Well it seems official. Jethro Cave is Australia’s next top male model. Anointed by a solitary SS09 runway appearance in October 2008 - Balenciaga - last week the 18 year-old popped up in a number of high profile menswear shows in Milan. And now comes this photo portfolio by the influential Hedi Slimane, the former creative director of, and campaign photographer for, Christian Dior Homme (who has just shot a campaign for Prada). Shot for online viewing purposes only according to models.com’s Wayne Sterling, the images are doing the rounds via hedislimane.com, Dazed & Confused's dazeddigital.com and the blog of London-based stylist Nicola Formichetti. Click here to see the complete portfolio. The images were styled by Formichetti – a co-engineer of the recent controversial Calvin Klein homage images for ponystep.com. Cave was not required to kneel in a corner, his hands behind his back, with the words “FUCK ME” scrawled in lipstick on his inner thighs - as was the case with another teen male model in the ponystep.com CK shoot. Looking a little more pretty boy glam rock than post-punk however, and styled up with womens' jewellery and makeup, Cave does nevertheless pose in his underwear.
One amusing close-up shot shows a page from what appears to be Cave's personal diary, enscribed with the following hand-written statement in the Australian dialect:
"Youse cunt's are cunt's".
Now, it seems, Cave is going by the surname of his father, The Birthday Party/Bad Seeds frontman Nick Cave. That’s certainly how he is listed on London model agency website Independent.
This is interesting, given the fact that Cave first popped up on the Australian modelling radar at the 2006 Melbourne Fashion Festival as Jethro Lazenby, using the surname of his mother Beau Lazenby exclusively.
One month or so later, at the spring/summer 06/07 edition of Australian Fashion Week in Sydney – which Akira Isogawa opened, with Cave modelling – he was still going by the name Lazenby.
Several days before Isogawa's show, at an AFW casting call, the then 15 year-old told The Daily Telegraph:
"I've never wanted to live in his shadow but if I can make money out of it, why not?"
In 2007, Nicholas Morley hired Cave for promotional images for his Nicholas X Morley line.
Cave would not be the only celebrity progeny to gain a celeb-by-default legup in the fashion or film business.
A recent rollcall of rock offspring in modelling alone embraces Peaches and Pixie Geldof, Theodora Richards, Leah Wood, Elizabeth and Georgia Jagger, Kimberley Stewart, Daisy Lowe and Amber Le Bon. Not forgetting Elvis Presley’s granddaughter, Riley Keough.
How much interest would there be in any of these names were it not for the famous surname? In the case of Jethro Cave, it certainly seems to be providing additional buzz. A case in point the overnight mention on his personal blog The Imagist, Wayne Sterling notes:
“And how like his father is the boy. Powerful genes those”.
Here's a 1988 Polly Borland portrait FYI of Nick Cave in his late 20s, from the set of Ghosts of The Civil Dead.
polly borland via morgansmusings.wordpress.com
But Jethro Cave is not the only model in the Cave family.
Cave’s stepmom - Nick Cave’s wife of ten years, and mother of their twin sons Arthur and Earl – is erstwhile Vivienne Westwood muse, Susie Bick.