During Fashion Week I get the opportunity to meet and converse with myriad people, but this September was the first time I talked with a human mannequin. American Apothecary’s Fashion Week event at Hells Kitchen, located on 9th Street, boasted trendy, fashion forward t-shirts, a signature drink and models draped in their gear; Mr. Brown was one of them. Even with a plethora of NYC’s fashionable chatting, drinking and moving about, Chris Brown’s earnest face and virile physique were noticeably obvious.
Chris is a native of Washington Heights where his future was constantly prophesied, “Since I can remember people have always approached me and assumed I was a model or that I should model,” he says. While working on the film Just Wright, Chris’ dreams and future finally collided. He made friends with Mehcad Brooks, one of the stars of the movie, who persuaded him to take acting/modeling seriously. “A person of his status telling me [I had potential] gave me the push I needed to go all out and chase my dreams,” he says. Chris also credits PR maven John Thompson II with showing him the ins and outs of the modeling industry as well as connecting him with good photographers.
This past summer Chris signed with Silver Models and has worked with Poetik Design- by Nicklaus Jones, N8KD- Desi Adorn, WashHouse Jeans- by Danny “Moya” Reyes and Combat Pro uniforms for Nike. He described booking his first job as “getting the monkey off my back.” “In this business there is a lot of rejection,” he adds, “but from that point on I knew I would book other jobs and it solidified me as a working model.” As Chris is aware of the rejection that comes with the business, he is also cognizant of the challenges people of color face in the fashion industry. Although names and faces like Iman, Tyson Beckford, Naomi and Tyra have become legends, the road they paved is still an uphill one and the industry is slow to welcome change. “Ethnic models in this industry are often immediately labeled and put into the urban category and that limits prospective work,” Chris says. “Those who do break out of “label” are often recycled. You will see the same models and actors in campaigns, television shows and movies.”
Although this fact may stop some, Chris’ determination is as solid as his chiseled arms. He refuses to let the self-doubt or negative responses derail him from his goals of modeling and acting. Chris uses a quote by William Shakespeare that personifies his will to succeed, “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt.”
Tell me your favorite memory from high school.
My favorite memory from high school is winning the NYC and State Catholic High School championship. My Rice High School brothers/teammates and I had a blast that season. We ran through the Catholic High School league finishing 28-1, finishing number one in the tri-state and number three in the nation.
Describe the perfect first date.
The perfect first date would have to be a candle lit dinner outside at night, eating amazing food sipping on wine and having deep conversation.
Boxers, Briefs, Boxer/Briefs or Commando?
Describe your grooming techniques.
Clean cut, neat and fashion forward
Ralph Lauren/ Sean John
Sex on the first date or not
All depends on the vibe. If two grown people hit it off at the right place/right time and most importantly it feels right- why not?
The one item that has to go into your luggage
Paris, Milan or Tokyo?
All three, I love to travel
Give us a model secret
If I tell you, then it wouldn’t be a secret
Photos/Slideshow: Desi Adorn, Arturo Lorde, Oleg Lugovskoy, Luis Morillo, Joanna Pena, Max the Photographer, Candita Robinson, Jason Rodriguez
To see more of Christian Brown, visit, www.whoischristianbrown.com.