than anyone. And, if you look at that campaign, he manages to upstage quite a few notables who have had the campaign prior. So, I raise a very toasty glass of champagne to minority brothers who are making things happen in front of the camera and on the runway. I pray for more of “us” there some day. But, until then, bon courage Manuel et Jonathan. Demain vient d’ici.