Male model Jeremy Meeks will never embrace his 'hot convict' title as it isn't really him. The fashion star is currently the face of Philipp Plein and has already hit the runway several times, though prior to this he had spent nearly two years in prison for weapons and gang charges. It was his 2014 mugshot that garnered him the nickname after going viral, but Meeks doesn't want his criminal offences to define his identity forever.
"I definitely will never embrace the 'hot convict' brand," Meeks, who has three daughters with his wife Melissa and a long criminal history stemming back to the early 2000s, sighed to Forbes. "I guess that eventually it will fade. I don't want to embrace that image, 'cause that's not really me – I am more than what they portray me to be. I'm a father, I'm a God-fearing man and I have a huge heart. A lot of people are scared when they meet me, but within two minutes, they say, they'll fall in love with me and tell me that I'm not at all like what they were expecting."
Meeks made his catwalk debut during Philipp Plein's New York Fashion Week show in September 2016 and most recently walked exclusively for the label along with Plein Sport in Milan earlier this week. On top of this he's the face of Philipp Plein's campaigns and has formed a close relationship with the designer
"My first encounter with Philipp was a good one. Philipp's a good dude – he made me feel comfortable," Meeks, 33, recalled. "A lot of models backstage were like, 'How are you not nervous?' And I was like, 'Errm no, isn't this, like, your 20th show?' (laughs). I was excited - not one show have I been nervous."
Another perk of the job is being able to travel, with Meeks describing himself as "very blessed" to have landed a career in fashion.