The topic of the underwear model industry is one we spend a considerable amount of time discussing on our blog because in giving you the most up to date information on the evolving underwear market, we begin to see a lot of familiar faces. Underwear, for these guys, is their career. In the past year, we have had the chance to interview many models from different walks of life and who have modeled for different brands including Andrew Christian, Timoteo, Rufskin, and C-IN2. Below, we have compiled a list of the model stories you couldn’t stop talking about. The list includes three active Andrew Christian models, one reality star, two soldiers, a college soccer player, a model husband, a Russian, and fitness model.
Check out the list below. Which was your favorite model interview of 2013? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @underwearexpert.
10) Cory Lee
We featured Cory Lee in a Model of the Week post May 13, 2013. Born and raised in Texas, this Southern Boy made a name for himself as one of Andrew Christian’s most recognizable models in LA before moving to New York last month. In the interview, Cory revealed to us that he had a super power. “It’s persuasion,” he told us. “I get what I want.” He also shared a touching word with us about his mother. “If I could have dinner with anyone in the world, it’d be my mom,” he said. “I didn’t get to spend much time with her during my childhood, and looking back on my life I wish I could have.”
Read more about Cory Lee here.
9) Jon Varak
We had the chance to catch up with Jon Varak a month before he had decided to put modeling on hold to focus on his other pursuits. That said, when we spoke to him September 2013, he was riding high on the success of the Andrew Christian twerk video, of which he was a featured twerker. “I got into twerking after it became such a fad on the internet,” he told us. “I was like, I want to see if I can do it. So, I practiced to my favorite songs at home. Like anything, you have to practice to get good at it.” Though we talked about twerking and Pokemon, Jon got serious with us when it came to the issue of gay bullying and self expression. “Back in middle school and high school, I was not a popular kid. I was pretty much a loser,” he said. “I was super skinny and pale. I had acne all over my face. It was really hard. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I would seclude myself. The only time I would leave my room is when I had to go to school or eat dinner. Otherwise, I would stay by myself.
“I wasn’t out in high school and middle school, but it didn’t stop the popular guys from bullying me and calling me names. I guess they all knew,” he continued. “It’s pretty funny because, a lot of times, the kids who get picked on go on to achieve great things and achieve their goals. Back in high school, I said I was interested in modeling. The other kids would say I would never be able to model. I can’t model. That I was ugly. It sucked. It hurt. But, now, I’m here. I’m doing it.”
Read more about Jon Varak here.
8) Peter Pretty
We first heard about Peter Pretty after he took part in a series of editorials by Troy Wise. When we chatted with Peter September 2, 2013, we learned that there was more to him than a pretty smile. “The day after ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed, my paperwork went into the Marine Corps,” he said. “I didn’t know going into it, but I was actually the first openly gay infantry rifleman in the United States Marine Corps. My ex got discharged because he openly came out about it. I wanted to change all that. I told myself if I do any military branch, I would want to be open about it. There’s a lot of people scared about it that shouldn’t be. I’m in reserve status right now.”
We would come to find out that military life wasn’t too distant from modeling. “The Military is similar to modeling in that you have to be disciplined in both. Exercise obviously. There’s going to be a lot of people that don’t like you. You take it with a grain of salt. You take whatever they say and kind of use it as constructive criticism.”
Read more from Peter Pretty here.
7) Steven Dehler
California native, Steven Dehler, had quite the year in 2013, appearing in runway shows for Marco Marco and in campaigns for Timoteo and Freedom Reigns. Ironically, this is one underwear model that prefers to go commando when he is not at work. “It’s always been the most comfortable for me. I like to sleep naked,” he told us on September 16, 2013. “Dancing in underwear isn’t super comfortable. So, when I’m not working, I like to let myself breathe.”
In addition to telling us about his underwear habits outside of modeling, Steven also talked a bit about Britney Spears, Detox from RuPaul’s Drag Race, and how growing up wasn’t so easy for him. “I used to play on the monkey bars with the girls. We would do tricks, spin, and twirl. I would come to find out that some of the kids would call me Steven “Gay”ler behind my back because of it. They’d pick on me,” he said. “In High School, I was introverted and shy. I wore baggy clothes because I was underweight. I was six foot and 140 lbs. I also had a pimply chin. It wasn’t until I hit my early twenties that I got comfortable with myself.
Now, I swing around on bars, work less hours, and get paid more than the people that bullied me back then for something I liked to do,” he continued. “I want people to know it gets better. It takes time. You just have to be strong in your self.”
Read more from Steven Dehler here.
6) Rodiney Santiago
Rodiney Santiago is probably most well known for his stints on reality TV. In 2013, the Brazilian model took off in the underwear world with the success of his “Ruf Rod” partnership with Rufskin. In April, we had the chance to pull back the curtain a bit and get to learn some interesting things about the “A-Lister,” such as his surprising gym habits. “I’m not crazy about the gym, it’s a habit. I try to go 5 times a week, but if I miss one I don’t stress-out about it,” he said. “I eat a little bit of everything, but I try to not eat very much sugar. But, let’s be honest having a little cheat day is very important to sticking with your diet and routine. I prefer dark chocolate.”
Read more from Rodiney Santago here.
5) Noah Wright
Noah Wright had a great year in 2013. As one of Andrew Christian’s freshly discovered Trophy Boys, he quickly became a fan favorite. Sitting down with the model September of last year, we began to understand why. “My fans are really great, loyal fans. If anyone says anything negative about me, they are always there to have my back. I don’t have to say anything,” he said. “I love my fans. I interact with them a lot. Which is why I think they like me so much. I like to talk to them, to hear what they have to say. I look forward to reading all of their comments.”
With Noah, we got a glimpse into the life of a person that not only loved his fans, but also his family and, in the least conceded of senses, himself. “Gay pride is important. I’ve been through a lot,” he said. “I lived in West Virginia. It feels like we are a little behind the times. Being gay is definitely not something you flaunt around in this area. It’s very religious here.
“I’ve been in relationships with girls. I feel like I can finally express who I am and who I want to be and not have to look back and be afraid, thinking about what people are going to think of me or what’s my family going to think, ” he continued. “I have a lot of pride in myself, being the person I want to be and being the person I should be. Not being someone else.”
Read more from Noah Wright here.
4) Mike Stalker
You literally can’t walk around the streets of Chelsea in NY without catching a glimpse of Mike Stalker plastered on phone booths in C-IN2 underwear. “To see about 50 posters of myself around NYC, the biggest and greatest city in the world, is crazy,” he told us back in February. “It’s cool when I get a text or message from someone saying they just passed a couple of posters of me walking down 6th or 7th Ave in NYC. I think modeling gives me another opportunity to do something unique, and do something that is rewarding.
“I understand that very, very few people in the world could say that they have modeled for great campaigns or they had posters and billboards of themselves in major cities, so I think it is a very cool opportunity that I have right now,” he continued. “I am just riding the wave for now, and seeing where it could bring me in life. I am still young and I’d be ignorant if I didn’t take the chance.”
Read more from Mike Stalker here.
3) Terry Miller
We contacted Terry Miller back in April of last year, after his first photo shoot with Mr. Turk. When asked whether he had ever modeled before, he said, “No. Never before. I posted some photos from summer vacation on Instagram in a couple of swimsuits from last year’s Mr. Turk line. I love his clothes, Im such a fan I tagged the photos. Mr. Turk saw them and got in touch with me. He asked if I would want to get together and be photographed in some of the new line. Honestly, I’m very flattered.”He’s well known for being the husband of activist and columnist Dan Savage, who, he told us, was elated about the shoot. “He’s seen everything. He didn’t come to the shoot, but he came for drinks after. I’m assuming he likes the pictures — he posted a bunch of them on Twitter!”
Read more from Terry Miller here.
2) Kirill Dowidoff
Kirill Dowidoff is one Russian model who has literally made a splash last year, appearing in highly circulated campaigns for Addicted and ES Collection. When we spoke to him in April,he told us about his most memorable modeling experience. “The most interesting experience in modeling I’ve had is this for sure: When we shot with the animals for ES Collection, the tiger was like a cat–so sweet and gentle–but he did not expect my modeling and jumped on me and knocked me down,” he said.
The model also revealed to us a surprising aspect of himself during the interview. “I am a student at the university, doing vocals. And I love the production of the musicals and to participate in them,” he said.
Read more from Kirill Dowidoff here.
1) Alex Minsky
In the case of Alex Minsky, a picture is worth at thousand words. Alex is an Afghan vet turned underwear model. The Los Angeles based model drove over an IED in Afghanistan in 2009, which subsequently landed him a coma. Upon wakening, life was, as one can imagine, not a dream. ” I came out of my coma and I was using alcohol as a tool to cope–to cope with the trauma that was going on in my own head and in my own life and I was like messed up, dude. I was real messed up,” he said. “And then a series of very unfortunate events happened back to back to back bam bam bam. My younger brother passed away when he was 19 and I was 21 and then I used alcohol even more, to cope even more. It’s a progressive illness, so my alchoholism progressed further and further and further and I never slowed down.
“I felt that I was, that I deserved it. I felt like I was allowed to drink that much because, I don’t know.. because I could–because I wanted to. And that’s not the case. It was very unhealthy and it is very unhealthy and it was very, very bad for me. I don’t regret anything that I’ve done–any drinking, anything like that–but it’s not a healthy way of living,” he continued. “And it’s very hypocritical for me also because I promote healthy living all the time in every single aspect of my life. For years I’ve been promoting it in every other aspect of my life–except for my own personal abuse of alcohol. I would abuse the crap out of alcohol.”
He went on to tell us about how he fought the battle. “I got in trouble. I broke the law. I got in trouble and the courts got me sober. I was sober for 50 days when the fog had lifted enough– and it’s not completely lifted, it’s a process—but it lifted some and I realized, “Holy guacamole, I’m a piece of crap and I need to stop doing this. This is bad,” he said. “I’ve been sober ever since. One day at a time. I’m not going to lie and say everything is peaches and cream all the time, because it’s not. It’s life. Everything is not peaches and cream all the time. The only difference is I don’t have alcohol to cover up anymore. I don’t have that coping device. I’m left to handle shit head on. Face first.
“I’m still early in recovery, but it feels so good getting clean and staying sober,” he continued. “I was like, “Holy guacamole!” I was feeling the love coming, and my modeling started picking up in the same time frame. Three, four months sober and everything just seemed like it was happening. I was happy with where I was.”
Read more from Alex Minsky here.