When I sat down to write this post about my time with Red Model Management's Caesar Stovall, I thought long and hard about what to lead with. Should I start with how polite he is? i interviewed him outside and he apologized for the brief rain that came. Or should I start with how I was captivated by his slight accent? He was born in Chicago but raised in the south. Maybe I could talk about his All-American good looks that could make even the most jaded New Yorker break out into Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA"?
Okay! How about this? At just 25 years old, Stovall's been deployed three times, walked for Givenchy and would much rather be respected as a person than see his face on every billboard in Times Square. "Sometimes you do have to do things that require you to go above and beyond the call of duty but never to disrespect yourself. There will be more opportunities," Stovall said.
Even coming from an intense military background, Stovall notes that there can be pressures being a male model. He briefly talks about maintaining a certain diet and sizes plus how it's crazy competitive, especially for models of color. It picks at him but it doesn't seem to bother him as much anymore.
"You're sitting in a room full of European mannequins and they all kinda look the same and you wonder to yourself 'What are you doing there?' Being in the castings as the only model of color? It's kinda expected," Stovall said. He does let me know that his agency is an advocate for pushing all models of color.
This from the agent who originally disliked Stovall! He tells me that during their first meeting, it was definitely a power struggle. However, Stovall had photographer Joseph Bleu on his side. It was Bleu who urged Stovall's agent to send him on a casting which was the aforementioned Givenchy show. Caesar said his agent expected him not to get the job so he could tell Joe Bleu how Stovall was trash.
When asked what his end goal was for the next 5 to 10 years, Stovall wasn't sure. He "recently put a lot of money on the books" which was a good sign in terms of his modeling career. Even still, he very much enjoys his trips home where he can "just slow down and breathe."
I asked Caesar about his personal style and he chuckled, saying how it took him awhile to even put on a pair of fitted jeans. However, with a penchant for brands like H&M, Banana Republic, G-Star Raw and Gilded Age, Stovall described his style as "a cross between swagger and class, grown man meets young man." It goes without saying that Caesar Stovall definitely has swagger! As we walked through Chelsea and the Meatpacking District to snap a few photos, he wasted no time delivering in front of the camera.
The strapping model, who still travels to Fort Jackson for military duties, is also a firm believer in helping others when they come to him. "Nobody ever gets anywhere without somebody's help," he says. He advises others to invest in their future because that is exactly what he did. Caesar took runway classes which taught him how to walk and, more importantly, how to command the presence of a room. "That energy, that effervescence, that aura…it's what modeling is all about. It's all about who commands."
Model Caesar Stovall (Red Model Management) for a That Fashion Dude exclusive