Many will undoubtedly disagree with my position in this regard, but I truly believe that skinny male models that have largely defined the past decade of menswear are much easier to relate to than the beefcakes that preceded them (and still continue to dominate the ramps in South Africa). Am I being subjective? Totally!
I’m a skinny man with no interest at bulking up and models with slabs of steak for chest muscles and arms the size of meatloaves have no appeal to me. There’s nothing like a skinny boy in a tailored suit. A tailored suit on a bulky brother, on the other hand, can make any design look silly. They look like the letter “V”. I’m not sure if “V” is something I’d like to look like. Proportion, proportion, proportion!
In an article about the return of the “handsome, mature models” (“beefcakes” in my language) Guy Trebay of the New York Times states that the image of the “Dior man was so influential that it spawned a host of imitators and, not incidentally, exiled a generation of conventionally handsome and mature models from runways into the gulag of catalogs.”
The said “Dior man” was introduced to fashion by the head designer Hedi Slimane just after the turn of the century. In my opinion, the “beefcakes” should remain in the catalog exile. Their bodies are as symbolic of fantasy as thin female models are of anorexia.
I’m not condoning “skinny” as de rigueur or anything like that and probably wouldn’t mind healthy young men on the ramps of international fashion weeks and product ads, but the beefcakes? I do not support their return.