Wednesday, February 24, 2010


this is my jam of the week...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE... congrats: face of Calvin Klein - - artist/ model DAVID AGBODJI @ Re:QUEST MODEL MGMT.

David Rgbodji @ Re:quest model mgmt. photographed by Steven Klein
It is great to see another fashion door swing open and model/ artist David Agbodji @ Request Model Mgmt has kicked it off its hinges. Being the current face of Calvin Klein, David has definitely hit a milestone in his modeling career. Last fashion week he was the first black male model to open the Calvin Klein Spring 2010 show. This season David closed out the Fall 2010 show. ... a big break for any male model.

It is interesting to see the black male image being associated with the standards of American beauty.

The Calvin Klein images took me back to when I was a photography student at the University of Memphis. They reminded me of my own photographic works. Every semester I created images that I felt celebrated black beauty. This sparked many heated debates in my art classes. I was the only Black person in my photography classes and I fought for my classmates to acknowledge and recognize the beauty we as black people brought to this world. I wanted them to respect and appreciate our beauty instead of objectify us.

Just as Trace magazine's Black Girl's Rule issue gave power to Black female beauty, I hope my work gives power and validation to the Black male image and forced viewers to see us in an artistic way. I always hoped for change and wanted my work to contribute to the big picture. I was not surprised that validation of Black beauty would have to come from someone like  the  people at Calvin Klein and photographer Steven Klein. Truthfully, its no different than Steven Miesel's collaboration with Italian Vogue's "Black" issue celebrating black female models. We as black people have for so long spent most of our time trying to fit into a social standard of beauty that never included us. Instead of taking our own image and creating our own standard of beauty...we sit back and wait for society to hand us their version of beauty.

 images from my art projects during my college days at University of Memphis

Brandon Parker shot by Tarrice Love in 2006

When I first came to New York, my style and approach on male beauty weren't received with open arms. Agents, stylist, and others told me that my style was too artistic and no one was interested in seeing black male models photographed that way. I was told to focus on shooting the black guys in a more upscale "catalogy" way.  In the past, the Black male image was urban - street hoodlum.  The election of Obama has made a black man the spokeperson of this country which has reinforced the black male image as commercial, safe, and boring. (if you don't believe me, go look at the top agencies (with the exception of Red NYC) and check out the black guys books).

Pierre Woods@ New York Models 

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE..... keep watching. I am excited to see where all of this is going.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

OMG! RIP... my favorite designer dies - ALEXANDER McQUEEN

devon aoki photographed by nick knight

The brilliant and controversial British fashion designerAlexander McQueen was found dead in his London home Thursday after anguished Internet postings that revealed his deep sorrow at the death of his mother. He was 40 years old.

McQueen's sudden death has robbed the fashion scene of one of its most innovative and successful young designers.  His brilliance and imagination knew no bounds and will continue to be a lasting inspiration for me and many others in this industry. He will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


i was watching the Grammy awards the other night and the highlight was Lady Gaga and Elton John's performance. Watching it made me think of Lady Miss Kier of the group Deee-Lite. The wild costumes, the great soulful singing voice on a white girl, and the amazing body all took me back Deee-lite. google her and youtube her :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

introducing: NIQUE JENKINS @ Major Model Mgmt.

Nique Jenkins' distinctive and dramatic look combined  with his piercing hazel/ green eyes sets him apart from so many black male models that look the same. Fresh from Indianapolis,Indiana, Nique is represented by Major Model Mgmt. and is anticipating a really good NY show season for F/W2010, clients seem to be in full agreement. Funny with southern charm and very hardworking, this Texan has all the right ingredients to go the distance.