David Hand | PH: Ean Nigel
David Hand | PH: Ean Nigel

Model Watch: Meet David Hand

David Hand

At 52, David Hand is entering the modeling industry swinging. His edgy look attracts brands globally with the new inclusion push we see in mainstream media.

Agency, if any: EMG Models, NYC

Age: 52

Height: 6’0”

Instagram: @misterdavidhand

Where were you born? Connecticut. But don’t hold that against me.

Ethnicity: Scottish & Surinamese

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius, but you probably already guessed that.

Favorite things: Coffee and runway.

What music are you listening to at the moment? J. Cole “Neighbors”.

Favorite movie, tv show: Blade Runner (original and 2049). Goodfellas. Westworld. Each one is a masterpiece.

David Hand | PH: Harry Ondoa
David Hand | PH: Harry Ondoa

Favorite designer, fragrance or grooming/beauty product: It’s the designers I see around me in NYC who set me on fire. Too many to name, but think Jag & Co. (who I rep), Dope Tavio, Bobby Day, Larry Underwood. Grooming? Scotch Porter for strong beard game. And the It Cosmetics “Confidence” line is pure face magic.

What would you be doing if you weren’t modeling? Gnawing at the straps of my straightjacket.

What’s something uncool that you love anyway? My iPhone SE. People laugh when I whip it out, thinking it’s a 4 and assuming I’m beyond the age of grasping current technology. But I love it. It’s the last Steve Jobs iPhone before things got stupid. Stupid large. Stupid generic. Stupid expensive. (Now watch me get an X by the time this drops – I need that cam in my life!)

What’s the best thing about your hometown/country? It’s diversity. Over 800 dialects are spoken in Queens, NY. It’s the most diverse place on Earth.

Place you would love to visit: Suriname. Birthplace of my grandmother, whom I never knew. Many people have never heard of it, but once you say, “Next door to Guyana”, people start to get it. Like Guyana and Belize, Suriname is considered to be culturally Caribbean. Like Queens, it’s among the most diverse places on Earth.

David Hand | PH: Amauris Hernandez
David Hand | PH: Amauris Hernandez

Which brand would you like to model? I’m a big fan of Tom Ford. It’s hard for me to find a look of his I wouldn’t stunt.

Favorite modeling experience so far? I walked into a casting for KITH’s NYFW show this season. It was me and two dozen 20-year-olds. Greg Lauren cast me and fitted me personally. He is wonderful. And the show was beyond spectacular. Do you know how hard it is to hold a pose while Lebron James walks by you, giving the “thank you” gesture? I found out. It has set the bar high, early in my modeling experience. Many thanks to @kith and @greglauren for recognizing inclusion.

Favorite season? F/W, whether we’re talking by the calendar or collections. Layers. Coats. Sweaters. Boots. LIFE.

David Hand | PH: Morgan Lee
David Hand | PH: Morgan Lee

Favorite junk food? Dunkin’s Mint Brownie Batter Donut. It’s the one and the only thing I like about St. Patrick’s Day. Instagram followers MAY have seen me consume an occasional donut at other times of the year, as well.

Where do you feel the most stuck in your modeling career? The USA. I’m not a pretty boy. My look is a little beat-up and dangerous. I get off on crossing lines of propriety and sexuality. The words “safe” and “normal” are offensive to me. All of that scares the conservative sensibilities of mainstream American brands. But I’m not here to be in ads for khakis, insurance, or dick pills. I could go that way and make lots of money. It’s not about money. Instead, bring me fashion by brands that define the edge.

Let’s make people gag, and leave them questioning the meaning of their lives. I’ve made huge strides recently in paving the way for my entry to Europe, Asia, Mexico, the Caribbean, South Africa, and South America. I’ll be making those moves soon.

David Hand | PH: Corey Tucker
David Hand | PH: Corey Tucker

Currently, you’re obsessed with or about? A year ago, I stepped out on the runway for the first time, in Fashion Week Brooklyn, wearing a suit by Togos Victor Agbeve. Since then, I have gained a family of models, designers, stylists, makeup artists, producers, etc., whom I adore and with whom I share limitless support.

I told myself I’d walk as many runways as I could in my first year, and I have. So now I’m obsessed with giving back. I’m doing everything I can to help other aspiring models get in the game, teaching them and learning from them as I advance my own career.

3 Words that best describe you as a person? Hungry (no, seriously, I’m hungry all the time). Genuine. Immature.

David Hand | PH: AZU Photography for The Bespoke Room
David Hand | PH: AZU Photography for The Bespoke Room

Favorite entertainer or public personality? RuPaul Charles. He is an icon of drive and tenacity, who blazed his own path by his own rules. He is a passionate champion of the LGBTQIA community who has transcended the mainstream without compromising an ounce of his charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.

At 57, he is decades into a career that continues to grow, exponentially. In many ways, I think he’s just getting started.

Favorite quote? “Man’s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn.” Scottish poet, Robert Burns. I know — a downer. But godDAYUM why do we keep oppressing and killing each other?

Any shoutouts? My hub and my son – the bedrock of my life, @nextmodelsmia for my first signing; @emg_models; the designers, stylists, photographers, hair & makeup artists, without whose talents and grace I’d be nothing; my NYC MODEL FAMILY – to name just a few – Charles, Cyrene, Bamba, Gio, Xavier, Onikwa, Eustace, Garrett, Eric, Terrell, Odulare, Olivia, Norka, Brandon, and Awa; and the five Kings who were the first to believe in me as a contender in this game: Runway Coach Alva Page; Photographer Ean Nigel; BK Style Foundation’s Rick Davy & Jerry Brown; and Photographer Jason Mickle, who discovered me and developed me. The love I have for these men knows no bounds.

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