Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rainbow warrior

justin edward john smith

With the Spring/Summer 2012 show season kicking off in New York on September 8, we know what that means: yet more antipodean models trying their luck on the international  circuit. Beyond gender-bender extraordinaire Andrej Pejic and newcomers such as Jack Vanderhart, however, we don’t often hear that much about the men. Twenty-one Indigenous Australian Jake Gordon hopes to change this. Modelling for two years, Gordon was rather low-profile on the runways of the 2010 and 2011 editions of Australian Fashion Week. His editorial work in Australia embraces GQ, Cream and Oyster and campaigns/lookbooks includes clients such as Ksubi, Bassike, Roc Eyewear, Workshop Denim and Ben Sherman. Just signed to New York’s Major Model Management (his mother agent is Sydney's Chic Management), with a mention on, Gordon leaves for NY on August 14th, in time for New York Fashion Week castings. Perth-based photographer Justin Edward John Smith recently contacted Gordon with a view to doing a special photoshoot. Considering that Smith’s shots of Gemma Ward for Mark magazine helped ignite her modelling career, Gordon jumped at the opportunity. Smith flew him to Perth and the result is this 41-page portfolio, below – a frockwriter exclusive (which is best viewed on the blog).

Born in Newcastle to an Aboriginal mother and an English/Italian father, Gordon grew up in Brewarrina, in outback NSW.

His Aboriginal name is Yuluwirri Gabinya – "Yulu" for short, as used by Gordon’s family and close friends.

“Yuluwirri means 'rainbow' and Gabinya means 'boy'... I will hopefully be using it more frequently on the modelling scene when overseas to separate me from other Jakes” he told frockwriter.

To travel to New York, Gordon will be taking a little time off from his day job of the past three years - contract manager for the federal government’s Indigenous Employment Program. 

Along with fellow Indigenous Australian model Samantha Harris, he is also an ambassador for the Australian chapter of the One Laptop Per Child charity.

Gordon hopes to return to Indigenous community outreach in some capacity at some stage.

“I just want to do the best I can and the best I can is being a really awesome role model - and not just being a model who’s taking it for granted” says Gordon. “You’ve pretty much got five minutes to make as much money as you possibly can and then move on to the next thing.

“I’m hoping to be more involved with my charity when I come back. And I hope to do further training, going into communities and learning about nutrition...... There’s this whole questioning my mortality at quite a young age. My mum’s DNA compared to my dad’s DNA is really, really different. My life expectancy due to my genetic makeup is still expected to be less than my non indigenous friends”.

WordPress plugin


Blog Archive