World Cup Rivalary Takes Over the Runway with This Season’s Most Fresh-Faced Male Models

What happens when a mix of 19 soccer loving—excuse us, football—male models fanatics have a pitstop in Milan at the same time? Photographer Paolo Simi quickly discovered as tensions flared and home-country loyalties became as apparent as the piercing-editorial-stare born onto each model’s face. See our exclusive Fashion Week preview and FIFA World Cup Tribute below featuring Alessio Pozzi, Benoni Loos, Dean Stetz, Debiais Victor, Dino Sabanovic, Do Byungwook, Gordon Bothe, Jarno Boom, Kai Keller, Leo Mel, Lucas Mascarini, Mariano Ontanon, Marlon Nicolau, Nemanja Maksic, Rael Costa, Sam Steele, Stefan Knezevic, Stefan Radojkovic, and Toby Binge.

  • Benoni Loos

    benoni doppia

    Agency: I Love Models

    Nationality: Belgian

    First scouted: Sitting on a bench in Antwerp

    Personal style: "Black jeans and black or white t-shirt."

    "I always enjoy watching a good game."

  • Mariano Ontanon


    Agency: Elite Milano

    Nationality: Argentinian 

    Most recent campaign: Just Cavalli

    Favorite city: "Rome, because it's magical. I fall in love with it every time I've been."

    "I'm a citizen of the world, but I know and will never forget where I come from."

  • Alessio Pozzi


    Agency: Elite Milano

    Nationality: Italian

    First scouted: in a shopping center

    Sports played: soccer, swimming, and gym

    "My style is very simple in my life."

  • Toby Binge


    Agency: Independent Milano

    Nationality: British

    First scouted: 15 years old at a music festival

    Favorite city: "New York. There is always something different going on, it feels like being in a film."

    "I love to travel, but I am British through and through, from my favorite food (langers and mash) to loving football."

  • Marlon Nicolau


    Agency: Elite Milano

    Nationality: Portugese

    Most recent campaign: Filipe Faisca

    Sports played: "I watch soccer all the time, but the only sport for me is sex. I hate the gym."

    "I am a philosopher of life."

  • Dino Sabanovic


    Agency: Fashion

    Nationality: Bosnian

    Most recent campaign: Italia Independent Sunglasses

    Personal style: "Thrift shop"

    "I eat french fries with Nutella."

  • Kai Keller


    Agency: 2morrow

    Nationality: German

    Most recent campaign: Mauro Grifoni

    Favorite city: "Barcelona, because it has everything."

    "I like to mix up streetwear and elegant pieces like Burberry, Saint Laurent, and Gucci."

  • Lucas Mascarini


    Agency: Fashion

    Nationality: Brazilian

    Most recent campaign: Bottega Veneta

    Grossest thing seen in a model house: "dishes, dishes, dishes"

    "I don't see myself as a model."

  • Debiais Victor


    Agency: Nologo

    Nationality: French

    First scouted: shopping at an H&M store in Paris

    Sports played:  swimming, running, and gym

    "When I was scouted I waited 6 months before signing my contract, because I didn't want to be a model at the time."

  • Stefan Knezevic


    Agency: Independent Milano 

    Nationality: Serbian  (but supports the Bosnian World Cup team) 

    Most recent campaign: Pitti Immagine Uomo

    Sports played: "I played volleyball for 10 years, of which the last 3 were professional. Now I only do sports for fun."

    "I still haven't visited many of the places that I really want to see."

  • Gordon Bothe


    Agency: I Love Models

    Nationality: German and Swedish

    Favorite city: "New York—they just opened a Nutella bar."

    Open bar anywhere for a night: "Las Vegas to make The Hangover movies look lame"

    "I played soccer all my life until I started modeling."

  • Dean Stetz


    Agency: Nologo

    Nationality: American

    Most recent campaign: Tombolini

    Favorite memory of hometown: Beach with family 

    "I am much more simple and normal than my work."

  • Jarno Boom


    Agency: 2morrow

    Nationality: Dutch (from The Netherlands) 

    Most recent campaign: Sascha

    Favorite city: "Milan feels like home, plus I love Italy."

    "Obviously there's no place like home, but I really do miss the cheese."

  • Sam Steele


    Agency: Elite Milano

    Nationality: Spanish and British (born in Spain)

    Favorite memory of hometown: "Being outdoor with my mates."

    Open bar anywhere for a night: "Any pub in Ireland. They have great beer and drinking culture."

    "It's where you're at, not where you're from, that is important."

  • Rael Costa


    Agency: Why Not

    Nationality: Brazilian

    Favorite city: "Rome and Florence — there are so many places to visit and so much history." 

    Sports played: soccer, volleyball, wake boarding, and skateboarding

    "Because of the easy way I live, most people say fake things about the job. I try to stay happy always."

  • Leo Mel


    Agency: I Love Models

    Nationality: Italian

    Most recent campaign: Andrew Mckenzie

    Favorite city: "Rome because it's a historical city, and Paris because of the great modeling experience and the most romantic city in the world."

    "Modeling has made me open to different people and countries."

  • Stefan Radojcovic


    Agency: Independent Men

    Nationality: Serbian (but supports the Australian World Cup team) 

    Favorite city: "Aruba or the Australian seaside because of their nature vibes."

    Staying in shape: "I was lucky that I trained in a gym as a child for 7 years, so now it’s easy to keep in shape."

    "Trough my travels I've become very flexible, but I still have my Serbian nationality."

  • Do Byungwook


    Agency: Elite Milano

    Nationality: Korean

    First scouted: Elite China contest  

    Personal style: " It is terrible that I wear the same t-shirt and pair of jeans every day?"

    "If the weather is good, it's is not important where I am. I just want to see to fascinating young ladies. "

  • Nemanja Maksic


    Agency: Fashion Milano 

    Nationality: Sebrian (but supports the Russian World Cup team) 

    Most recent campaign: adidas Originals

    Embarrassing story from adolescence: "One time I broke my shoes so my mother gave me my sister’s to wear. When people asked me about them, I just replied, 'Because it’s fashion!'" 

    "I have many sides to my personality."


Images photographed by Paolo Simi; Styled by Stefano Spinetta; Make up and hair by Sara Del ReMartin, Jorge Paradas, Claudia Tito, and Jonahid Miah; Editing by Piotr Trojanowski; Photo AssistantsGiulietta Raimondi and Nicola Lazzari; GIFs by Giulia Bertuletti.