Filed under: Introducing Ford Models | Tags: alexander wang, damien neva, florida, ford men, jon paul, kai z feng, rachel clark, tom van dorpe, vman, wellington
Last week I was asked to write a portrait for one of our boys who was to be named VMAN model of the week. Disclosure, I hadn’t even met the lad, but was no less charmed to pen the rhetorical equivalent of playing a film in reverse. In this rewinding picture a young man is crowned model of the week by VMAN and seven days later (or film’s equivalent of 168 hours) he is seen jauntily moonwalking across the 16:9 screen to the Ford Models Blog for his introduction. And so, without further ado, meet Jon Paul, 6’1″ (187 cm) 18-year-old Wellington, Florida native and recent Ford Men signee. If you have kept even a lazy eye on our Facebook or Twitter, then you will have already learned of Jon Paul’s not inauspicious beginnings with the agency. Jon Paul’s story is the stuff made of legend, all of which quite rightly inspired me to write what I have come to learn is a true portrait.
Having left Florida, Jon Paul was making his way to Los Angeles, where he was to meet up with a prominent record producer and begin in earnest his career in music — he’s a bit of a precocious talent on bass guitar, mind. What started with a routine layover in New York, however has resulted in a promising young career in modeling after having taken heed of Ford’s Rachel Clark‘s advice to send his pictures to Ford Men. After receiving encouraging words from the agency, Jon Paul met his future agents and within two hours was sent on an Alexander Wang go-see. Jon Paul went on to actually meet the 2008 CDFA Fashion Fund Award winner with whom he got on famously and was personally invited the following day to shoot a new menswear lookbook. Jon Paul has since shot with VMAN for a forthcoming editorial. All this is the result of a casual suggestion from a long time friend. With the garden’s path having been forked to fashion instead of music, Jon Paul is embracing this wholly unforeseen career in all it fortuitous brilliance.
Jon Paul’s refined features have already made him a favorite with Tom Van Dorpe and others at VMAN. Dark blonde hair, striking blue eyes, and freckled skin make for an ideal blank canvas for any client. As a musician growing up in Florida it might not otherwise have been the case. Many of Jon Paul’s peers already at this age are covered in tattoos and piercings. Either through patience in waiting for the perfect tattoo or a modicum of skepticism about the permanence of skin art, Jon Paul managed to avoid being tatted up and decoratively punctured like his mates. The result leaves Jon Paul with clear skin and endless possibilities for work in print. Of course plenty of successful models have tattoos, but no one would argue the value of being handsomely unadorned. Also crucial to Jon Paul’s early success is a charming personality borne of his craft as a performing musician. Suffice it to say that on top of looks and personality Jon Paul also boasts CV that includes everything he needs to be a smash hit in fashion…VMAN ← Alexander Wang ← Ford Models Blog.
Credits include: Publication, Ford Models Blog; Title, “Introducing Jon Paul”; Model, Jon Paul; Division, Ford Men; Interview/text, Damien Neva; Video/photography, Damien Neva.
Introducing Jon Paul / Ford Men (Video: Damien Neva)
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