Levi Dylan is the All-American Boy

Levi Dylan is the All-American Boy

Take a first look at VMAN 37 with Levi Dylan, the man born into a rock-and-roll dynasty, but determined to chart his own course.

Take a first look at VMAN 37 with Levi Dylan, the man born into a rock-and-roll dynasty, but determined to chart his own course.

Photography: Alana O'Herlihy

Text: Nick Remsen

During the Fall 2017 menswear unveilings in Milan, 22-year-old Levi Dylan—the budding actor and model—walked in Dolce & Gabbana’s show. He felt out of place.

“I know what they were trying to do, obviously,” he says, referring to the label’s social media-famous and RKOI-heavy cast. “The whole thing was really strange. I don’t even know how I fit into the whole thing. My room was next to Cameron Dallas’s, and I had a really hard time sleeping. Girls would stay outside his window from like 5AM to 3AM, take a two-hour break, then come back for more.” But, soon, Levi’s guard thaws—you can tell that he is, at least partially, intrigued by this riot we call modern fashion. “It ended up being a nice time,” he admits. (Worth noting: he was also at Chanel’s most recent pre-collection presentation in Paris.)

Levi is the grandson of Bob Dylan—the musician, master wordsmith, and now Nobel Prize winner—and the son of Jakob Dylan, also a musician, who is best known for his work in the band the Wallflowers. And like grandfather, like grandkid: Bob is famous, maybe more so than ever, for his love/hate dealings with the media and his prickly relationship with celebrity. He didn’t even go to Stockholm to accept his Nobel. (Patti Smith went as a surrogate and sang a heart-wrenching rendition of Bob’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.”) Levi appears to maintain a similar wariness. He keeps the zeitgeist, especially the corner of pop culture that Dolce & Gabbana lensed, at a graceful arm’s length. He’s not a fan of labels—“I get labeled as a model but, if I had it my way, I would hope nobody would ever call me that”—nor of selling out. He’s in the beginning stages of launching an acting career, with a Netflix project and a movie both being filmed this year (no further details of yet), but he makes it clear that he does not need or even want to be at, say, Cameron Dallas’s level of recognition.

“I don’t have any interest in being in Warner Brothers’ newest comedy if it’s going to suck but still be a box office hit and make me famous,” says Levi. “I want to do things that are cool and that I can be proud of.” Is there anyone he sees as a role model in Hollywood, then, or anyone especially compelling? “I don’t know that I have a favorite actor, but I will say that I’m inspired by Dennis Hopper.”

Levi is transitioning to acting after moving away from music (he played rock and roll for three years before realizing “nobody wants to listen to rock and roll anymore”). This, to the observer, is mostly convincing evidence that the guy isn’t doing what he’s doing just to climb the rungs of the visibility ladder. With a name like Dylan, especially in the sonic world, it wouldn’t take much to get up there. And it’d be even easier for Levi, considering he’s also very good looking.

But no. What will be will be Levi’s reckoning, or so it seems. There’s something obscurely magnetic about his comportment—we get why there’s a growing public fascination—and something even more persuasive about his standoffishness. In a world where astronomical follower counts translate into getting paid for posts, Levi promises to be the cooly quiet, take-it-or-leave-it dark star of this multi-hyphenate high stakes paradigm. If it’s no longer interesting, he’ll move on. And if he does get super well-known, we have a feeling he’ll stay pretty mellow about it. Bob should be proud.

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