Saturday, June 19, 2010

Meet Australia's next top male model Jordan Coulter - and his ass

mert & marcus/dsquared2 via fashion gone rogue

Jordan Coulter is Australia’s latest male modelling star. And here he is in all his glory modelling in the new Fall/Winter 2010/2011 ad campaign for Canadian fashion brand Dsquared2. His on-camera colleagues are Thomas Hoefnagels, Tyler Kenyon, Chanel Iman, Alla Kostromicheva and Iris Strubegger. All over 20. Scouted at the age of 14 by Gold Coast-based Kirk Blake, Coulter has been modelling for the past year. He turns 18 in December and is still at school. No, the photo is not full frontal and there is nothing sexually explicit about the pose. Nor is there is any suggestion whatsoever that anything untoward happened on the shoot. Nevertheless, it's a pervy shot and Coulter is a 17 year-old minor, who can’t vote or legally drink alcohol in either Australia or the US, and who is below the age of sexual consent in California, where the shoot took place.

The images are currently appearing in the pages of fashion magazines across the world and on numerous websites.

Coulter’s other gigs reportedly include Just Jeans, American Eagle, a Calvin Klein lookbook and the Dolce e Gabbana anniversary book (presumably to be unveiled at their show today, which celebrates 20 years of Dolce e Gabbana menswear).

In April, when Coulter was “rushed” to LA for the Dsquared2 shoot, Blake told The Gold Coast Bulletin:

“Mert and Marcus [photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot], are pretty much the Gods of this industry so pretty much as soon as this campaign comes out, he will be known around the world or people will want to know who he is..... We now have to be very careful which jobs he will take, as his value becomes even greater with this new campaign under his belt.''

Frockwriter did make some effort to seek comment from both Kirk Blake and Scene Models.

Scene washed its hands of the matter in an email stating that it only manages Coulter's work in Australia and had nothing to do with the international booking. Blake declined to comment.

Model industry sources tell frockwriter that permission would have been sought from Coulter’s agent and, most likely, also his parents, to photograph him naked and that in fact he would have been paid a premium for doing so.

“It could be his big break” said one industry source.

“We just wouldn’t take the risk” said another; “if he’s that good, why not wait until he turned 18?”

mert & marcus/dsquared via fashion gone rogue

There are many reasons why fashion companies might want to exercise due diligence when it comes to photographing underage models.

In 2008, after questions were asked about a wet swimsuit image of then 13 year old Polish model Monika Jagaciak, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific banned under-16 models from Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. Ironically of course, Jagaciak is repped by IMG Models outside of Poland. Presumably, noone at IMG had a problem with her posing for that shot – or other provocative images while she was still under 16.

Also in 2008, following claims the company had published sexualized images of children in its marketing material, Australian department store David Jones went to the draconian length of banning all under-18 models from even its runway shows - and they don't include nudity.

Insisting on an 18+ workforce won't however guarantee immunity from scandal.

Yesterday, the David Jones board distanced itself from its own former ceo Mark McInnes, after one sexual advance too many prompted legal action from a 25 year-old David Jones employee and McInnes resigned in disgrace.

In March, several models over the age of 18 came forward to call out photographer Terry Richardson for inappropriate behaviour. Will Richardson perhaps one day find himself the target of a class action lawsuit?

What of male models?

In March 2003, Abercrombie & Fitch art director Sam Shahid was found guilty of sexual harassment and ordered to pay US$70,000 to 23 year-old former Abercrombie & Fitch employee Mladen Djankovich. Djankovich accused Shahid of touching him inappropriately and withholding advancement opportunities after he protested.

In December that year, Abercrombie & Fitch made the decision to discontinue its controversial quarterly publication, whose intensely homoerotic imagery – engineered by Shahid and photographed by Bruce Weber – had attracted considerable criticism. At the time one former model told WWD that Weber and Shahid sacked models who weren’t willing to pose nude and that Shahid was constantly pressuring models to “act sexier” on the set.

Just to clarify, to frockwriter's knowledge, none of the allegations revolve around anyone connected to the recent Dsquared2 shoot on which Jordan Coulter worked, but it's worth noting that there are plenty of new rumours flying about alleged sexual activity on fashion shoots involving male models.

In communications sighted by frockwriter, these include claims that young men have been pressured to masturbate themselves in front of parties present on photographic shoots, in order to get themselves 'in the mood' for jobs.

There has also been reference to something colloquially referred to as a "rape shed”, to which male models are said to have been lured.

At least one male model is said to have been emotionally disturbed by similar events.

Meanwhile, overnight came the sad news of yet another model death.

Top French male model Tom Nicon fell to his death from his Milanese apartment building, on the eve of the mens Spring/Summer 2010 show season, which starts today.

There are as yet no other details. Given the score of model deaths over the past two years - including multiple suicides – speculation has inevitably focussed on suicide.

Who knows what may have been troubling Nicon. One thing is for sure, however, the pressures in the modelling industry have never been greater.

All those involved in the supply line would be well advised to take stock of the situation. As noted by’s Wayne Sterling last November, “We're dealing with human beings here, not inanimate mannequins”.

Or pieces of meat.

10 comments: said...

i love how you stick up for models' rights patty. thank you.

dandysachs said...

Such an informed piece of writing.

Anonymous said...

Read this piece... it is sensational at best. and drawing Parallels which are ridiculous. The photo's are Gorgeous and I never for a second when looking at them as a hetrosexual male thought they were perverted in any sense.... Aussie boys have no problems showing off their assets.. we are light hearted and for a boy who is almost 18 i believe many factors have to be taken into account. I know Jordan and the family.. Great people .. no .. actually wonderful people and he is one of the most grounded individuals with a sense of Humility,kindness,masculinity,and intelligence. shame you dont actually know him.. In regards to other cases.. i dont like it when anyone takes advantage of anyone... I can tell you now... NO ONE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF JORDAN.. HE IS IS OWN MAN... YES!!! A MAN AT 17... REMEMBER.. WE SENT BOYS TO WAR TO BE KILLED YOUNGER THAN HIM... HE IS GOOD GUY... LOVE YA JORDIE BOY!!!!

Anonymous said...

Patty the quarterly is back, and available for pre-order in stores, coming in July

Scott Hoover said...

If you disagree that a 17 year old male model should bare his ass in a photo is one thing, but to include this in a story on sexual harassment is disturbing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong or unseemly about this photograph. It is not sexually explicit nor does it imply that the model was "lured" or asked to get "in the mood" for the camera.

When I first saw these series of photographs I did a double take. I photographed Jordan last year for one of his very first shoots in Los Angeles. Knowing Jordan I am pretty sure that this advertisement was done with much thought on his part as well as his parents and agent.

Jordan is an amazing bright young man with a great career ahead of him. He should be proud of what he has achieved so far in his short career as a model and will now become a household name even faster because of your exploitation of him with this story.

A sexy photograph does not equal sexual harassment.
The way you have written this story basically says that because the male model is naked then he is a target for sexual perverts and is opening himself up to been raped. Then you go and post where he attends school? Agree or disagree with the image is one thing, to publish where he attends school is far more offensive and exploitive to me.

Patty Huntington said...

hi scott -

the opening paragraph states that there is nothing explicit about the shot and nor is there any suggestion that any nefarious activities occurred during the shoot. i later clarify that none of the rumours currently doing the rounds have anything to do with anyone connected to this shoot.

dsquared was the news peg. there's a breaker and then the post segues into a general discussion about recent controversies involving underage models, which is relevant. the claims of exploitation and sexual harassment in the fashion workplace, coincidentally, relate to photography that involves nudity. just a reminder that this is a self-regulated industry. that self-regulation doesn’t appear to be going so well in some quarters.

you are entitled to your opinion on whether or not it’s appropriate for 17 year old boys to be expected to parade naked around fashion shoots that are staffed by an adult workforce. you do not, however, control public opinion. the images are out there – not in niche publications such as beige and DNA, in which i see you have rather a lot of work published, but the mainstream fashion arena. they are up for discussion.

regarding the school, as mentioned and linked in the first paragraph, the gold coast bulletin published that information in april. it has a daily readership of 120,000 and the website generates over 4.7million monthly page impressions (

Scott Hoover said...

Nice Patty, try and sling arrows at me because I do not agree with context of your story. I guess if you were a writer for a legit fashion magazine such as Vogue or Harper's....

If you are doing a story on nudity in the modeling industry-then do a story on that. If you are doing a story on sexual harassment in the industry then do a story on that. You have combined them and it is very misleading.

Is there sexual harassment in the industry? Yes. Are there boundaries that are crossed? Yes. Then do an expose. But do not attack a 17 year old model.

What you say in the story and how you connect the two is the same b.s. as saying that a woman who wears sexy clothing or a short skirt and is harassed deserves it...shame on you.

Kirk Blake said...

Hello Scott, I agree with all what your saying, Bravo!! The whole story is a mish mash ... its not a very well connected story. I had a phone call the other day from a News Paper editor who read it.. They were offended by the piece and parallels which it drew... they also mentioned too the mentioning of his school. This journalist knows nothing about Jordan or the many hands which are holding him up. Jordan comes from an Amazing family!!! Stable supportive and very protective. He is highly intelligent,sensitive,considerate and is mindful of others. He still is true Aussie Larkin, loves his sports and is involved in his community. In my 17 years in the modelling industry, Jordan is the most put together person i have met. I just think the article went all a bit pear shaped and was a desperate attemt to fill space.
By the way Scott... remember.. it was your pics which then had people take notice :))) Thank you mate!!

Patty Huntington said...

for the record, both scott hoover and kirk blake were contacted for confirmation that they left these three comments. whenever real people, particularly public figures, comment under their own names, i attempt to independently confirm. neither has bothered responding, so i will take this as tacit confirmation.

scott – i’m not sure which slung “arrows” you are referring to. i simply noted that the shots are out there and up for discussion, that they aren’t in a niche publication such as DNA or beige and that you appear to do a lot of work for these (gay men’s) publications. this is factually correct, is it not? in fact it’s an understatement. the entire body of work showcased on your website is homoerotic imagery. FYI i have written for “legit” publications such as vogue and harpers (and this comment did me me laugh). i make a living as a journalist and producer, my clients include not only magazines, but also newspapers and (news/current affairs) television outlets. many of the stories that start on this blog wind up picked up by mainstream outlets.

kirk – it’s interesting that you refuse to respond to my direct questions, choosing instead to leave a comment high-fiving comments made by one of your “mates” - with whom of course you have commercial connections. if you had a problem with jordan’s school being made public knowledge, then I have to ask firstly, why you revealed that info to the gold coast bulletin in the first place, as you appear to have been the only source for their story. if you had genuine concerns, you have also had two months in which to ask them to remove the information from the website. it remains there. you mention some of the other photos that have helped get jordan to where he is today. let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
given that he only turned 17 in december, one might assume some may have even been taken while he was 16.

1/ a rather revealing wet swimsuit editorial for numéro homme magazine which leaves little to the imagination:

2/ pulling his swimsuit down provocatively and spreading his legs before the camera:

3/ (3rd from the bottom) pulling his jeans down, looking lovingly at the camera, with a hint of pubic hair:

interestingly, just as terry richardson insists all his models must be 18+, you would be hard pressed to find many, if any, websites specialising in male nudity that do not issue clear disclaimers that all models featured were 18 at the time the photographs were taken. this is presumably to avoid any awkward accusations of child pornography.

Anonymous said...

Jordan is in my English class and the picture is sort of disturbing.

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