Vogue 40 Years Of Male Models: John Pearson | Premier Model Management

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Vogue 40 Years Of Male Models: John Pearson

Their female peers get all the glory, but the world of male modeling has no shortage of former stars. The Lucky Blues of yesterday are legion. Consider the athletic elegance of Bill Curry in his late-’70s heyday, the alpha maleness of ’80s super John Pearson, or the groundbreaking 1990s success of Tyson Beckford. In honor of the men’s Fall 2016 shows, which kicked off this weekend in London, Vogue sat down with some of the most beautiful men in the business. Check out their interview with John below...

A Yorkshire, England, boy with the dashing good looks of a matinee idol, Pearson landed on the modeling scene in 1986 and quickly became the decade’s numero uno. Thirty years later he’s still booking jobs.

“I came to New York in 1986, and I think two or three days after arriving I got my first job for Bloomingdale’s. We went to Bob Crane’s studio; he was the guy who had discovered Cindy Crawford, and he was on Mulberry Street. I showed up, and there was a stretch limousine just to drive us across Houston Street from his apartment on Mulberry to the Puck Building! We worked; I did four shots and had the best lunch I’d ever had. Cindy showed up—it was her first week in New York as well—and she said hello to Bob and that was it. Two days later I was doing the cover of Self with Uma Thurman, and I haven’t stopped working since.

I worked with the girls all the time, and I still do. I did the cover of Italian Vogue a couple of years ago with Linda Evangelista, and there are a few girls I see occasionally. The late ’80s, early ’90s was really the apex of that supermodel era and explosion of the sincere and original supermodels. That term has been plagiarized countless times, but I don’t think anything has or will come close to that again.

When I did those Drakkar Noir ads, the great thing for me was getting to train in Vegas with Muhammad Ali’s corner man and trainer. I was very into acting, so that was just extraordinary to do that for the commercial, which was directed by Dominic Sena. I had the lovely, beautiful, sexy, brilliant Stephanie Seymour there as my leading lady, and it was a hard-core shoot, a massive production. Then there was shooting the stills with Herb Ritts; he was just so gentle and kind, you knew that you were in the hands of a master.

That shoot was full of great moments; I got to drive this AC Cobra, and they said to me, ‘Don’t go over 40 mph; we’ll speed it up in post,’ but I couldn’t not go over 40, so we went for it, and there was a guy on the walkie-talkie yelling at us the whole time. Little did I know that the car cost $500,000!

For the ‘Freedom ’90’ video, I had to learn the song in the car going to the studio, and it’s a six-and-a-half-minute song, so I had to get it right! I got to watch Linda filming her portion, which was extraordinary; I got to watch Christy [Turlington], which was of course incredible; and at the end of the day—which was around 3 in the morning—the producer came to me and said, ‘We can’t get to you today; can you come back tomorrow?’ And I was like, ‘Sure.’ Then he said, ‘Oh, but you’ll do it for free, right? This is a George Michael video.’ And I had to say no, I wouldn’t do it for free, because I knew how much the girls were making!

That evening I was in my hotel looking through this book, and there was a great picture of Paul Newman outside the Actors Studio in the ’60s with his feet up on the wall. I came in the next day and George and David Fincher approached me and said, ‘What do you want to do?’ and I did not expect that at all. I thought back to the picture of Newman looking so nonchalant and cool, and I knew that was what I wanted to look like. I was eating an orange at the time and David said, ‘Oh, I like that orange,’ and that was it. They built me a doorway, we shot the scene in two takes, and it was just spontaneous and great fun.”

See the full article here: http://www.vogue.com/13385839/male-modeling-icons-40-years/