by Jeremy Danté

under the guidance of karl lagerfeld, male model baptiste giabiconi has easily been considered one of the most visible male models of the last five years. noticeable for his presence in all things lagerfeld associated, giabiconi’s presence is one that has become quite an annoyance to me in high fashion. while im not ignoring the fact that baptiste is incredibly handsome, my irritation with most of his bookings is that they were all afforded by his affiliation with karl. a master & living legend, karl lagerfeld is the creative director of chanel as well as his own namesake line, karl lagerfeld. he is also creatively involved with fendi & is a pronounced photographer & author. through all of karl’s brand affiliations, baptiste appears, each season. this not only creates a landslide of missed opportunities for other male models who actually put in the work with brands, casting agents & photographers; but the shit that baptiste puts our in terms of product or quality of modeling skill ain’t shit compared to others in the industry. the same bland, side profile, arched eyebrow, zoolander look is seen in every shot- which explains why i felt it necessary to only include one image from this campaign. all the other images appear no different than this one. karl lagerfeld has shot campaigns for chanel, dior homme & for his other sister collections within the karl lagerfeld brand umbrella. in baptiste’s portfolio, he boasts 11 chanel campaigns, 5 fendi campaigns & 6 karl lagerfeld campaigns. even more annoying is the fact that baptiste was cast for chanel campaigns- while chanel is more widely regarded as a womenswear brand that shows occasional menswear looks that are not produced for retail.

im down to support & acknowledge male model that showcase actual range & skill through bookings, editorial cameos & dope covers but the presence of baptiste in modeling has made a joke of fashion in many ways. with the less than thrilling collections that have been presented under the chanel label, under the direction of karl lagerfeld, over the past several seasons- not to mention the spurts of disrespectful remarks that karl spews to the press about other models, labels & such; it’s clear that karl is becoming more & more careless with what ‘fashion’ is as a creative industry. while i respect his contributions to fashion, through consistent design work with majorly iconic houses; i do find it necessary to voice an opinion when it hinders opportunities for other models in the industry. even beyond that, it’s just become this ridiculous circus; you start to approach other brands with a lack of enthusiasm, considering that you can bet that baptiste will reappear with the same fucking look on his face the next season following. the same minimal campaign theme is seen in karl’s less than stellar photography skills appear as baptiste adds yet another campaign to his resume. with rumors of a relationship & rumors of an engagement between lagerfeld & baptiste circling the internet over the past few years, one has to wonder what it really takes for models with actual skill to enter fashion. i assure you, fucking for campaigns isn’t as respectable as the work that is done by other male models who represent varied skill through diversification of men through advertising imagery. beyond his poorly executed pop singing career, another venture in which baptiste has been able to take on due to his involvement with karl, and the work that karl has scored for him- what is baptiste actually contributing to fashion? my sentiments exactly. before karl was connected to baptiste, he was sitting on a men’s board collecting dust- after he meets karl? he rises through the ranks as the #1 male model in fashion. one has to question; who is more foolish? the individuals who think that it’s okay to unfairly afford individuals coveted opportunities without having to work for them? or are the individuals who falsely praise these shoe-ins & give them these rankings the real idiots? it’s these elements that push me to question fashion & how it should be perceived or communicated to the masses. whether people see it or not, the images that portray labels, the models that are cast- the designs we see each season, those have an effect on our world & the culture we live in. i would hope that individuals who’ve been in the game as long as grandpa karl, would understand that & acknowledge that with some form of responsibility. fashion does have an affect.

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