In our ongoing series,
Like actors who graduate to become directors, Garrett Neff is a star model who's ready to move to the next phase of his career. Having more or less conquered the game—he's walked every show you can think of and appeared in countless editorials—the Delaware native is now focused on the upcoming launch of his eponymous lifestyle website. Here, Neff explains what he hopes to achieve with the project, the best (and worst) parts about modeling, and the fitness regimen behind his legendarily ripped body.
Height: 6' 1.5"
Hometown: Wilmington, Delware
How were you discovered? I was in the Miami International Airport, waiting for a connecting flight on my way home from a summer economics course my university offered in Barbados.
Your first modeling gig: Good Morning America's back-to-school fashion special presentation by GQ. But my first real shoot was with Bruce Weber in Hawaii for Abercrombie & Fitch. I got to ride a horse through the surf.
Strangest place you've traveled for work, and why: Alaska. We shot Saks Fifth Avenue out there a few years ago and I was stuck on a boat for three days. I love sailing but hate cruise ships. We were on a research vessel posing as a floating mobile home. It was incredibly beautiful outside of the boat but I feel trapped if I can't exercise, and three days of it was practically torture.
How do you stay in shape? I do it all. The most important thing for me is mixing it up so I don't get bored. Running, swimming, tennis, yoga, classes at Equinox, kickboxing at Gotham Gym. I just picked up paddle boarding and tried anti-gravity yoga for the first time this summer. Trainers are really helpful when it comes to keeping it new. Mine comes to the apartment and we do floor workouts with lightweights if I run out of my own ideas or if my schedule is tight.
Career highlight: Co-conspiring with Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey during the 30 Rock live episode.
Can we get a sneak peek of the new website you're working on? It hasn't launched yet, but it should within the next two months. GarrettNeff.com will be a window into the life of a young, well-traveled male model who has access to the world's most interesting events and products.
What are you hoping to accomplish with this project? I'm reasonably active with social media, but I think many of the formats are limiting. A website may not be as easily consumed but it can have so much more. I think that a website is a more all-embracing medium through which I can really express myself and showcase things I care about.
What's the best part about modeling? I more or less make my own schedule, but it hasn't always been that way. I've been very lucky over the years about taking the right opportunities.
What's the most challenging part of modeling? Not knowing when or how often to say no to jobs.
What's your secret to walking the runway? Good posture and a quick but natural pace.
Any pre-show or pre-shoot rituals or superstitions? Nothing too weird, just a 30-minute upside-down meditation like everybody else!
Best piece of swag you got to keep: Karl Lagerfeld once sent me home with a vintage Goyard trunk filled with Dior tuxedo-stripe gray washed jeans, Commes de Garçons velvet smoking jacket, Chanel dress shoes, and a bunch of other sweet items he wanted me to have. Does that count as swag?
Your favorite designers: Philip Lim, Massimiliano Giornetti for Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Bastian, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Jason Wu, Thomas Maier, Steven Alan. It's tough to choose, but these are a few.
Your go-to outfit: James Perse T-shirt, worn-out APC jeans, Lanvin trainers, Patagonia trucker hat.
Describe your style in three words or less: High-low luxury.
The one item from your wardrobe you'd save in a fire: Let it burn! I'll find new clothes. My hands will be full with my cameras and hard drives.
If you could raid anyone's closet, living or dead, whose would it be? Justin Timberlake comes to mind, but since most celebrities just borrow clothes for an event and then give them back to their stylists, I'd say Paul Newman.
What's on your wrist? IWC Portuguese watch with Black dial, Cartier white gold Santos-Dumont chain bracelet, RRL leather wrap bracelet, Miansai fishhook bracelet.
Biggest splurge: My cameras. I just invested in a Canon EOS 1DX, my first full-frame camera that also takes hi-def video. The LCD screen blows my Mark II 1DS out of the water!
If you weren't modeling you'd be: Behind the camera.
Best piece of advice you've ever been given? "Do one thing every day that scares you." I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it, but I heard it first from my mom. I don't always manage, but I do try.
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*—Todd Plummer, follow him @toddkingston