My Gay Paris: Gay Icon, Jean-Baptiste Giabiconi

Nowadays, model Jean-Baptiste Giabiconi might be known as the face of Chanel, but the 21 year-old began his life in France—though not, as it happens, in gay Paris. Disappointingly for his many French fans, it was only when Corsican-born Giabiconi moved to the US that his career really took off …

Jean-Baptiste GiabiconiFrench Roots

Born in the small town of Marignane on the outskirts of Marseille, a few hours’ drive from Nice, Giabiconi moved to New York aged just 18.

A few months later, he was spotted by German designer, artist and photographer Karl Lagerfeld, who instantly took a shine to him and hired him to model for Chanel’s spring collection which went on show that October in Paris.

Lagerfeld’s Muse

Since then, the partnership between the two men has gone from strength to strength, with Giabiconi becoming a regular fixture on Chanel runways, as well as modelling for some of Lagerfeld’s personal projects like Karl Lagerfeld eyewear.

His role as a muse to the 78 year-old German designed goes behind merely modelling clothes and accessories, though: Giabiconi is frequently photographed wearing other peoples’ clothes (and none at all …) by Lagerfeld in publications as diverse as Japanese Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Helmut Newton

In one memorable project, Lagerfeld decided to pay hommage to Helmut Newton, whose photos of female nudes is world-famous. Who better to pose in nothing else but a pair of provocative high heels than the photographer’s favourite muse, Giabiconi? He does look pretty good in those shoes, after all …

In another, Lagerfeld put Giabiconi on the front of Wallpaper* magazine with a sticker representing his designer suit. Curious customers could easily peal it off to reveal a naked Giabiconi underneath …

Private Life

Rumours abound, finally, about Giabiconi’s personal life. He did get one of his first ever breaks in a photo shoot for French gay magazine Têtu (at the tender age of 18), but the model himself is tight-lipped about his own private life …

Still, his constant presence both on and off the catwalk and with and without a shirt are enough to make him a gay icon if you ask us …

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