This past spring, images of Charlie Scheerer's face and well-toned body, as photographed by Bruce Weber for Abercrombie & Fitch, were plastered all over the world.
Scheerer, 21, a senior at Southern Methodist University in Dallas who grew up on the island, was not only pictured in the summer-season catalog 'Casual Luxury,' distributed to over 1.5 million homes worldwide, but was designated as Abercrombie & Fitch's "premier" model for the period from April to June.That made Scheerer the star of all in-store marketing displays at Abercrombie's 348 stores in the United States and Canada and on its Web site, www.abercrombie.com. His image was also posted on 60 billboards positioned at strategic locations in major American cities.
"Charlie completely embodies the A&F lifestyle, from dedicated student to amazing athlete - and all with perfect good looks," said an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesman.
Scheerer's premier status with Abercrombie & Fitch involved making appearances every weekend in spring at the apparel retailer's new Fifth Avenue flagship store in Manhattan.
He was flown up each weekend, issued a pair a cargo shorts and flip-flops - no shirt, of course - and greeted thousands of customers who came through the flagship's doors.
"I think they chose me because I have a personality," said the 6-foot Scheerer, who said that models competing for the position all had great bodies but were not as articulate as he was.
Of course, it helped that Scheerer has always taken care of his physique.
"I lead a healthy lifestyle," he said. "I run a lot, eat healthy and work out regularly."
"Charlie is able to speak and is much more than a pretty face," said mother Sandy Scheerer, who recognized her son's potential as a model when he was 4 years old and he was signed by the Ford agency for a brief period.
His current part-time stint as a model is exciting and surprising to his mother.
"When I was in New York City to see him on the weekends, you would see a shopping bag with his face on it go by and it would just blow me away.
"He was so recognized, it was amazing. At the Abercrombie store, girls would line up to see him," she said. "He even had a bodyguard."
Among the thousands of people he came into contact with, said Sandy Scheerer, was none other than Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani, who noticed Charlie as he passed the Fifth Avenue A&F store one weekend.
"He kept speaking to me in Italian," said Scheerer. "He kept asking me what I needed, how he could help me, if I could come to Milan to do fashion shows. I didn't know who he was at first."
Calling his return to modeling a "bizarre" phenomenon, Sandy Scheerer noted that her eldest son (he has a 15-year-old brother - Joey) happened to be in the right place at the right time and will have a sideline career when he earns a degree in finance.
Scheerer and his mother laud the efforts of Nick Tamposi of P Model Management in West Palm Beach for the opportunity. Tamposi, who used to lived down the block from the Scheerers' Midtown home, thought of his old friend Charlie when a call came in from Abercrombie & Fitch that they were looking for new faces for the summer catalog. Tamposi had track record with A&F casting, having successfully introduced local model Christina Coniglio to the brand the year before.
"I thought Charlie had the right look," said Tamposi, who took a Polaroid of Scheerer and sent that to the Abercrombie & Fitch casting people. Scheerer, still in school in Texas, could not attend the casting call in person.
On the basis of that one Polaroid, Scheerer's modeling career was launched.
"Nick thought I'd be good, and he was right," said Scheerer. "I didn't really have to think about it."
After the A&F shoot in January and his selection as the retailer's "face" of the season, Weber chose Scheerer to appear in a Polo Ralph Lauren print and Internet campaign for the clothes Lauren designed for the Wimbledon tennis championships and a shoot for the September issue of the Italian men's fashion magazine L'Uomo Vogue.
For the rest of the summer, Scheerer's modeling duties are minimal. He is working for a second summer as a research analyst at the Optime Fund Management hedge fund operated by part-time Palm Beacher Dixon Boardman in New York.
When he returns to SMU this fall, he'll spend a semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, but will be model on the side. Tamposi has organized representation for Scheerer with the Flash agency in Milan and the Kult agency in Hamburg, and is researching the possibility of representation for Scheerer at a Danish agency as well.
Scheerer, while going for the modeling gigs full throttle, is not interested in pursuing a career in front of the camera after he graduates.
"It's all very unexpected and has turned out to be a great experience," he said. "I get to travel a lot and meet lots of people."
His post-SMU goal, however, is to land a job in New York in finance.
"I'd like to work in investment banking or for a hedge fund," he said.
Source: Palm Beach Daily News, July 9, 2006