By Bill Monterosso
Charlie Matthews’ first meetings with fashion talent scouts didn’t go so well. The male supermodel was rejected by all of the top agencies. At 6’1, agents deemed the first-generation Serbian American with his dark brown hair and striking blue/green eyes as overweight.
“I got myself to a gym and put in a lot of hours on the treadmill before visiting the agencies again,” he remembers with a laugh. It did the trick because Charlie was signed and within months, he was a working model, landing campaigns with major brands like Calvin Klein, Jeremy Scott, Adidas and Nautica.
His biggest gig, of course, has been with GUESS. This year, Charlie Matthews celebrates five-years as the face of the American fashion label, joining a long line of influential male supermodels including Mark Vanderloo, Jason Lewis, and Alex Lundqvist who have all enjoyed long careers with the brand.
Since 2017, Charlie has appeared in advertising campaigns for GUESS underwear, watches, eyewear and cologne. For spring-summer 2022, he fronts all clothing and accessories campaigns, posing with fellow GUESS models Kelsie Jean Smeby and Maya Brynne Norman in captivating images by photographer Yasmine Kateb.
We spoke with Charlie Matthews from his home in Los Angeles.
Congrats on your five-year anniversary as the spokesmodel for GUESS!
It’s honestly surreal that it has been five years! I feel unbelievably blessed. Working with GUESS has shaped my life and opened doors to so many incredible opportunities.
You have shot with some of the most beautiful GUESS women. Who has been the most memorable?
That’s a tough one. They’ve all been memorable. If I had to name one, I would have to say working with Kelsie on the GUESS fragrance campaign.
Who has the tougher job on set – the male or female model?
The female model because she spends way more hours in the chair getting hair and make-up ready. Also, she often has to shoot more looks than the male model.
How long does it usually take you to get ready in the make-up chair?
Not very long. Somewhere between 10-15 minutes.
Is there a secret for getting the perfect shot?(Laughing) If there is, I don’t know it. I just tend to look directly into the camera with confidence and lots of passion. Things have to happen naturally on set. It really all depends on how the photographer captures the photo.
Do models have to like the photographer? What happens if the vibe just isn’t there?
There have been times on set when I didn’t vibe so much with the photographer but we were still able to capture amazing images. Similar to any job, we’re all professionals and we’re there to get the work done.
Who is one photographer that you felt most connected to? I’ve been really fortunate to have worked with so many amazing photographers throughout the years. Most recently, I reconnected with Yasmine Kateb who captured the inspiring moments for my 2022 spring/summer GUESS campaign.
What is your dream modeling job?
My dream modeling job is to shoot fragrance for Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb.
What do you like to do when you have time off?
I love traveling and seeing the world. I also love to play basketball in my hometown and spending time with my family and friends.
What is the biggest misconception people have about the male model industry?
That we’re shallow and will break your heart. I’m the complete opposite.
If you weren’t a model, what would you be?
I would probably be a financial advisor but my dream job would be a twitch streamer!
Are you a big gamer?
It’s my passion! Back in the day, before modeling, I played video games professionally. I made a good amount of money.
What do you do to stay in shape?
I lift weights 1-2 hours every day. I also play a lot of basketball for cardio, and, of course, I’m a slave to my stair master.
Final message to fans?
I want to thank all my followers and supporters through the years. I couldn’t have done it without you.