Meet Sam Thomas, Australia's 24-year-old home grown hottie about to take the European modeling market by storm. He's tall, muscular, tattooed and equipped with piercing green eyes, campaigns for PETA, donates to Darfur and claims his Brazilian girlfriend is his inspiration for living. And as the new face of Armani for 2008, it's time to meet Sam and begin the obsession before the rest of the worldfollows suit.
Born June 17th, 1983 in Syndey, Australia, to working class parents,model Samuel Nicholas Thomas (who goes affectionately by Nick withfriends) has left quite an impressive dent on the fashion industry inhis short three years of full-time modeling. Dropping out of a UTSBusiness degree to pursue modeling full-time at the advice ofAustralian fashion legend Alex Perry, Sam relocated to Europe to hunthis big break - but struggled to maintain his model-mojo under thepressures of a drug problem and a broken heart.
Says the model, "The first time I went to Europe I missed mygirlfriend, El. Even a day without her would send me a bit mental,man. I'd had a bit of trouble with substance in the past and being sofar from home, without her, without my family, without my friends...yeah, it gets to 'ya a bit. I wasn't thinking straight."
Returning home with the intention of reuniting with his girlfriend,who Thomas claims was "not impressed I'd come back. She saw it asgiving up and couldn't believe I'd been doing drugs again," Thomasre-evaluated his life and concentrated on getting sober. Becoming afast favourite in Australian mens magazine, Men's Health, Thomasdiscovered a loyal fan base of females and slowly became aCOSMOPOLITAN regular before returning to Europe. "It's wicked whenpeople start to know who you are. Changes life a lot, makes you feelthat bit supported in what you're doing."
But his second try for European stardom had initially failed. Hailed"a bad example for aspiring male models everywhere" due to his tempentdrug abuse history, Thomas was slammed by fashion media and shunned bythe best in the business - until Dolce & Gabanna hired the rising starto appear in their Fall collection. Impressed by his attitude and rockstar appearance, the fashion house hired Thomas to walk for 4consecutive shows and front their winter collection.
The tattooed model soon gained the European acceptance he had set outto achieve, walking the runways of Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs, Gucci,Gaultier, Penny DeMitchel and Stella McCartney and by 2008, Thomas hadsigned a lucrative deal with Armani as the face for their malecampaign. But rubbing shoulders with the best in the model business isnot something likely to go to the models head. "I don't really enjoythe whole publicity thing. One thing I'm trying to preserve is myrelationship with my girlfriend - it will all come out eventually butwhile we can keep it a secret and private, I'm not giving you anyinformation. I don't really consent to interviews and stuff - I'm nottrying to hide, but I don't really want fame. I see what it does topeople."
So for now, the animal-rights advocate and free-time rocker isfocusing on one goal, "Being happy. I have someone to love, a familythat loves me, friends I'd kill for and a career I can't get enoughof. Mission accomplished?"
Accomplished is right.