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JUL 19

POSTED BY: Akatech Solutions | | DATE: July 19, 2016. | Source: Yahoo.com

Designer duo Ronen Jehezkel and Parke Lutter of the New York-based brand Parke & Ronen consider themselves the Victoria’s Secret of menswear: Each season, they employ the hottest male models to strut down the runway in next-to-nothing fashion (tight bikinis often paired with trendy footwear, naturally). And for their spring/summer 2017 collection debuting Thursday, the designers were inspired by Ivy League school boys.

“We’re looking for all-American boys,” Jehezkel told Yahoo Style at the daylong model casting last week, where over 150 models auditioned for an exclusive spot in the fashion show. (They’ll only cast around 20 models in total). But since “all-American, Ivy League prep boys” seemed like a thematically non-diverse demographic, Jehezkel was quick to correct himself: “Well, like, all-American meets United Nations,” he said. Nice save.

And, so, a relatively eclectic group of models showed up to the casting in groups of four or five and a range of sizes — well, kinda. As I sat with them and their trusted casting director in the form of a judge’s panel (like you’d see on America’s Next Top Model), I saw tall, taller, skinny, and buff guys, but no one with a BMI over 20.

The judges were furthermore entertained by the 18- to 24-year-old men displaying themselves sexually — overtly readjusting their underwear or bikinis to make themselves look bigger, fuller. One model, Spencer Zender, openly told me that he hadn’t hit the gym in preparation but had rather “groomed” himself in case he’d have to try on a skimpy bathing suit (which he did).

After a while, I got an understanding of what the designers were looking for: the bigger the better, like model Benjamin Benedek, who is 6 foot 2 and 175 pounds — all muscle. “Oh, his proportions!” the designers gasped in unison. The 19-year-old Benedek has walked in Parke & Ronen’s show before — and with chiseled abs, slicked-back blond hair, and an indistinct accent, he’s the perfect candidate.

Despite Benedek’s recent absence from the gym, which was because he’s been “feeling sick,” the designers cast him. “Though, he’ll have to work on his legs a bit,” Jehezkel chimed in.

Below are the exclusive photos to see the process of how, exactly, the Parke & Ronen designers cast the “perfect” models for their upcoming spring/summer 2017 fashion show.

“Shirts off!”

Upon entry, the models are asked to take off their shirts. (Photo: Zak Krevitt andThomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)


A model waits with his portfolio to meet the designers. (Photo: Zak Krevitt andThomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

First introduction

In groups of four, the models introduce themselves to the designers and casting director. Either Ronen Jehezkel or Parke Lutter will ask preliminary questions: “Where are you from?” What’s your ethnicity?” “Do you go to the gym?” (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)


Then the models walk — one at a time — often several times. The designers shout out cues, critiquing their walks: “Faster,” “fiercer,” “more confident!” (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

Making the cut

Typically, a quarter of the models is selected to try on the designers’ clothes. This indicates that they are still in the running. (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

Process of casting

“Our process is simple,” Jehezkel tells Yahoo Style. “If we like them, we’ll have the boys try on clothes, then walk. If we still like them, we’ll have them change into shorts, then walk. And if we still like them, we’ll have them strip down into a little bikini.” (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

Itsy-bitsy bikini

Like this tiny red number. (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

Another walk-off

This quartet of models was asked to change into the designers’ clothes — two models in bikinis, one in shorts, and another in clothing. (Photo: Zak Krevittand Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)


A close-up, in case you couldn’t tell. (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)


Before being photographed, the casting director alters this model’s bathing suit. (Photo: Zak Krevitt and Thomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

Picture time

The models strike poses for the camera, displaying their names, heights, and agencies. (Photo: Zak Krevitt andThomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

The designers

Designers Lutter and Jehezkel step in for a photo-op too. (Photo: Zak Krevitt andThomas McCarty for Yahoo Style)

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