The Year of Living Bryanously


style magazine via bryanboy

If you build it... they will cast? That could turn out to be the motto of Filipino net sensation (and frockwriter buddy) Bryanboy, as he caps what in his own words has been a “surreal” 2008. Last week he made WWD’s 'Year In Fashion' supplement, as one of the ‘fashion moments’ of 2008. Overnight, he's been dubbed one of the Top 25 Faces of 2008 by high-profile model industry blog Confessions of a Casting Director, alongside some of the hottest new model names, including Australia's Abbey Lee Kershaw. Oh and Carla Bruni.

Bryanboy has been blogging for four years and was already on the media ascendant prior to 2008, not to mention the radar of the luxury industry – after model poses in a series of Fendi ads in 2006 bore a striking resemblance to his trademark Infamous Bryanboy Pose.

However his star rose in 2008 thanks to Marc Jacobs.

Bryanboy created an amusing video homage to Jacobs, following a spate of late 2007 media attacks on the designer over the tardiness of his fashion shows.

In appreciation, Jacobs thanked Bryanboy via email – and then in February this year, was photographed backstage at one of his Fall/Winter 08/09 shows in New York holding up an “I love Bryanboy” poster.

Then an email from Jacobs to Bryanboy, promising to call an ostrich skin handbag from the main collection after the blogger, was leaked via a Bryanboy friend and found itself all over the net.

After months of speculation, Jacobs made good on the promise, sending Bryanboy the actual handbag prototype from the show.

Confirmation that Jacobs had named the bag after Bryanboy resulted in a veritable avalanche of publicity.

Bryanboy made his first international Fashion Week foray at Australian Fashion Week - contrary to reports at the time, flying himself down (although, along with other international VIPs, he was put up at The Westin by organisers).

And while some of the event’s other international VIPs, notably reps from The Financial Times and Nylon, have complained about being accorded bad seats at AFW shows, Bryanboy found himself front row at almost every show.

Next off the bat was Hong Kong Luxury Week, followed by New Zealand and KL Fashion Weeks, all apparently attended as an invited media guest.


style magazine via bryanboy

Of the plethora of interviews done by Bryanboy in the wake of the Marc Jacobs story, the December 2008 edition of Singaporean fashion magazine Style represented a turning point.

Not only was Bryanboy interviewed for the magazine, but also styled and photographed, as a model would be, for a series of accompanying images – whilst wearing a mélange of mens' and womens' clothes.

It must have killed him to take off his trademark sunglasses – he usually never likes being photographed without them.

What emerged - to those who don't know him - was a beautiful face.

Put it down to the emerging power of the blogosphere, the Asian fashion explosion – not forgetting fashion’s androgynous moment - Bryanboy.com is a scathingly brilliant idea whose time has come.

Was the Marc Jacobs bag story a fortuitous happenstance, motivated by nothing more than genuine mutual admiration?

Or was Bryanboy the unwitting star of a very clever viral marketing campaign?

Either way, he is the only person on COACD’s list who is not a professional model.

Let’s see what 2009 brings...