State of Undress

State of Undress

State of Undress

On the cutting-edge, model-muse Joshua Cummings exposes menswear’s boldest stylings

On the cutting-edge, model-muse Joshua Cummings exposes menswear’s boldest stylings

Photography: Steven Klein

Photography: Gro Curtis

Text: Kala Herh

Text: Matthew Velasco

This article appears in VMAN 49 Fall-Winter 2022 issue now available for purchase

Joshua Wears Headpiece Khia Tullae, Jewelry David Yurman

What happens when you pair one of the industry's promising model-muses with an iconic image-maker like Steven Klein? Pure magic! In this electric editorial, aptly titled "State of Undress," Klein photographs Joshua Cummings in visions of menswear's most daring offerings. In an exclusive interview, VMAN sits down with Cummings to get insight into his trajectory, the inspiration behind the shoot, and what it means to collaborate with industry titans like Klein and Gro Curtis.

Read the interview below! 

Clothing Dolce & Gabbana, Jewelry Tiffany & Co., Shoes Maison Margiela, Belts stylist’s own, On skin Natasha Denona Body Glow in Dark
Coat Loewe, Shoes Maison Margiela, Belts stylist’s own

VMAN: Take us back to the beginning of your modeling career. What first drew you to modeling? How did that passion develop?

Joshua Cummings: Modeling for me is an escape. I’ve always seen myself as a shapeshifter, as a storyteller. I think the transformative aspect of modeling reeled me right in. At every stage of my career I’ve evolved. Whether it is the challenge of fitness modeling or the edge of editorial—I’m able to do it all and just experiencing and seeing the complete change from stage to stage excites me.

VMAN: Growing up, did you always want to pursue a career in modeling and fashion or was it more of something that happened by chance?

JC: It’s interesting because I never really know how to answer this question. I think it was pure serendipity. I kind of found my way into fashion and modeling and then interestingly enough, I was quite good at. Being good at something new boosted my confidence in a way I didn’t expect it to.

Clothing Burberry, Accessories Gigi Burris, Shoes stylist’s own

VMAN: What do you enjoy the most about modeling and being in front of the camera? Is it the element of collaborating with others, the creative process, or seeing how everything comes to life through an image?

JC: I enjoy the thrill and the [theatrics] of it all. The castings, the anticipation, and especially collaborating with people I’ve long admired and respected in the industry. It’s almost an out-of-body experience when you walk on to a set and see a photographer or stylist you’ve been dying to work with. Or to introduce yourself to your model idol, you know, the person who inspired you to start this whole journey. There’s nothing quite like it.

VMAN: Can you take us through the inspiration behind your editorial, "State of Undress," for VMAN49?

JC: The inspiration was the fall 2022 clothing. Thigh high boots, head pieces and jackets. This is my first time actually doing fashion and I wanted to show something different, another side of me. I came up with the concept from a previous shoot that Steven did a while ago, I wanted to keep the shoot simple meaning no gimmicks just a simple background and high fashion clothing.

Clothing Prada, Shoes Maison Margiela, Belts stylist’s own

VMAN: What feeling or energy did you want to portray throughout this shoot? Would you say the styling helped you get into character? What was your absolute favorite look on set?

JC: Throughout the shoot I wanted to showcase masculine androgyny. I wanted each photo to showcase a different side of me, from feminine to tough, sultry to innocent. The styling actually shocked me at first because I didn’t know what to think of it but as I was trying on pieces it all just came together. My absolute favorite outfit was the red Prada jacket and red boots, I just felt so sexy and powerful when I was wearing it.

VMAN: What was the collaborative process on set like? Were you able to lend your point of view as a model to help facilitate Steven Klein and Gro Curtis tell the story.

JC: The collaborative process was interesting. When I approached Steven [Klein] and Gro [Curtis] with the idea of doing a high fashion story they were on board. My career started off doing fitness and a lot of body work so I’m wanted to take this opportunity to showcase that I can do fashion. I was able to lend the vision I had to Steven and Gro and they ran with it and this is what we created. I didn’t know I had that in me, but when you have a great team, great styling, and don’t forget the music [on set], nothing but magic [happens].

Skirt Juun J., Headpiece Khia Tullae, Jewerly David Yurman, Shoes Maison Margiela, Belt stylist’s own

VMAN: As your star continues to rise as a model, what excites you most? What are you looking forward to?

JC: What excites me most is seeing what version of myself I will be in a few years. At every turn I’ve become a different version of myself. I want to be a legend in my field. I want to inspire others in fashion, the same way so many have inspired me. I want to be able to look back and say that I accomplished everything I wanted at the beginning of my career—and that I did so with some style, some edge and a bit of sex appeal.

Coat Gucci, Cap adidas x Gucci, Shoes Maison Margiela, Belts stylist’s own
Clothing GmbH, Sunglasses Rick Owens, Shoes Maison Margiela

This article appears in VMAN 49 Fall-Winter 2022 issue now available for purchase

Credits:

Makeup Renee Garnes (Opus Beauty)

Model Joshua Cummings (Soul Artist MGMT)

Set design Jack Flanagan (The Wall Group)

Executive Producer Dana Brockman (viewfinders)

Producer Frank J. DeCaro

Lighting Director Dean Dodos

Photo assistants Jeremy Gould, Conor Monaghan

Stylist assistant Emma Oleck

Set assistant George DeLacy

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