Abercrombie & Fitch Male Model: Carlson Twins

The handsome hunks on the cover of Abercrombie & Fitch's ``A & F Quarterly,'' the hip clothing company's new spring ``magalogue,'' might look somewhat familiar to those in the Stillwater area - from the waist up, at least.

The models are Kyle and Lane Carlson, identical twins and 1997 graduates of Stillwater Area High School.Normally, the Winona State University seniors who work at their father's construction company are fully clothed. But the cover shot features them on a Vespa scooter - nearly naked.

The racy photos continue inside the spring break issue of the ``Quarterly.'' There are the muscular twins diving naked into a pond, standing naked in some cattails next to the pond, playing next to a pool with topless women. In another shot, a group of young women remove their clothes.

The twins discuss the nude shots matter-of-factly and maturely. ``We knew there was going to be some nudity - we'd seen the catalog before - but they show no frontal shots,'' Lane says. ``It's always tastefully done.''

They talked it over with their folks - Rick and Judy Carlson of Stillwater Township - and ``they were cool with everything,'' Lane says. ``My parents are really down to earth and really cool. They trust us. We know our limitations.''

Rick Carlson, who owns Carlson Construction Services Inc., says he did some Internet research on Bruce Weber after he learned that the famous photographer would be shooting his sons. ``I think it was tastefully done,'' he says. ``It was more of a camping atmosphere than a sexual thing. Besides that, the water was so cold that all they could think about was trying to stay warm.''

The well-built business majors, who work out together three to five times a week, got into modeling as a fluke. Lane's girlfriend, Rayna Hendrickson, convinced him to go to a model search at a La Crosse, Wis., hotel one day while they were shopping. As soon as he walked in the door, a scout approached him about modeling. He says her mouth started watering and ``her interest doubled'' when she found out he had an identical twin.

The twins embody the ``All-American wholesome youth lifestyle'' that Abercrombie & Fitch promotes, said Christian Galuppi, a spokesman for the clothing company. The ``magalogue'' is shrink-wrapped due to the nudity and purposely geared to 18- to 25-year-olds, he said. The twins also appear on the front and back cover of the company's spring catalog and are featured prominently on billboards in stores around the country.

Each ``A & F Quarterly'' features new models, so the 300,000-circulation spring issue was Lane and Kyle's one shot at Abercrombie & Fitch stardom.

The company recently flew the twins to New York City for a ``magalogue'' party. They and their parents were featured in a ``Talk of the Town'' piece on the party in last week's ``New Yorker.'' The Carlson family also includes the twins' siblings Michelle, 26; Aaron, 24; and Lynnaya, 20.

``We met Ginger from `Gilligan's Island' and one of the Baldwins. Which one of the Baldwins was it, Jude? Steve Baldwin,'' says Rick Carlson, still somewhat star-struck.

The Carlson boys have also posed in ``L'Uomo Vogue'' and will also appear in a 10-page ``Details'' magazine spread in April. And then there's talk that a Bruce Weber film based on the twin's lives might be in the pipeline. ``He was interested in our growing up in Stillwater,'' Lane says. ``It would be about our life, with extra things involved.''

The 22-year-old twins have started taking acting classes at Winona State. ``We enjoy it. We're not the greatest actors or anything,'' he says. ``We're not going to take over the soap operas or anything.''

Their modeling work has taken them to Santa Barbara, Calif., Miami and New York. ``It's not a whole lot of work when you're doing it. The problem is trying to schedule it,'' Lane says. ``We're both in sports, both in school. They want me to do a shoot back in Minneapolis when I'm in Florida for (baseball) spring training.'' Lane is a relief pitcher for the Winona State baseball team; Kyle plays rugby.

The twins are paid anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 a day ``on the big jobs,'' Lane says. ``We've made some money. It comes in handy for paying off tuition, rent, car payment.''

And for now, he and Kyle plan to continue their high-profile part-time jobs.

``People had always said we should do it, but we had always been kind of standoffish on the whole modeling thing. `No, that's not our style,''' Lane says. ``But when the opportunity presented itself, we said `What the heck.' We never would have guessed that in a million years that it would have turned out like this.''

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 8, 2001

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