At age 26, supermodel Charlie Mathews has appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein, Skechers, Target and Jeremy Scott. His real claim to fame, however, is being the face of GUESS. Last year, he was hand-chosen by GUESS founder Paul Marciano to be the face of the brand. Since then, he has starred in four campaigns, with the latest being the titillating fragrance commercial for GUESS Seductive Noir. In the vein of Fifty Shades, the commercial features Charlie getting steamy with a scantily clad Kelsie Smeby.
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We spoke with Charlie, from his LA home, on his life + his plunge into the tumultuous world of modeling.
What would 13-year-old Charlie Matthews think of the man that he has become today?
He would be proud. He would say, “you did everything the right way and you worked hard toward the goal.”
Is it true that before modeling, you were a professional video gamer?
Yes, my game was HALO.
You could have been that kid who just won millions playing Fortnite!
(Laughing) Definitely not. I couldn’t compete with him. Fortnite is fun to play but I’m still new to it. I recently started playing Call of Duty again.
Were you always drop dead gorgeous? Tell the truth: was grandma pinching your cheeks, telling you what a handsome boy you are?
(Laughing) My grandma would call me pumpkin because I had big cheeks! I was just a regular kid from Orange County, CA. Never shopped any designers. All I wore were tank tops and shorts from Tilly’s.
Has that changed?
Since I started modeling, I had to improve my style to look more presentable.
How were you discovered?
I worked at a grocery store called Stater Bros and one day, when I was walking outside, the man who would become my agent asked me if I might be interested in modeling.
What was your first big gig and who was the first person you told after landing it?
The Nautica campaign. My mom is always the first person I call when I book a big job. She is super emotional and always starts crying.
Of all of the campaigns, which has been your favorite?
Definitely GUESS. Working for them was one of my goals since I started modeling. GUESS is such an iconic brand, recognized worldwide. I am so thankful and lucky that Paul (Marciano) chose me for his brand.
Have you met Alex Lundqvist, Jason Lewis, Tyrese Gibson, Mark Vanderloo, or any of the other former male GUESS models?
Surprisingly, the only former GUESS model I’ve met is Gui Fedrizzi.
Did he offer any advice?
Gui is a great guy and awesome mentor. His advice was to stay focused, patient and true to myself.
How has the business of modeling changed in recent years?
So much! One of the biggest changes is social media. Nowadays, brands/clients scout through Instagram, Facebook and other social networks to find the models and influencers they work with.
What’s the most strenuous part about being a model?
Trying to look my best and stay in shape all year round, while maintaining a hectic work traveling schedule.
If you weren’t modeling, what would you be doing right now?
I would be finishing up my degree in graphic design and film production. One of my biggest passions is cinematography. I hope to one day shoot for National Geographic.
Have you decided on your New Year resolution yet?
I really want to get involved with more charities in 2020, especially organizations that benefit children.
Charlie is represented by DT Model Management in LA. Follow him: https://www.instagram.com/charliemmatthews
By: Hailey Robertson
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