Simon Nessman, photographed by Alasdair McLellan in Vogue Hommes Fall–Winter 2011.
In 2012, to populate her Girl Gone Wild single, Madonna took her inspiration from George Michael’s cult Freedom! ’90 video, filmed years before by David Fincher, featuring the world’s most beautiful models lip–synching the words of the album’s top track, Listen Without Prejudice.
In the Mert & Marcus Material Girl video, Cindy, Naomi, Christy, Tatjana and Linda were replaced by a top squad of male counterparts, including Simon Nessman, shot in the buff in sultry black and white. That’s all it took to set his credentials in stone, which is something of a rarity in the world of fashion.
Born in Canada going on 30 years ago, Simon’s success has few comparisons: measuring 1m88, with an enviable physique, a pout like Salvador Dali’s Mae West Lips sofa, and a tumble of jet black hair, he has lent his stunning looks to a host of ad campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Versace, Ralph Lauren, D & G, and Givenchy. The icing on the cake in his faultless career was his frolicking in the waves, as captured by Bruce Weber, to vaunt the sensual merits of Armani’s Acqua di Gio Essenza. The short has since become a hit classic in ad films.
Need–to–know about Simon Nessman? Physique is a big part of the story. He’s seriously into surfing and hiking, an aficionado of all–out yoga to relieve the pressure, and someone who sums himself up in three words: “passionate, considerate, eccentric”. Chief among his passions is protecting the environment. This naturally prompted him to set up and run the Cedar Coast Field Station on Clayoquot Sound, an off–grid paradise of virgin forest, lakes and beaches devoted to research, education, and preserving ecological diversity. On the cover of Vogue Hommes for the first time, Simon sees chic as, first and foremost, an attitude. “You need to be happy in yourself, to like your own image, and always show humility and sensitivity.” Where does he see himself ten years down the road? “Still doing the same thing as now, with more time for sailing, surfing, fishing, and gardening. And I’d like to start a family.” This is the very least we can wish him.