ROVING ‘N’ ROCKING. Sporting his unmistakably rock ‘n’ roll look, model Justin Gossman looks like a modern-day Mick Jagger. While he has not yet enjoyed the lifestyle of the rich and famous, it looks like he’s already on his way
Check out the latest Lanvin campaign this fall/winter, and you will see a lanky man with shoulder-length messy hair staring at you languishingly. Justin Gossman, the model fronting the campaign, can easily be mistaken for a rock star. In reality, however, the campaign frontman fluidly transforms himself on runways and for editorial stories. He’s also kept busy and roving while working for other brands such as Costume National, John Varvatos, Rick Owens and Raf Simons.
Having caught the attention of renowned photographer Brad Elterman at the beginning of his career, Gossman has developed more than just a unique look. The dark-haired model has personally and professionally grown to epitomize what being a modern man truly means: believing in himself and rocking who he really is. With a big dose of confidence and charm, his career in both fashion and, unsurprisingly, music—Gossman is a part of a rock band—is definitely worth looking into.
DA MAN: Hi Justin, how are you doing and where are you based now?
Justin Gossman: [Laughs] It’s funny you ask that. I’m actually not based in any specific spot. I’m in Paris, London, Milan, New York, Los Angeles and San Diego throughout the year—I’ll be in all those places quite evenly throughout the year.
DA MAN: Can you tell us how you initially set your foot in modeling’s door?
Justin Gossman: Basically I walked into the Next LA agency, and before I could finish my glass of water I had two test shoots, met all the agents, and signed a contract with Next Model Men Los Angeles.
“the rock ‘n’ roll meets fancy-pants-cum-heroin-chic look is something that’s just come naturally to me”
DA MAN: A lot of people must have mentioned that your look resembles Mick Jagger’s. Are you also personally inspired by him?
Justin Gossman: I’ve always grooved to the tune of ones like The Doors, 13th Floor Elevators, The Velvet Underground, The Small Faces and The Rolling Stones. So I guess in a way you could say that!
DA MAN: Have you always been sporting this rock ‘n’ roll look?
Justin Gossman: I believe so. I’ve had a few different style transitions in my life, but the rock ‘n’ roll meets fancy-pants-cum-heroin-chic look is something that just comes naturally to me. I have sported this style for quite some time now, but it’s always evolving.
DA MAN: What kind of modeling work do you enjoy the most?
Justin Gossman: I really enjoy doing the shows each season and getting to travel while I am working, because basically I have never been in one place too long. I also really enjoy editorials at times. Campaigns actually feel like editorials, with a bigger budget. That is not to say that some editorials can’t be as big of a production as campaigns.
“being on time in this industry is a big deal—nobody likes a late model or a diva”
DA MAN: Let’s go back to when you were first informed about the Lanvin campaign shoot. How did you learn that you were in and how did the photo shoot go?
Justin Gossman: London [agency] called and said I was going to London to shoot for the Lanvin campaign. They said I would be the main boy in the story so I was like, “It sounds good.” Shooting with Tim Walker [the photographer] was a great experience; it is very nice and fun to work with such talent.
DA MAN: What was the most challenging project you’ve ever been in?
Justin Gossman: Honestly, [the most challenging ones are] when it’s super cold and they ask me to wear nearly no clothes, then maybe they blow a cold fan at me and the heater doesn’t work … having less than two-percent body fat, I feel like I’m freezing alive.
DA MAN: Hopefully those kinds of projects still pay off. Speaking of which, what moments would you consider the highs of your career so far?
Justin Gossman: I guess I could say doing the campaigns for Costume National and Lanvin have been new heights in my career, as well as all the shows I’ve done in the past two seasons. I have done up to 25 shows or something by now, including for Costume National, Gucci, John Varvatos, Junya Watanabe, Lanvin, Raf Simons, Rick Owens and so on. The highlights of my career would also be all the cool magazines I’ve been fortunate enough to land in.
DA MAN: In your opinion, what makes a successful male model?
Justin Gossman: Well, you have to be dedicated to whatever you do. That means being disciplined in waking up on time and not being late to every appointment you have. Being on time in this industry is a big deal—nobody likes a late model or a diva. [Laughs] Take it as seriously as any other job you care to keep. Then it’s just a chance and numbers game. I can’t change the way I look, for instance. So I got to rely on people liking me for who I am a lot of the time. Jim Morrison said, “The future is uncertain and the end is always near.”
DA MAN: It’s interesting that you quoted Jim Morrison. Who else inspires you in the fashion and creative industry?
Justin Gossman: Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger and Steve Marriott were all the guys whose fashion sense I felt was on point … I’m not going to namedrop people today who I believe are killing it, but hear me out when I say this: There are people killing it out there today, those who have clothes I would proudly put on in my everyday life.
DA MAN: How would you describe your personal style?
Justin Gossman: I have two distinct styles in my wardrobe. I would say I have a very dark rock ‘n’ roll style, very grungy with a taste of punk. Then, I have a very stylishly expensive-chic look comprising collared shirts, dress pants, cufflinks, suits, ties, sport coats, blazers, peacoats, trench, leather boots, high-polished dress shoes and so on. I have a tuxedo as well that I’ve never worn out of the house. The rest of my wardrobe is for my lazy sick days wearing comfy, baggy clothings or skateboarding clothes. [Laughs]
DA MAN: What do you still want to achieve in modeling?
Justin Gossman: I want to see the world. I have worked for a lot of projects, but I feel like I still haven’t seen nothing yet! I want everything I’m doing now to hopefully grow for a better future. On a bigger and better tomorrow, I remember a quote from The Blues Magoos’ song, “One day you’re up and the next day you’re down. You can’t face the world with your head to the ground. The grass is always greener on the other side, they say.”
DA MAN: What about other hobbies you have besides modeling?
Justin Gossman: I play music as well. I believe I’ve already started to take that initiative. I am starting to make new music with my good friend Troy Braunstein from the Hollow Suns here in Los Angeles. Levi Dylan and I also started a band together in New York City. So, I’d say we’ll give it a few more months before we release any recordings.
“I want everything I’m doing now to hopefully grow for a better future”
DA MAN: Last question, if you were born as a different person, who would you prefer to be?
Justin Gossman: This is a pretty odd question. Since hindsight is 20/20, I know who not to be due to early deaths and who to be for any selfish reason of mine, which would probably lead toward some kind of wealth, talent, or fame. I think it would be amazing to be back in a certain time era, like if I was born in 1943. That would be interestingly groovy.
To see more pictures of Justin Gossman, get the magazine here.
Photography Mitchell Nguyen Mccormack
Styling Alexa Rangroummith Green
Styling Assistant Paix Robinson
Styling Agency Celestine Agency
Grooming Elie Maalouf at jedroot.com
Model Justin Gossman/Next Model Management
Photo Agency Artmix