This morning I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris, Make Me A Supermodel
's androgynous star.
Chris and I discussed his unique look, his fashion background, who he thinks will take this year's title and his similarities to Madonna.
This is Abbey with Buddy TV and I’m talking with Chris today from Make Me a Supermodel. How are you doing today, Chris?
Hi, Abbey. I’m great. How are you?
I’m great, thanks. Congratulations on Make Me a Supermodel. What was it like to watch yourself on TV?
It’s definitely a weird feeling, I must admit. A couple of hours before it aired on Wednesday night I was debating whether I actually wanted to see it but it’s cool. It’s a whole bunch of feelings mixed together. It’s exciting because you’re on TV and it’s broadcast to everyone. At the same time it’s nerve wracking because you know what you’re going to go through, basically.
Were you worried about the editing of Make Me a Supermodel or were you pleased with how it was edited? Some reality shows are definitely just cut to bits.
Yeah, definitely when I was going through the whole process I was a little bit worried about. It was definitely a thought in my mind that this could be edited down to something…. But after watching the first week and the second week I was definitely okay, because from what I’ve seen I really feel like they portrayed my personality accurately. And everything they showed I was pleased with. Besides the end, of course.
Right, of course, besides the end. You must feel like you’re reliving again what you’ve already been through once. Did you have a watching party? Did you watch by yourself? Did you watch with your friends and family?
Yeah, I had a couple of people over to watch with me. Close friends and family are important to me so I think it’s great to have that kind of support around.
Was it difficult to watch before your first photo shoot Branden’s discussion about his nerves about his feelings about homosexuality and posing with another man?
While I was actually surprised by the comments Branden made about homosexuality and that whole thing in general. Just because some of the things he said I didn’t see until the show was aired, so I didn’t get all sides of that when I was going through it.
It wasn’t really uncomfortable at the time. I’m just a super comfortable person. You know? It takes a lot to make me uncomfortable. I’m just very open to most different things but not everybody’s like that. I understand that about other people. They have their own things to deal with or get over or whatever they decide.
So in your introductions you said you had gone to fashion school to study design. What’s your aesthetic as a designer?
Yes. My background is in fashion design. I attended a college in Los Angeles for two years studying it before modeling. Really it ties into modeling. It’s just something I have a great passion for. I have a very creative mind, a very artistic mind. So it’s something that I really just gravitate towards. But I would say that my design aesthetic -- the first thing I want to get involved with in fashion is a small line of accessories or something like that. Like small leather goods. That’s the aesthetic I like for myself - just good quality, has a lot of details in it. I’m all about details. It’s just really something that you want to have with you, that you need to have with you. Something along the lines of that.
Since you do have a background in design would you ever consider applying for something like Project Runway? Or if they had The Next Great Handbag Designer would you apply for that?
I’m not sure that I would be a part of another reality show again. It’s a great experience but I’m not sure if I would go through it all over. Project Runway - I just love that show because again it’s something I can identify with in my background. You know? I’m not sure. I think it would be a fun experience but I’m not sure if that’s something I can focus on in the near future.
When you went to your first audition and you saw Jenny Shimizu, who’s sort of the epitome of the successful androgynous model, were you excited about that or did that make you a little nervous?
I was really excited. She was definitely one of the judges on the panel that I did like. Especially after seeing her critiques of me on the second week that she started to get on my side and stand behind me. That made me feel so great because of what she’s accomplished in the modeling industry being androgynous, playing with different looks and pushing boundaries. That’s what I’m all about. So I really felt great to have someone like that give me positive feedback and support.
Yeah, I thought that could be a huge positive for you, especially once I saw Jenny was really getting your look and hat you were trying to portray, which I’m not sure the other judges quite got.
I feel that the judging - I’m really kind of sad that America’s Vote was taken off this season. But I felt like the judging was just kind of one sided. I mean, Perou, just from day one him and I didn’t really get along. I felt like “What is he doing here? If he's not going to take any pictures of us, why is he a judge? I felt like it was a little bit one sided.
I’m glad they aired what they did because it definitely shows you that people in the industry who have a lot of experience, who know what it takes did start to see the potential that I have. Jenny mentioned that I could be working for Burberry or Helmut Lang and those are huge names in fashion, modeling and design. For me that was worth it all.
That was an amazing compliment and your look would definitely work with those labels. Are those the type of labels you think you’d like to work with in the future if you had an ideal? Are there other designers you’d like to work with?
I sort of have to say - and I know every other gay man in the US is going to be saying “Oh, no he didn’t!“ right now - but I sort of identify with Madonna. Sometimes I feel like, especially after the show, I might be a little ahead of my time or just in the wrong country. Because I do think the market I could definitely excel in is kind of like a European high fashion market. Of course I grew up in the US so I’m here and I’m gonna enjoy working here as well, but it’s different markets, different looks. It’s kind of fun to see it all come together, though.
What’s next for you, Chris?
The next thing in my life is probably going to be moving to New York City. Just being on the part of the show that I was I realized this is the place I need to be. It’s an exciting city. There’s so much stuff in the community and I think that’s where I’m going to be flourish.
Do you have a favorite to win this season? I know you had a good friendship with Shawn.
Yes, I became close with a lot of the people there and Shawn is definitely one of them. He’s such an amazing guy.
But I think in terms of who’s going to win the competition I definitely saw a lot of strength in Jonathan and I saw a lot of versatility in Jordan. She looks kind of plain with no makeup on but when she gets behind the camera and gets her hair and makeup on she’s really sure of herself so I think that’s definitely a huge, huge thing with models.
I think that’s it, Chris. Thank you so much for sitting down and chatting with me for a second and I really wish you all the best in moving to New York and making it.
Thank you so much.
Interview Conducted by Abbey Simmons of BuddyTV
(Image Courtesy of Bravo)