We discovered Eustace Collens Jr. on Instagram, who brought up the conversation about the lack of diversity for Big & Tall and mature models.
He’s right! He took the time to allow us to interview him, and he had a lot to stay that’s worth a listen.
Where were you born? St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Ethnicity: West Indian & Dominican
Zodiac Sign: Cancer & Gemini
Favorite things: Good music and food
What music are you listening to at the moment? Maxwell and Marvin Gaye.
What has 2020 taught you?
It taught me tomorrow is not promised, and you must live your life to the fullest. I lost 28 friends to this pandemic, so I am not easily bothered about none sense anymore.
Three things the pandemic forced you to change?
This pandemic has taught me how to grind differently, take things with a grain of salt, and budget my money differently.
Favorite movie and T.V. show?
I don’t have a favorite movie, but my favorite show is Animal Planet.
Favorite designer, fragrance, and beauty/ grooming products?
My favorite designer is Ralph Lauren; I love the fact that he has diversity in his campaign. My favorite fragrance is Bleu de Chanel, and I use Vontage grooming products for my beard.
What would you be doing if you weren’t modeling?
When I am not modeling, I am acting. I am a Sag-Aftra actor.
What’s uncool that you love anyway?
Some people say politics is uncool, but I love to watch MSNBC 23 hours out of the day.
What’s the best thing about your hometown/country?
The people are friendly, the food is excellent, and the beaches are beautiful.
Place you would love to visit?
Which brand would you love to model?
Eustace Collens Jr.: I would love to model for Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss brands.
Do you believe mature models are represented enough?
Eustace Collens Jr.: HELL TO THE NO!!!!!!!!!! After a long hiatus, I decided to re-enter the world of modeling at the age of 54 years young.
I felt that older men and women models and Big & Tall men weren’t represented in the fashion industry. I started a movement in my area and social media to bring awareness to designers, magazines, promoters, and advertising agencies to let them know that we are marketable and relevant in the fashion industry.
The industry claims that they are diverse and not involved in being part of SIZE AND AGE INCLUSIVENESS. I beg to differ. Thank god for social media.
There are several Big & Tall men and mature men groups. I am proud to be part of the movement that fuels the discussion about age and size, inclusiveness, and acceptance.
What does sex appeal mean to you?
Eustace Collens Jr.: I love a woman that can be her natural self. No makeup. Some women wear makeup every day, and you never really get to see how they look.
Favorite modeling experience thus far?
Eustace Collens Jr.: After a year and a half back into the industry, I’ve been published in 23 independent magazines; 6 of them I made the cover which sold exceptionally well. But my favorite moment is being cast to do a photoshoot with iconic female model CoCo Mitchell.
I wasn’t sign with any agency at the time. I was recommended to photographer Jamel Shabazz who had finished shooting Naomi Cambell for Essence magazine. He reviewed my Instagram page and cast me. My second modeling experience was being featured on a Time Square Billboard in New York City.
What are some of your challenges as a model?
Eustace Collens Jr.: “Can I help you?”, “Are you here with your child for castings?”, “Are you part of the security team assigned to this building?” These are some of the questions I get asked when I go to modeling castings. They don’t ask for my comp card first; they want to know if I am lost.
You see, I am not the standard type of model the industry is looking for, but I am what they seriously need. Designers never seem to have my size of clothing, and I do not have an average build. I have a broad chest and shoulders.
Some designers would instead dress a young model than an older model. When it comes to money, I seem to get the designer’s attention. I let them know that older models are not trying to be young; we are just trying to be fashionable and buy the clothes we are wearing straight off the rack after the show.
I have to let designers know that I don’t just wear the clothes; I help sell them. Men and women of my age group view my page to get information about clothing and fashion tips. They don’t have time to go to fashion shows. They want good quality fitting clothes.
Your favorite feature on your body?
Eustace Collens Jr.: My favorite part of my body is my legs. I am bow-legged and pigeon-toed. They call me The Runway Assassin! When I walk the runway, that is the first thing you will notice. I never liked my legs growing up; I was clumsy and would trip over my own feet. Now I embrace them.
Currently, you’re obsessed with or about?
Eustace Collens Jr.: I am just obsessed with this world just opening up so we can go back to normal. I never thought I would miss being around people and just being able to hug them.
Three words that best describe you as a person?
Eustace Collens Jr.: I am a hardworking, good people, focus person.
Eustace Collens Jr.: Shout out to Queensize Magazine editor Tawana Blassingame @queensizemagazine and Gwen Devore @fffweek, @sliverfoxmodelcamp, Ja’dee Murphy @jadeemurphy4u, and all the models that feel that they are overlooked. Don’t give up. #itsourtime
Stay Social With Eustace Collens Jr.
All photographs Ja’Dee Murphy @jadeemurphy4u