Introducing ‘Blue Steel’ – John Pearson

Fashion Industry Broadcast and Style Planet TV is proud to announce our latest 11-part, hour long feature docuseries. Over the next six weeks we will be unveiling a tease on each episode. In this Netflix Original Series, presented by male supermodel David Gandy, we explore the emergence of a new kind of God, with the rise of the male Supermodel.

What’s the recipe for a male Supermodel? A dash of charm, five per cent body fat and shredded muscles, a boatload of raw sex appeal, and a decent sprinkle of really good luck.

The ensemble cast of Blue Steel have that something special that has allowed them to stand toe to toe in an industry dominated by the Glamazons of the opposite sex. They are trailblazers and trendsetters. They have both set and broken records for their sex in the business. Most of whom fell into the industry by accident, they’ve left some deep imprints along the way, altering the perception of male beauty standards.

The men depicted within this series have more than their faces on billboards, and
names sewn into the fabric of brands. They have built legends and left legacies, and it’s precisely why they deserve to be called “Supermodels” just like their famous female counterparts.

The amazing stories and trails blazed by:

  • David Gandy
  • John Pearson
  • Mark Vanderloo
  • Markus Schenkenberg
  • Tyson Beckford
  • Tony Ward
  • Travis Fimmel
  • Nacho Figueras
  • Werner Schreyer
  • Alex Lundqvist
  • Andreja Peyji


John Pearson

John Pearson is a modelling icon with a successful career that has spanned over 30 years. Deemed the world’s first ever “Male supermodel” by the UK’s Sunday Times with his iconic appearance in George Michael’s “Freedom” video alongside Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Tatjana Patitz .

In the last half-decade alone, Pearson has worked his Blue Steel in the pages of Vogue Italia and Interview, flaunted salt-and-pepper hair in youth-driven indie mags like VMAN, Hercules and Arena Homme +, and put teenage waifs to shame on the Prada runway. The father of three — who’s been married for 22 years to Alison Edmond, a well-known stylist — even has a fan page in the blogosphere and a burgeoning presence on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Vogue

Pearsonʼs impressive client list includes Burberry, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Valentino, Guy Laroche, The Gap, Banana Republic, GQ, L’Uomo Vogue and Vogue Hommes. The only man to appear editorially in American GQ for over three decades, Pearson works continually with the industry’s greatest photographers including Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, David Bailey, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort, Mikael Jansson, Michael Thompson and Ellen von Unwerth.

Aside from modelling, Pearson contributes to British GQ. He also acted as Consulting Editor for Taschen’s ‘Soul i-D’, writing the forward for the book. He is currently working and producing a documentary on Sadhguru, founder of the ISHA Foundation, which he will also host.

When asked about if Zoolander was based on him, he replied that it “is a complete parody,” with a laugh. “I don’t think anyone would survive in the fashion business if they lived an iota of that fantasy.” He said. And the Los Angeles-based model knows a thing or two about longevity, with 2016 marking the 30th year of his uncommon career.

“Luckily, I’m of a certain age where there aren’t too many of us veterans around,” Pearson says of the rarefied group of guys still working today that earned the prefix “super” in the modelling profession’s ’80s and ’90s peak. Besides, “I’ve still got my own hair, my own teeth, Iʼm pretty well-maintained and don’t have a belly,” he jokes.

Born and raised in Sheffield, in northern England, Pearson got his start at 18 while working as a manager of a denim store. “One day a guy came in and said, ‘I’d like to take pictures of you. I’m a photographer,ʼ” Pearson recalls. “I was terrified. But he did take pictures and I thought, ‘Actually, they look quite good.ʼ”

By 1986, when he was 21, Pearson had left England for New York City, where his first gig was posing for photographer Bob Frame, famous for taking the first test shots of another iconic face.

Photo Credit: Mobsea

“We went into the studio — and then Cindy Crawford turned up to say hello. She’d just arrived from Chicago the week before,” Pearson recalls. “Three days later I did the cover of Self magazine with Uma Thurman, and that was it,” he adds. “From then on it just didn’t stop.”

Despite the impressive client list, Pearson is the first to admit that being objectified for a living hasn’t always been breezy. “I got fed up with people touching my face,” he says. “There were times I wanted to stop, and times I did stop and turned down hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

“At that point in your career, you really are a showman,” he adds. “You’re the centre of attention, but sometimes you don’t want to be the centre of attention — even though you signed up for it.”
Needless to say, things have slowed down a bit for Pearson since his heyday — A time before musicians, reality stars, athletes and actors (and actors playing models) became first pick for endorsements, glossy covers and multi-page spreads.

Still, don’t expect Pearson, a recent convert to the cult of hot yoga, to split anytime soon. “I’m not allowed to say what it is, but I’ve got another major fragrance campaign coming out in spring,” he says. “So there’s life in the old dog yet.”