5.12PM

GQ (Australia) - - MEN OF THE YEAR -

Late, once more. He ap­pears hav­ing stripped back to civvies – his style nat­u­ral and un­in­ten­tional, a jum­ble of grey trackie daks, black Birken­stocks and “some­thing fun”, a cus­tomised denim jacket (“My friend Jai sews badges on for ev­ery coun­try he’s been to”). He’s ready to talk. “To­day was work but I’m al­ways hav­ing fun when I’m work­ing hard. It doesn’t bother me hav­ing to work ev­ery sin­gle day be­cause I en­joy what I do so much,” he of­fers, run­ning a salad fork through his thick, tou­sled River Phoenix locks, the only re­main­ing trace of to­day’s as­sign­ment. Bar­rett was scouted age 13 in his home­town – though he lost the cir­cling agent’s card. “I had no idea what this per­son was talk­ing about.” He may have been on fash­ion’s radar but it wasn’t yet on his, at least un­til Mum found the con­tact. Whirl­wind is of­ten used to de­scribe some­one’s rapid rise to some­where. But since sign­ing to IMG this May, Bar­rett’s been caught in a gale, from cat­walks to cam­paigns, fash­ion cap­i­tals to pent­house par­ties. Cou­ture has a new mod­el­ling monar­chy and the Aus­tralian sits cen­trestage, along­side Lucky Blue Smith and the girls sin­gu­lar of name – Cara, Ken­dall, Gigi. “I got re­ally lucky, I got a good chance and it’s opened doors to so many things and I’m try­ing to do every­thing at the mo­ment and get­ting to all the other things you can get into through the con­nec­tions,” he says, not a sin­gle breath taken. Every­thing is “the best”, “the coolest”. He’s “so in the mo­ment”, “so lov­ing life”, so non­stop en­er­getic, so in­nately cool. Just, well, so. Bar­rett’s also young. And real. “I carry a blan­ket with me and wrap it around me. It’s not cash­mere, it’s a nice cheap one.” IMG, he muses, has be­come a sec­ond fam­ily, “They adopted me into every­thing.” It’s fit­ting, be­cause for all the quirks and breezy teen per­sona, life’s al­ready dealt a lot. There’s no de­sire to dig into his fa­ther’s much-pub­li­cised 2013 drug con­vic­tion, but, like all the de­signer cos­tumes thrown his way, he’s worn it well.

White cot­ton ‘Void’ jacket, $399, and white cot­ton shirt, $119, both by Jack Lon­don, avail­able at David Jones.

Black bro­cade jumper, $3600, by Dolce & Gab­bana; black cot­ton box­ers, $49.95, by Calvin Klein, avail­able at David Jones.

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