Years ago, alternative models were ignored when it came to the mainstream fashion industry. But because of the rise of social media, alternative modeling has become extremely popular and is now being widely accepted. And for some reasons, alternative lifestyle is widely celebrated all over the internet, runway, magazines and TV ads.
Check out these most followed alternative models, who rocked on social media:
Originally from Philadelphia, Megan Massacre is a famous tattoo artist, DJ and TV personality, who starred on TLC’S special America’s Worst Tattoos and featured on the channel’s NY Ink. Because of her bubbly personality and beautiful appearance, she stood out amongst other artists featured in the show’s Spring return. Her contributions to the shows are always considered special.
Before she decided to settle in NYC, Megan has worked at different tattoo shops already, including Deep Six Laboratory. This New York-based artist currently works in a tattoo studio, The Wooster St. Social Club, situated along Manhattan.
Megan began tattooing in 2004 and her artwork is described as unusual yet cute as she combines dark images with bold, vibrant colors in order to create a distinct and whimsical style.
Beyond tattooing, this tattooed chic has other weird hobbies. She enjoys music, painting and daydreaming. She drinks way too much coffee. She even has this serious Xbox 360 addiction. She also works as a DJ and is currently working on a new DJ project with her boyfriend.
Whenever she isn’t busy tattooing her famous clients, she is often seen modeling in some alternative photo shoots. Megan’s alternative modeling career started in 2007 and since then, she has been featured in lots of national and international publications. She even posed for the front covers of over 15 different magazines.
As a vegetarian and an avid supporter of animal rights, she has worked with PETA in their vegetarian ad campaign. Because of her passion in cooking and experimenting vegan recipes, Megan plans to work and support the organization in their future campaigns.
As of the most recent count, Megan has more than 2 million followers, combining all her social media accounts.
New-York-based model Bradley Soileau, is best known for his appearances as lover in Lana Del Rey’s videos. Before he acted as the singer’s onscreen lover, he has never landed any acting gig. His rugged and rebellious looks might have appealed the singer’s fans and now, he has appeared in three of her videos already – West Coast, Blue Jeans and Born to Die.
Prior to his acting gig, this 25-year-old model has appeared in Vogue Japan and many other fashion magazines. He also modeled for a street wear brand. From there, he was chosen to do a shoot with Ryan McGinley and then got cast to do a campaign for Silver Star casting. It was his first modeling gig.
The Vogue Japan model never stopped there. He worked hard to achieve the looks of a model. While figuring out the things he wanted to achieve, he became broke resulting in him losing weight. One day, an agent noticed he has a great silhouette and asked him if he wanted to become a model.
Without any idea about the industry, he went on and attended the go-see. Fortunately, he was chosen. His first magazine shot was with Vogue Hamme. After that, he was given a bunch of work alternative modeling gigs and worked on various editorials.
Jayy Von Monroe is popular for his band Blood on the Dance Floor. Whenever he isn’t touring with them, he constantly works on photo shoots to post for his over 100,000 fan base on social media.
Monroe grew up in a small town, where he never experienced anything like partying like the club kids did. At the age of 15, he was on his own and moved out of his town. He started dressing up and wearing makeup as he thinks it was the usual thing to do, especially when there are punk rock shows in the area.
When he was 17, he started working as host and entertainer at various events and goth nights in North Florida. It was only at the age of 19 when he decided to stop after he joined the band he is currently with.
Though he is considered an alternative or tattooed model, he has much experience in all genres of modeling and performing. However, he is also in high fashion and commercial work.
Raquel Reed, a performer, makeup artist, burlesque performer and an alternative model, became known during the MySpace era and since then, she can’t be stopped with more than 200,000 followers.
Reed is one of the leading alternative models in the industry. Born in Secaucus, New Jersey, she is best known for her shocking poses, incorporating sex, comedy and childhood fantasies.
This sassy model wears bright and girly colors from head to toe. Her hair is bright red while cartoons and candy are the staples in her style. As an original trendsetter, this sassy model’s theme and style continue to inspire lots of mainstream artists.
Even if she has lots of connections within the industry, she maintains control in her work. She drives her career with independence, acting as her own manager. According to her, “I’m used to myself. I wouldn’t be able to just let anybody into my life, just because of bad experiences. I just only really trust myself at this point in my life.”
At an early age of 12, Reed already began playing with looks on social media as a means of publicity. Her efforts are all worth it because since then, she has been on the covers of magazines like Alt Magazine and Tattoo Life and featured in Inked Girls, Bizarre and Retro Lovely. She also walked runways for Jared Gold, Patricia Field and Ed Hardy.
Reed’s career isn’t limited to modeling alone. She works full-time as a makeup artist for MAC cosmetics.
Based out of London, Jimmy Quaintance, or Jimmy Q, is a popular alternative model. He is currently signed to one of the biggest modeling agencies in London, FM London.
This rock star, professional tattooist, pro-skater and model, was born in Venice, where he has done his apprenticeship as well. As a walking work of art, he has plenty of tattoos on his body. For him, having a tattoo is a blessing as these art pieces depict his life and memories.
With his punk rock vibe and cool attitude, Jimmy can be easily noticed. When walking down the street, he wears this 50s clothing style, matched with his slick hair and cigarette. This is probably the reason he has been the subject of discussion on some fashion blogs.
After he signed with Select models, he has graced the runway and a number of fashion events. He modeled for Oliver Spencer’s 2012 Fall/Winter Collection, as well as Pringle Scotland’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection for London Fashion Week.
This tattooed model has been featured in Superdry’s collaboration presentation with Timothy Everest. He can also be seen on the pages of Nylon, Huge and Wylder.
This man has endless talents. Other than modeling, Jimmy has a passion for music. He is the vocalist of Former Lovers, a punk rock band. Because of his amazing talents and innate modeling skills, he acquired over 170,000 followers on social media.
Rick Genest, also known as zombie boy, is one of the most popular alternative lifestyle models of this generation. He has graced in lots of major fashion events and has been featured in magazines like GQ and Vogue. He even made an appearance in Lady Gaga’s music video, Born This Way.
Born in Lasalle, Montreal, this Canadian actor, artist and fashion model was diagnosed with a benign tumor, before he had his corpse tattoos covering most of his body. For 6 months, he contemplated on his life and prepared himself for possible death.
Before he underwent surgery, he lived on rooftops, under bridges and dumpsters. Hitchhiking became his primary means of transportation. In a video about him, he shared he described his way of living as “an anarchistic lifestyle.”
Genest said he was introduced to punk rock, making him decide to tattoo himself. As a living skeleton, Rico worked in different freak shows throughout Canada. Prior to having facial tattoos, he was introduced to the public through a blog post by Shannon Larratt in 2006. Two years later, he came out for his first interview, and at that time, his iconic tattoos were already completed.
Because of his unusual tattoos, a Facebook fan page was created for him. It got millions of followers and led to his discovery by Nicolar Formichetti, Lady Gaga’s fashion director.
Following his discovery, he was featured in Thierry Mugler’s Autumn/Winter men’s collection. He later graced the runway with Lady Gaga in a fashion event in 2011. In the same year, he was featured in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way video, with Gaga wearing makeup, replicating his tattoos.
Later that year, he became part of a campaign called Go Beyond the Cover, where all his tattoos on his torso, head and arms were covered with a concealer product. It was a commercial success leading to a 2-year endorsement contract with L’Oreal. He became the first ever male spokesperson of the company.
Watch the advertisement here:
In 2013, Rick Genest was cast as a foreman in the movie 47 Ronin, starring Keannu Reeves. This year, he is working with Riggs on an upcoming collaborative album.
Rico the Zombie has accumulated a significantly large social media fan base of amounting to over 800,000.
Started as an alternative model, Audrey Kitching currently works as an internet blogger, fashion designer and soon to become an author. This pink-haired chic sure has made a huge name for herself in various industries.
Audrey Lynn Kitching, also known for her pink hair and Lisa Frank vibe, is one of Hollywood’s rising internet stars taking the underground by storm. As of 2013, this social media queen has amassed more than 450,000 followers, combining all of her social media accounts.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kitching started her modeling career at the age of 14. She was initially discovered at a hair salon, and since then, she began appearing in newspaper ads. When she graduated high school, she modeled for her photographer friends.
She began posting her photos online and surprisingly, it jumpstarted her blogging career. Apparently, this talented girl doesn’t just model, she also directs her photo shoots.
In an article in Metromix, she is credited with influencing the fashion industry and altering standards of beauty. Also, she’s been credited by the LA Times as influencing the zeitgeist of fashion.
Kitching was the face of many fashion brands like Irregular Choice, Kerol D., and Kohl. She became the spokesmodel for Jared Gold and appeared in a campaign for Ray Ban’s customizable collection, which was featured by Elle Magazine. She also appeared in Vogue Italia.
As an internationally acclaimed model, Airica Michelle has appeared in plenty of tattoo magazines and major publications.
Airica Michelle has been modeling since 2007 and as of now, her social media accounts have amassed over 400,000 fans already.
Born in Orange County, Airica never saw herself as someone who would have lots of tattoos, but when she turned 18, her decision changed. Her first tattoo was the heart outlines on her lower back area. After she had that, she kept getting more every few months.
This model believes that modeling isn’t her profession. For her, “modeling is more as an outlet for creative expression through styling and seeing what kind of images I can create with others.”
Her modeling career began after signing with a modeling website, where she had the chance to work with a talented photographer. Since she already knew what to do and how to pose, the photographer was surprised.
Because of her innate modeling skills, she easily landed modeling jobs. Her first gig was for Hot Topic and Pinky Taylor of Lost. So far, she considers being on the cover of Tattoo Society and OC Weekly as the highlights of her career.
In a short amount of time, Jeffree Star has already accomplished so much. Based on his MySpace account alone, where he first gained popularity, his self-released music already has more than 25 million plays. Now, he continues to dominate the Internet.
Star, a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and a gender-bending alternative model, was born in Los Angeles County, California. He was raised solely by his mother since his father died when he was still 6 years old.
At a young age, he started experimenting with his looks by using his mother’s makeup. He even convinced her to let him wear it school when he was in junior high. After his graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and supported himself through different music, makeup and modeling gigs.
Star recalls his modeling career started when he used fake IDs to attend Hollywood clubs. During that time, he wore mini dresses and nine inch high heels. Celebrities will then contact him for makeup gigs at their homes. They even hire him as a model.
Over the decade, alternative modeling has been the subject of extensive media coverage, partly because of the rise of community-based alternative modeling sites. Regardless of what might be the reason for the rising fame of these alternative models, they sure have made a huge name for themselves.