Sean O’Pry EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW "Good Ol’ Georgia Boy”

July 15, 2016 2:00 PM



Fashion’s hottest male model get’s a dirty makeover and muses about the simple life.


When clad in a leather jacket and jeans, his hair slicked down on the sides and his skin marked with grease, Sean O’Pry bears a striking resemblance to James Dean, the archetypal mixture of emotive depth and masculine grit. The association is neither unexpected nor particularly innovative: Dean is a worthy barometer for any good-looking man in leather. Yet to watch O’Pry in front of the camera is to recognize that a comparison of the young model to the iconic actor goes beyond a simple physical likeness. The 22-year-old native of Kennesaw, Georgia has a healthy amount of Dean’s natural swagger and ease on film, moving as comfortably in his jacket and stretched-out tank as he does in a button-down oxford or with no shirt at all.

O’Pry’s apparent effortlessness in accompaniment to his undeniably photogenic face, was doubtless a major factor in his almost meteoric rise to fame. In 2009, only three years after he was discovered through prom photos on his MySpace page, Forbes named him “Most Successful Male Model.” While such achievement is enough to inflate anyone’s ego to dangerous proportions, O’Pry is quick to attribute his success to his manager, Lana Winters Tomczak, and is openly grateful for her support, as well as that of his close-knit group of family and friends. Despite his relatively young age, he is remarkably and even admirably levelheaded. On this level, he shares little with the temperamental Jim Stark of Rebel Without a Cause or the moody and cynical Cal Trask of East of Eden.

Nor does O’Pry share James Dean’s own penchant for danger, insisting that he would much rather play golf or fish than race cars. Considering himself at times as “a cat with a ball of string,” he has learned during his six years as a model to take as much out of the experience as possible, and to be easily satisfied rather than easily annoyed. Thus, despite being jetlagged during our interview from a flight from Berlin, he remains positive and passionate about his choice of careers. Recognizing that “this job has given me so much,” he is eager for the opportunities modeling allows him to give back. “It’s a gift to be able to do that,” he says earnestly. “This will be the first interview where I admit it’s not a bad gig.”



Are there particular projects you’ve especially enjoyed or people you’ve really liked working with?

I really haven’t worked on a really un-enjoyable shoot in my career. I just worked with Madonna, and that was pretty cool. But everyone has different things, different personalities, that are all so appealing to me. You can’t really name-out one because people are individuals. There’s something nice about everyone, and there’s something great about working with him or her. So I’m going to narrow it down to Madonna.

Has it been hard dealing with your success?

I didn’t know how to handle it at first. Truthfully, I didn’t. I could have been a little bit of a prick at that time. I was seventeen! But I’ve been so lucky to encounter people who just keep teaching me lessons about life and how to deal with things. It’s still a growing process; the career developed fast, and maybe me not so much. But I’m definitely working on it. It’s getting to be enjoyable now instead of a chore. Certain aspects, like getting on a flight—now I can enjoy getting on a flight, talking to people, and not just having to worry about the job. I’m taking this job for everything it is and everything it has to give. Before, I was really underappreciating what I had, but now I’m definitely ten times more appreciative.

Clearly, your manager has been really important to you. Are there people in your life who have been particularly helpful or supportive?

I have the best friends and family a guy could ask for. I have a gorgeous 16-year-old sister, Shannon and an older brother, Chris, who’s 24 turning 25. I have a great mom, Caran, and a great dad, John. I’ve been friends with the same guys since I was four or five years old, Randy, Antoine, Matt, Adam and Chris. I just have a really close-knit, small group. It’s like, when the music video with Madonna came out, my uncle Rick called me right away and told me how happy he was. I didn’t even see it yet! I had just gotten off a flight, and I had thirteen or fourteen voicemails. I talk to my mom and dad every day. I come from a very close-knit life, and I have the best grandparents ever. Every time I’m back, I spend the night at my Pa-pa’s, or I go see my grandma in Florida. I just have a great surrounding around me, and I think that’s what kept me grounded the most. I’m only an hour-and-ahalf away from home in New York, but you feel so far away. Just talking to my little sister after school, I’m right back there. It’s really nice.

What are your other passions outside of modeling?

I golf—I golf quite a bit. I wakeboard during the summer with my buddies back in Georgia. Randy, Antoine, Adam, and Chris, we all just wakeboard all summer, which is really beautiful. It’s on this great Lake Allatoona, and we go around to different lakes now and do it. And I fish. I have a huge passion for fishing. I’m probably a shitty fisherman, but I really love to fish. I could sit on a boat for twenty-four hours and be completely content with my life. I really love fishing, and I work on my cars.

What else comes to mind when you hear the words love and passion? How does it influence your work?

I have a huge passion for this job. There are certain jobs where I’ll find out what the theme of the job is, and I’ll just try to create it. I definitely get into it. As for love, I have a love and a hate for this job. I told you that this job has given me so much. I can’t be an ass and say I hate it, I hate being a male model. This will be the first interview where I admit it’s not a bad gig. But I hate the job too, because I’d love to see my family more. But so would everybody. Some people would love to travel more. I’d replace some of that travel to see my family. Everyone’s going to have a problem with something. Mine just happens to be being away from home. I’m a good ol’ Georgia boy.


All clothes by DIOR HOMME





HAIR: ANNA BERNABE @Eamgmt for Oribe Hair Care

MAKE UP: CHICHI SAITO @B Agency NY for M.A.C cosmetics





related posts

BreeLayne / Designer and Actress


"Introducing a spirituality and integration of sustainable luxury designer"

April 27, 2016 11:00 AM  |  People


TWELV Magazine recently visited filmmaker and designer, Jennifer Elster, at her studio, The Development.

March 06, 2016 8:00 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #8: MORGANE LE FAY - Liliana Casabal Interview

"Introducing an extremely talented designer"

January 23, 2016 3:00 PM  |  People
Photo by Noritaka Tatehana

Noritaka Tatehana Exclusive Interview

The talented young Japanese designer, Noritaka Tatehana, who collaborated with Iris Van Herpen to design Lady Gaga’s shoes.

November 03, 2015 10:00 AM  |  People
Photo Credit: Chris Schoonover


Formerly known as Smoosh, Asy and Chloe Saavedra of Chaos Chaos have always been a sister-sister duo.

October 12, 2015 10:00 AM  |  People

THE KNOCKS Takes Tokyo

Recently, electro-pop duo, The Knocks, visited Japan to perform in the ARC+TWELV party at ARC, a newly opened venue in Tokyo.

October 11, 2015 11:00 AM  |  People

CAVERNS Interview

TWELV had privilage of chatting with our friends from the band Caverns. The trio hail from NYC and are pretty much all over the music scene here!

July 26, 2015 11:00 AM  |  People

Michael Phillips Moskowitz, eBay Chief Curator & Ed. Director, Interview

TWELV Magazine had the pleasure of connecting with Michael Phillips Moskowitz, the Global Chief Curator & Editorial Director at eBay.

July 22, 2015 10:00 AM  |  People


"Introducing a new generation of designers" 

July 16, 2015 2:00 PM  |  People

Mai Mukaida Interview

Makeup Artist / CEO, Lalitpur.

Believes in the power of cosmetic

and lives with women in Nepal.

June 11, 2015 10:00 AM  |  People


With the fabulous Chloe 81, the oysterrific Chloe 81 Blue Room and the recently opened Farmhouse Restaurant, M Kouger has established an essential trifecta of entertainment in NYC’...

May 19, 2015 1:30 PM  |  People


"Introducing a new generation of designers"

April 30, 2015 1:47 PM  |  People


Street Fashion Photographer

and Style Blogger.

Loves in Street and the Beyond


April 26, 2015 9:36 AM  |  People

Interview: The Refined Opulence of Hoorsenbuhs

The Hoorsenbuhs name has become synonymous with exclusivity, craftsmanship, and opulence.  Once nothing more than the ambitious brainchild of creator Robert Keith, the brand has become a staple in...

April 14, 2015 6:06 PM  |  People


 "Introducing a new generation of designers"

March 17, 2015 3:51 PM  |  People


A few years ago, TWELV Magazine got the chance to chat with one of today’s biggest TV stars – Norman Reedus.

February 24, 2015 6:45 PM  |  People


IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang


February 19, 2015 11:21 PM  |  People

Travis Bass Interview

New York’s Greenwich Village is now home to a new and amazing club created by the ultimate party planner/Pop Up Club designer, Travis Bass, called ZAZOU.

January 24, 2015 3:59 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #4: SAUNDER - Emily Saunders interview

 "Introducing a new generation of designers"

January 13, 2015 5:42 PM  |  People

NEW TYPE #3: GLORIA YU interview

"Introducing a new generation of designers" 

December 30, 2014 4:31 PM  |  People

IKEMEN #28: CJ Swanton & Mariko Derpa

IKEMEN (ē´k´mɛn): Japanese Slang


December 15, 2014 11:14 AM  |  People

NEW TYPE #2: VINTI ANDREWS - Vinti Tan and Paul Andrews INTERVIEW

"Introducing a new generation of designers"

December 01, 2014 1:42 PM  |  People


"Introducing a new generation of designers"

November 08, 2014 2:06 PM  |  People


TWELV's Behind the Scenes takes a step back and visits the masterminds behind the camera.

November 07, 2014 4:54 PM  |  People
SITE BY: monocomplex©Marbles & Marbles International Inc.
▲ back to top ▲