“The Noblest form of Affection” – Oscar Wilde
A Guilty Pleasure… That is a term that perfectly describes Aussie beefcake Nick Youngquest. Nick rose to fame in the fashion world by becoming the face of Paco Rabanne’s fragrance ‘Invictus’ while he was a rugby player for the Australian team, Castleford Tigers. Besides having a body that can totally make you feel both weak in the knees and a bit guilty by simply glancing at it, Nick is an impressive individual known for his endless work as an LGBT advocate and for other charitable causes. We decided to take Nick on a trip through the streets of LA’s Art District to capture that one perfect image – a juxtaposition of masculine beauty against urban rawness.
Nick Youngquest – A Guilty Pleasure
Black Chalk – You’re making a dramatic transition from sports to fashion modeling. Why fashion? What appeals to you about it?
Nick Youngquest – Fashion is very interesting, from the people involved on various levels, to the total contrasts in the way in which people express themselves through what they wear. I think it is a great platform to help people be themselves and wear what they like in order to show who they are.
Black Chalk – How did you launch your modeling career into today’s world?
Nick Youngquest – While I was a rugby player, I did a number of calendars in Australia and Europe supporting various charities, such as raising money for breast cancer. It was something I was happy to do and help generate awareness in any way from being a professional athlete – mind you I wasn’t modeling much as they were naked calendars!
Black Chalk – What is the message behind “Nick Youngquest?”
Nick Youngquest – I would like to think I have a unique outlook on life and how we fit into a much larger story. I would love to see a world without judgement and the superficial facade that people think they have to show. Since retiring from rugby, I have very much aligned myself with a mentality of mindfulness and presence. The past has happened and the future will happen, the only time to experience life is now.
Black Chalk – Let’s talk about giving back, as a big part of your modeling and sports career has been about lending your voice to those who need it most. Why is giving back so important to you?
Nick Youngquest – I was lucky enough to play sport professionally and realized that I had a voice for people out there who felt vulnerable or like they didn’t quite fit in. It is important to me because I know that I can’t change the perception of people on certain things, but I know that I can influence those who feel vulnerable in a way that makes them more comfortable and cared for – that realization was super powerful for me.
Black Chalk – What is your philosophy on fashion?
Nick Youngquest – I am pretty chill really, pair of jeans, sneakers and T shirt, it’s when I feel most comfortable!
Black Chalk – What was your first modeling job? What did you learn from it?
Nick Youngquest – First modeling job…likely the calendars, but I remember shooting with Bruce Weber in 2008 and being very raw…it was certainly a great experience, I learned that a lot goes into getting the perfect shot and sometimes you sit around for a long time – I was very different back then, I am much calmer now, ha!
Black Chalk – What’s your ‘never leave home without it’ fashion piece? Why?
Nick Youngquest – Underwear. Wearing jeans or pants without them is gross…need I say more?
Black Chalk – What it is like being a sex symbol? How do you deal with the difference in the way people see you versus the reality of who you are?
Nick Youngquest – I don’t really see myself that way, but it is obviously not a bad thing…I really hope that people are able to listen and read things people say, as it is a truer indication of who they really are…at the core, we are all special beings, the outside is just a facade to what’s underneath and it’s what is found there that really matters.
Black Chalk – You seem like you are an individual who is very comfortable in his own body. Was it always this way?
Nick Youngquest – I was a gymnast since I was young and I was constantly at the beach, so I was always ok with my body, but I can appreciate it is difficult for some people in the world in which we live. I actually posted a pic on Instagram last week highlighting my bent nose – that’s been broken many times – trying to show a side of me that others may associate with in this context – it’s my nose, it’s been broken, so what! I hope I was able to make others to sit back and be like – “I am unique because….”
Black Chalk – Now for what every model dreads – have you ever personally had a wardrobe malfunction?
Nick Youngquest – Yes! I dance a little crazy when I’m out and I dropped it low and split my pants, so I decided to rip that leg off and continue the night with only one leg covered…come to think of it, I was in a wedding party and the same thing happened too – I can drop pretty low!
Black Chalk – Anything we should keep our eyes open for from you in the future?
Nick Youngquest – I am looking to deepen my knowledge and understanding of yoga and really take it out there to others and help in anyway I can. There are so many yoga teachers out there, but unfortunately the integrity gets lost a little when it’s taught in the western world, I hope I can be able to teach with the integrity and dedication the practice deserves.