This Week’s Model (male edition): Baptiste Giabiconi

Three years ago, when Baptiste Giabiconi was working at a helicopter plant in southern France, his big dream was to save enough money to buy his own pizza truck. The son of a Corsican mechanic,...


That last someone happened to be Karl Lagerfeld, which goes a long way toward explaining why Giabiconi, 20, is arguably the world’s No. 1 male model, and why the former metalworker shows up for an interview in Paris wearing Dior jeans, a Comme des Garçons shirt, a Tom Ford shearling coat and a Chanel scarf. In the year and a half since his first shoot with Lagerfeld, the two have worked on dozens of projects together, from short films for Chanel runway shows to a nude cover of Wallpaper. Editorials and campaigns shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and other top photographers have further crammed Giabiconi’s schedule.

From left: Giabiconi shot by Karl Lagerfeld on the cover of Wallpaper’s October 2009 issue; Just Cavalli’s spring 2010 ad campaign shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

“There is no other model in the business like him,” says Lagerfeld, who calls Giabiconi an “inspiring” collaborator due to a rare ability to “act and transform himself.” Physically speaking, Lagerfeld adds, he’s a male version of Gisele Bündchen: “Perfect when dressed and stunning undressed.”

Giabiconi says his new life feels like a waking dream. He now lives near Lagerfeld in Paris and is the most visible member of the designer’s entourage, though he retains his twangy Marseille accent and insists he’s not much for parties, preferring to stay home and watch Alain Delon films. Still, Giabiconi, who clearly loves performing, doesn’t hide his ambitions for a big career beyond modeling. He has thrown himself into acting and singing lessons, and he talks of “conquering Hollywood” someday: “I have a lot of plans. I know what I want in life, and I go for it.” And what about that pizza truck? “I still like that idea,” he says. “But now, why not have a whole chain of them?”

Giabiconi shot by Karl Lagerfeld for Vogue Germany’s February 2010 issue

Check back next Tuesday for the next installment of “The Skinny.” Read our previous model Q&As here.

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