In an industry where professional models often have a very limited shelf life before being dumped for a younger, hotter make, Tony Ward has successfully kept his place at the front for four long decades.
Anthony Borden, better known to the world as Tony Ward can be credited with one of the longest running careers as a male model in history. Ward was born in sunny Santa Cruz, California and moved to the City of Angels following his high school graduation to pursue his dreams of becoming a Hollywood actor or dancer.
Ward was first spotted by a talent scout while attending West Valley College at the age of eighteen, after which his career took flight. He gained his first taste of success under the direction of photographer Herb Ritts for a Calvin Klein advertising campaign. Since then he has worked with the biggest names in the fashion industry including Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, and Hugo Boss.
Along the way, Ward has proved his credentials with commercial photography work for the likes of Nordstrom, Volvo, Diesel and H&M. Some of his co-workers through the years have included the cream of the supermodel crop from Claudia Schiffer to Naomi Campbell to Eva Herzigova to Alessandra Ambrosia to Madonna.
As a kid Ward hated being photographed, a statement backed by the fact that he now has very few photographs from his childhood. Shockingly self-critical, Ward has often been overheard describing his face as “one of the ugliest things in the world.” At a time in which the industry he calls home was promoting ‘pretty’ male models to match their female counterparts, Ward stood miles apart with his chiseled features and iconic Roman nose.
While rumour has it that some industry professionals considered his nose an ugly landmarking marring an otherwise attractive package and advised him to get cosmetic surgery, Ward himself maintains that the best advice he has ever received to this day, is to not go through with altering his face. The evidence bears out this advice as today his face can be seen on numerous magazine covers ranging from RUSSH Magazine, Schön!, 10 Magazine, IO Donna, Slurp, TÊTU and Homme Style. Ward’s private life has also come under scrutiny and made for some interesting fodder for his many starving admirers.
His relationship with musical icon Madonna in the early 90s generated copious amounts of conversation. Ward features in many of Madonna’s music videos namely Cherish, Justify My Love and Erotica. Ward is one of the names published in Madonna’s well known 1992 Sex book.
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EDITED BY: EDUARDO CASTRO
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