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Justin Breitschopf: an Aspiring Model at DC Fashion Week [men's fashion]

In addition to meeting the designers, one of my favorite aspects in attending a fashion week is becoming acquainted with the models.

First, I am always interested in the choice of models by each designer and, secondly, I enjoy meeting the models since each one is a real person underneath all the glitz and glamor.

So, today, I would like present to you Justin, whom I met last week at the Menswear Collection Show at DC Fashion Week.

Where are you from, Justin?

I was born and raised in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Tell me a little about your early years…

I was actually a little overweight as a kid and became vegetarian and a health nut at a young age around 13 or 14 to get in shape. I worked with a dietitian to ensure I was making a lifestyle change I could live with. I’m actually a vegan now for both ethical and health reasons.

How did you wind up in DC?

I moved to Washington DC in 2004 after college. I originally came to the area to work in politics after working on a major political campaign in Louisiana. I worked for the government for a while and I now work for a consulting company. I consult to the military as a project manager.

When did you develop an interest in modeling?

Modeling has been a major goal of mine since high school.

What specifically convinced you that you have what it takes?

I realized I might be good at modeling as other people were always saying, “You look like someone I know.” Or I was told I should be a model or that I photograph well, and that I have chiseled facial features. I realized I might have a commodity I can market. I just ran with it after that.

Have you found it easy to “break in”?

I tried to work for a few agencies in DC and I was told a range of comments from needing to lose weight and workout more to my photographs are too artsy and busy. I used the constructive criticism and moved forward, but I did not let the negative aspects stop me from achieving my dreams. I am freelancing at present.

So, how did you get your start?

The photo shoot and runway show that really started everything was for an unpaid hair show. My hair and eyebrows were died black and a caramel streak was put in the middle of my hair! My hair was a little longer then, so they actually curled it. It took four hours in hair, make-up, and wardrobe to get the look together. I still use the pictures today as I basically look the same minus the crazy hair. All of the casting agents usually love these pictures better than anything else I have done.

Is modeling “all lights” as some may think?

Modeling has a few perks: being around beautiful people, exciting events, and top of the line designers. The downside is the long days during runway shows. You also have to be able to handle rejection well as your look is not always what matches the designer’s needs.

What aspects of modeling do you like best?

As a model you get to wear clothes that are on the cutting edge of fashion. I appreciate the designers who create thoughtful and well-crafted menswear.

Any real downsides?

Bring a book or your iPod because you will be standing around for long hours waiting.

How does male modeling compare to female?

There are more opportunities for female models and, oftentimes, male models are needed as accessories and are sent down the runway in just underwear.

Would you consider this your dream career?

I am going to give modeling my all and see where it takes me. I have been successful in my consulting job, as well, so I am currently working towards promotion for this June 2016.

Which designers did you represent at DC Fashion Week?

I worked with designers Ray Vincente and Stella Bonds.

And what was your general impression of the Show?

I am glad to see the DC fashion community is interested in menswear and that a whole evening was dedicated to a men's runway show. The designers represented a wide range of men's fashion from avant-garde to more standard daily wear. The variety of clothing choices indicates a trend that the men's market is growing.

What would you like to see in the future at DC Fashion Week?

I hope to see more adventurous, but functional clothes that will appeal to a wide audience of men.

Thank you, Justin, and the best of success to you!

Photos Copyright Justin Breitschopf.

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