In an era of glass ceilings yet to be broken, one of the few professions in which women are generally guaranteed to receive better compensation and more accolades than their male counterparts is modeling. There is no XY holy trinity akin to Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista, and you would be hard-pressed to find a male equivalent to Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid. (With more than 2 million Instagram followers, Lucky Blue Smith has about 10 percent of the reach of Hadid.)
Still, an intrepid group of guys is getting noticed. Some have fashion in their blood: Chase Hill, 17, followed in the footsteps of his model sisters Mackinley and Taylor Hill. Others, like Cody Lohan 20, who got an agent thanks to an Instagram post from sister Lindsay Lohan, boast recognizable surnames. The 23-year-old photographer Roberto Rossellini, who was scouted on the streets of New York, sought the counsel of his mother, Isabella Rossellini, before moving to the other side of the camera.
For most of them, modeling is a way to draw attention to other projects. Thirty-year-old Will Peltz, brother of actress Nicola Peltz, squeezes in shoots with Calvin Klein between films. Nyima Ward, 20, the son of the 1990s supermodel Trish Goff and a new favorite of the photographer Steven Meisel, considers himself “more a woodworker, honestly, than a model.” Luka Sabbat, 18, a self-described “stylist-entrepreneur-champion and model at request,” was discovered at 16, but was initially wary of the industry. “I didn’t fuck with it—it looked wack,” he recalls. He’s since come around (with a gentle nudge from his father), walking for Yeezy and popping up in a Tommy Hilfiger campaign. Meanwhile, Brandon Thomas Lee, 20, the son of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, and a star of Dolce & Gabbana’s spring campaign, didn’t need any convincing. “It’s great to have your face plastered on stuff so everyone can get to know you,” he says. “People would say, ‘Okay, for the last year, you’ve done more modeling work than acting.’ But I like to classify myself as just an actor. What I do to achieve that can go a thousand different ways.”
Here, a cheat sheet to this new generation of male models.
Provenance: Bedford, NY
Pedigree: He is one of 10 kids (from two different marriages) to his dad, the investment management billionaire Nelson Peltz. His mother, Claudia Heffner, is a former model and his younger sister Nicola is also an actress.
Where you’ve seen him: He’ll appear in the upcoming film The Outcasts. Fashion-wise, he’s walked for Dolce & Gabbana and appeared in a Calvin Klein campaign with girlfriend Kenya Kinski-Jones.
Fun fact: Growing up, Peltz was an intense ice hockey player—he even had a hockey-themed bar mitzvah at the Pierre hotel in New York.
Non-modeling skill: Acting
Provenance: New York, NY
Pedigree: Actress-singer-designer Lindsay and model-singer Ali are his older sisters.
Where you’ve seen him: A Vogue Japan editorial, on the runway in an X Art show during the most recent New York Fashion Week.
Fun fact: Lohan got his unofficial modeling start at 9, walking in a show for Child Magazine fashion collections.
Non-modeling skill: Surfing
Provenance: Arvada, Colorado
Pedigree: His older sisters Taylor Hill and Mackinley Hill are both models and another sister, Logan Rae, is a photographer.
Where you’ve seen him: On the runway for Philipp Plein and Dolce & Gabbana and in editorials for Elle Italia and Holiday magazine.
Fun fact: He and his sisters have a YouTube series called “The Hill Sisters and Chase” with episodes like “Cooking with the Hills” and “The Hill Family Christmas.”
Non-modeling skill: Snowboarding
Provenance: Bedford, New York and all over Europe
Pedigree: His mother is Isabella Rossellini and his sister is fellow model (turned food blogger) Elettra Wiedemann Rossellini.
Where you’ve seen him: At Large magazine, CR Fashion Book, the F is for Fendi digital campaign.
Fun fact: At one point, Rossellini was an aspiring marine biologist studying at Stony Brook University. He soon changed tacks to photography, took classes at the International Center of Photography, interned for Billy Farrell Agency and now shoots portraits of musical artists when not modeling.
Non-modeling skill: Photography
Provenance: New York, NY
Pedigree: Mom is '90s supermodel Trish Goff and dad is Aaron Ward.
Where you’ve seen him: On the runway for Anna Sui and John Varvatos and in editorials lensed by Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel and Collier Schorr.
Fun fact: As a baby on a set with his mother, a young Ward once peed on Richard Avedon’s studio floor.
Non-modeling skill: Woodworking, marijuana farming
Provenance: Los Angeles, California
Pedigree: His mom is the actress Pamela Anderson and dad is Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. Younger brother Dylan Jagger Lee is also a model.
Where you’ve seen him: Campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana and Saint Laurent and an editorial for Paper magazine.
Fun fact: Before he started modeling, Lee once worked as a lifeguard at a lake-side restaurant in L.A. The uniform was all red and the only red jacket he could find was his mother’s old Baywatch one. When she found out about his gig she “laughed for five minutes straight.”
Non-modeling skill: Acting
Provenance: Paris, France and New York, New York
Pedigree: His mother is a former model booker and fashion show production assistant. His dad is a designer.
Where you’ve seen him: In shows for Yeezy and Public School and campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger and Hood by Air.
Fun fact: Last month, Sabbat and photographer, collaborator Noah Dillon had a multi-media show at Milk Gallery called Hot Mess, accompanied by a capsule collection of apparel that attendees could pre-order—without the promise of an actual delivery date.
Non-modeling skill: Creative directing
Watch: Dylan Jagger Lee answers our most pressing questions: