WWD has noticed a lot of male models popping up in ads for, and editorials showcasing, women’s clothing. The trade paper has dubbed these man candies “himbos.” For example, Karl Lagerfeld can’t seem to shoot anything these days without sticking his Guy Friday, Baptiste Giabiconi, in the frame with his lady models. He most recently put him in an editorial he shot for September’s Numero starring Lara Stone (pictured above). Karl shared his thoughts on the new age of the himbo with WWD. He argues it’s not so much about the exploitation of men as a woman’s innate need and desire to impress them at all times:
“I think after the ugly skinny boys of Hedi [Slimane’s] days some ‘beauty’ was needed, but new beauty … It’s very simple. They put the girls in a more lifestyle situation. Lonely girls can be a little sad in a fashion story. They dress not only for other girls, but also to please men. The popularity is sudden because there are a few new faces.”
Aside from Karl’s work, himbos also appear in fall ads for: Dolce & Gabbana makeup, in which a nude David Gandy sniffs Scarlett Johansson’s neck; Yves St. Laurent, in which Andrés Velencoso’s bare, well-toned arms and legs peek out from behind a black leather-clad Christy Turlington; Saks Fifth Avenue, in which four models wearing only manties shoot hoops around model Stella Tennant; and Calvin Klein jeans and underwear, in which Jamie Dornan and Eva Mendes are very greasy and draped all over each other. Dsquared2 also features men and women in its ads, but are they really himbos? “To be perfectly honest, the presence of both men and a woman in the same ad shoot was a way to cut costs and get more value for your money,” designer Dean Caten told WWD. This way, the images can go in either men’s or women’s magazines.
But back to the No. 1 (original?) himbo, Baptiste, Karl says he’s like “a boy version of Gisele [Bündchen]: skinny, skinny but with an athletic body — good for clothes and great with no clothes.” Okay, we take it back — himbos are all about exploitation. Someone else aside from Caten should relate this trend to the economy, and it may as well be us: Perhaps the rise of the himbo is just a new sales tactic to spur spending. The message: “Buy our stuff and gorgeous scantily clad men will frolic around you and rub up on you.” We’re sold.
MALE CALL [Memo Pad/WWD]