Tyson Beckford – Blue Steel – Rise of The Male Supermodel

Tyson Beckford is a name almost synonymous with the male fashion industry today. It is however important to note that he had to break a few glass ceilings in his rise to the top.

He is noted as the first African-American male supermodel credited with opening the door for other people of men of colour to enter into the industry. Tyson was first spotted by talent scout Jeff Jones and was asked to pose for the Hip Hop Magazine, The Source in 1992.

His first interaction with the industry was a bit before that through his mother, a fashion model herself for a while who dragged her son with her on her runway excursions for a time. It was his campaign with international fashion giant Ralph Lauren’s Polo line of male sportswear however, that blasted him into the fashion world. When famed lensman Bruce Weber shot Tyson in the Polo Sport campaign for Ralph Lauren, Beckford’s career went into hyperspace which Bruce credited to his “all-American look with a dramatic edge.”

Beckford’s looks have been scrutinised in an industry where appearances clearly matter. He has often voiced his glee at the fact his exotic eyes and high cheekbones that were mocked quite severely in his school days, are actually paying the bills and more really well today. His unique look results from a mix of a Jamaican, Panamanian and Chinese heritage.

Whatʼs the recipe for a male Supermodel ? A dash of charm, 5% 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 quite by accident, theyʼve 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 itʼs precisely why they deserve to be called ‘Supermodelsʼʼ just like their famous female counterparts.

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