FROM THE EDITOR.
Readers, I wish you could’ve been at the pre-shoot fitting for this swimwear issue! Our gorgeous cover star, Benji Condie, tried on dozens of swimwear samples before we arrived at the final shot list. And, bless him, to save time he didn’t bother using the change room. He just popped everything on and off in front of us. No one complained.
Discussing casting options with photographer Christian Scott weeks before, I’d said, “I want to get the swimwear wet this year. I want the model to roll around in the surf and show the gear doing what it’s designed for. We need someone naturally well built, not too huge, and I want a hairy chest and stubble with a fun personality.”
“What about Benji?” suggested Christian. We’d shot Benji for DNA #208 and loved working with him, so I agreed straight away.
Benji has just the right kind of body for a swimwear story – beautifully muscular, clear skin, soft natural body hair that’s not waxed or clippered into shape, and a smile and positive attitude that light up the room. He’s perfect and at the fitting I just wanted to hug him – which would’ve been totally inappropriate because he was naked!
Everything looked great on Benji, which made our job very easy.
The final ten garments chosen, Benji and Christian, assisted by Cain Cooper, headed to the beach for the afternoon. Cain captured some great behind-the-scenes video, which you’ll find on our website and social media.
Even though I’m fair skinned and burn easily, I love the beach. Floating around in the ocean soothes the soul; there’s something reassuring and almost decadent about it – especially when the water is clear, warm and there’s a gentle swell. People behave differently at the beach. Maybe because the beach is no longer “civilisation” but not really the wilds of nature, here’s a sense of freedom; that the usual rules don’t quite apply.
I’ve noticed in recent years, on Australian beaches, that many people are no longer taking the rules of beachwear seriously! Beachwear seems to have become anything-goes-wear. In particular, some men seem to think it’s okay to rock up to the beach in street clothes and take a dip in their underwear. Is this a bad thing? It depends. If the body emerging wet from the waves is fit – it’s a very good thing. Wet underwear leaves nothing to the imagination.
In this month’s swimwear fashion story, Freedom ’19, you’ll see the changing tastes in swimwear reflected – and you’ll see what I mean about gorgeous Benji, too.
Elsewhere this issue, we speak to Michal Nicolas, Creative Director of Teamm8, who celebrate their 10th anniversary this year. Teamm8 have earned a global following and become style influencers in the world of men’s underwear, swimwear, active and streetwear. I know a lot of DNA reader, both here and in the States, are devotees of the brand and eagerly await new ranges.
What I like about Teamm8 is that they are always that little bit ahead of the curve, coming up with fashion-forward ideas that are totally wearable and aren’t too “out there”.
A swimwear issue without a nod to the erotic charge of swimwear would be remiss – so in the raunchy read Speedo Revelation by Jack Ladd discover how a shy English “ladd” first came to grips with the Aussie reality of wearing a speedo! I think you’ll enjoy it.
Speaking of which… the DNA Christmas Pool Party is almost upon us and the big question is what to wear. For me, it’ll be a hat and a lot of sunscreen. Don’t worry, I’ll be wearing more than that, but I expect that a lot of the boys won’t be wearing much at all. If you’re in Sydney December 22, do come along. The fabulous Maxi Shield is hosting, Teamm8 are treating us to a fashion show and our DJs include local boy Dom de Sousa and, from London, DJ Joelby. I don’t mind saying, it’s Sydney’s sexiest Christmas party.
Also in this issue, we take a look at The HIV Book Project, a collection of interviews and photographs that document changing attitudes to HIV over the years. We also speak to Tony, who’s on a mission to increase testing – it’s one way we’re helping end HIV for good!
I just wanted to hug him – which would’ve been totally inappropriate because he was naked.”
Benji at the beach wearing Rufskin!