(All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)
I dragged myself to my second Chulo Underwear show — and I'm glad I made the call! Hot boys in clingy underthings, funny photogs and hosts Michael Musto and Paper's Mickey Boardman made it an NYFW night to remember.
Check out my booty-ful first Chulo experience here!
Held at the brand-spankin'-new Calligaris luxury furniture store at 55 Thompson Street in Soho, the evening was fun-filled, and for a good cause, according to this Chulo press release:
Proceeds raised will be donated to CITTA whose work brings health, education and economic development to women in impoverished regions. Additional proceeds will be donated to the community-based organizations with which the CHULO brand works—helping to educate and employ marginalized young people in New York City.
I got there and spent over an hour snapping behind-the-scenes (hell, it was in-front-of-the-scenes, as the models were running around shirtless prior to the show) snapping cute boys, including Internet-famous (his Instagram here!) physique model Lony Pizarro. Venezuela-born Pizarro told me he'd just moved to the East Coast the day before from Utah, and that he'd be in a model house in NJ. As massive and handsome as he is — where is Mae West when you need her? — he was truly sweet and very charming with everyone who requested a selfie, some making spit bubbles with the drool as they put in the ask.
I also met Dillan Jackson, one of the handsomest fresh faces ever. He was shyly collecting business cards and, like all the other models, looked even more striking once fake snow (it was actually salt) had been applied to their faces and stubble and hair by New York Institute of Beauty's on-hand pros. I do not believe Dillan knows how hot he is; it won't take long for someone to tell the Kentucky native in no uncertain terms.
Also loved Brant Alexander, who had boyfriend-experience presence and knew how to walk, always a bonus at a runway show:
The truth is, all the dudes were hot, and the crowd behaved before the show like they were at an after-party following a successful event, complete with dancing, selfie requests and surreptitious Grindr monitoring.
Co-host Mickey came out to warn us that the show's ongoing raffle could lead to a model being taken home as the prize (sales skyrocketed), and at one point Michael, whose floral shirt was one of the best — and maybe one of the only — tops in the room at one point, did a quick strut on the catwalk to prime the pump.
Some of the hottest shots from the show, plus more in the gallery and still more on Facebook!
Once the show began, I was doubly happy that the shooters with me in the small pen were all nice and respectful; some of these shows, at any level, can attract cut-throat photographers who intentionally get in your way or want to pick fights over nonsense. Instead, I had a supercute Long Island boy (we extolled the virtues of candid photography, so hopefuly he won't mind that I snapped some of him — inset), friendly regulars like Jeff Eason and downtown legend Patrick McMullan, who was in his own orbit and anything but in anyone's way.
Patrick was chatting up the most promising models, after which I would make sure they realized who he was. I was able to thank him for a very kind note he once sent me back when I was first putting together my Encyclopedia Madonnica over 20 years ago. He seemed to remember, and flattered me by taking my picture and asking me to spell my name, but I am thinking his attention should and will remain on the boys who make underwear look so good it almost seems a shame to wear any. His gracious response to me was so appreciated.
In fact, my only gripe was that this one attendee who was glued to me kept shoving her iPhone out into the catwalk to film everything, blocking my shots. I had to keep urging her to move it. When our attention turned to the end of the walk and the models all ganged up for a group shot, she adhered to me and snaked her hand, grasping her camera, vine-like through my arm and under my own camera. I turned to her and barked, “Get that out of here!” She wisely retracted it.
The boys looked good, their skivvies looked good, so all that was left was for Michael to burst into song, which he did. He Connie Francised the hell outta “Where the Boys Are,” while surrounded by several of the models. Being on a testosterone high helped him hit the notes; that stuff really clears your sinuses.
After that, it was all about post-show photo ops, that fabled time when male models are eager to pose in their underwear for you, just because you asked.
Just like the brand, the show was tight, short and arousing. Check out Chulo here. They have merch, too:
You can actually see almost all the photos here: