Julian Gabriel is a rising star represented by Diamond Talent Agency and Elite who hasn’t quite wrapped his mind around his sudden success. Only seven months ago, he was a handsome, athletic law school student who had never even considered modeling. He was emailed, seemingly out of the blue, by Elite models and a few modeling gigs and magazine covers later, he’s talking to us on the phone before flying to Germany for a photo shoot. How did this happen? Who is this Miami boy who became a model, seemingly overnight? How does one begin as a student in the U.S. and end up on the cover of Australia’s best selling gay magazine? Check out our exclusive Julian Gabriel photos + interview to find out how he got his start, what it feels like to be in the middle of a dream-like rise and what obstacles stand in his way. Scroll down to see our Julian Gabriel photos from photographer Luis Rafael below, then keep goin’ to read our Julian Gabriel interview!
The Underwear Expert: I hear you’re leaving the country!
Julian Gabriel: I am! It’s my first time overseas, actually.
UE: Where are you going?
JG: Well I fly off to Germany and I’m working with two agencies there. Then I fly over to London for a job that I booked for another two or three days. Then I have to come back to the states because I have class in the morning. So I’m literally going to be going from the airport to school.
UE: Were you born in Miami?
JG: Yeah, I grew up here in Miami. I went to Private school my whole life. My dad was super into sports. When I was young I was really athletic. I was a natural talent. He had me in competitive swimming, so I’ve been a swimmer my whole life.
UE: What strokes did you swim?
JG: I was a freestyler and I swam backstroke so I was pretty much a sprinter for the most part. But you know, I did the whole going to Jr. Olympics–I was super into it until I went to college. That’s when I first moved away from Miami and went to UCF in Orlando for four years.
UE: What did you study in college?
JG: I studied pre-law and specialized in litigation and advocacy, entertainment and sports law. Now, I’m in my second year of law school. Modeling definitely sideswiped me. I never really saw myself getting into that or ever being scouted or anything. It just happened pretty naturally. I got signed down here in June or July of this summer. It’s been keeping me busy, but I really fell in love with it.
UE: Did you have any previous modeling experience before you were signed?
JG: No no no no [laughs]. Never. I’d never modeled before. I never even thought about it.
UE: How were you approached?
JG: I was pretty much scouted through some of my pictures on Facebook from when I was at a music festival here in Miami called Ultra. (Music festivals are huge for me. I’ve been going to them since I was 16 or 17). They ran into a couple of my pictures that I think Ultra might have used and somehow they found me and got my information. I got an email from them and that’s pretty much it. It was a little weird at first because I didn’t know if it was a creeper kind of a thing, but it was legit and I was in Elite’s office the next week having a meeting with them.
JG: I think that Mr. Turk was one of my favorite clients because it was so new at the time. I felt pretty honored that they flew me over there to do their whole swimwear campaign, just because I was so new as a model as well. I definitely appreciated it a lot more. The designers were just so amazing and so nice that it was hard not to fall in love with the brand.
UE: Do you have Mr. Turk swimwear now?
JG: Oh yeah. He gave me the whole line for free.
UE: You were also on DNA magazine’s front cover for their “Sexiest Men of the Year” edition. How did that come about?
Check out three more Julian Gabriel photos from Luis Rafael, and find out how Julian was chosen as the sexiest man of the year after the jump!
JG: It was really flattering. I was unsure about it when my agent first told me about it, but they were really persistent. They had featured me on blogs before–over the summer when I first got signed. Apparently I got really popular and they liked my pictures a lot. I was flattered, so I just went ahead and did it. I got to talk with the editors and they had such wonderful things to say about me that I felt almost obligated to do the cover for them.
UE: You’re really into fitness. Could you talk about what you do for your gym routine?
JG: Before I was signed, I would go super hard at the gym with weights. I always swam. I’m a member at LA Fitness and I use their pool like three or four times a week so that’s where I get my cardio from. I used to use a lot of weights and I was always trying to get bigger. As soon as I entered the modeling world, they were like “yeah, everything’s great but you need to tone that down.” So my current gym regimen is pretty much cardio-cardio-cardio and abs-abs-abs. I look at the weights from afar and say, “hi,” but then I keep walking the other way.
UE: Do you have a trainer?
JG: No I pretty much do everything on my own. I think it would be awkward to have a trainer. I’d be telling him what’s wrong.
UE: Could you talk about your nutrition.
JG: I’m usually pretty strict with myself if I’m not going out and eating at restaurants. I feel like you kind of have to have go-to categories of food if you’re going to go out with your friends.
UE: With law schoool, modeling and athletics, and all the other stuff you’re involved in. How do you fit a social life into that. Are you able to date?
JG: Dating has gotten kind of hard. I never had a problem with it before modeling. Ironically, now it’s becoming kind of an issue. There’s, you know, jealousy. It’s a complicated issue at the moment.
UE: They’re jealous that you’re on magazine covers?
JG: Well, you definitely get a lot of guys coming up to you at the gym. If you’re out in public, they’ll ask to take pictures of you at the mall. I definitely was not prepared for that. I didn’t think I would become this popular so fast. I’m definitely fortunate because it gets me jobs all around the world. But it comes with negatives, one of which is obviously having a relationship. I guess I haven’t found that right person who doesn’t really care.
UE: Do you have any advice for our readers who are interested in becoming models?
JG: My recommendation is: before anything, get in front of a camera. I think that’s something I learned coming into the industry. A lot of kids have asked me the same question and I think the biggest thing is to ask anyone [to photograph you]. Ask your friend, ask your mom, whatever. Ask them to take your picture and pretend that you’re in a photoshoot. I don’t think people understand that in the modeling industry, a lot of people look perfect. They might have better bodies or better faces but they can’t project that onto an image. Before you go to any modeling agency and they decide to take a couple of shots of you, you want to be prepared for that so that you give your best looks so that they can see that you’re not only good looking but that you can project that onto film. That’s the most important part. So I’d tell them to just start practicing if that’s what they want to do.
Photo Credit: Luis Rafael Exclusively for The Underwear Expert
Julian Gabriel can be booked worldwide through Nick Clayton at the Diamond Talent Agency.