VALENTINE, 62, is an independently wealthy philanthropist who modeled for Elite in New York during the Studio 54 heydays and the AIDS epidemic. He then traveled extensively around the world using his modeling credentials to provide easy passage between borders and great connections and social life.
He was the first western model in some markets, the first professional model in most, and the first New York grade high fashion model in all. He began in Mexico, then went on to Sydney where he pushed and pushed an 18 year old Elle Macpherson to go to New York, and when she dragged her feet, pushed and pushed his booker Stuart Cameron to take her there and manage her.
He modeled in Singapore at a time when junks dominated the harbor and Asian opium addicts reclined on sacks of rice. He sang some of his Broadway showtunes like “Singapore Girls” and “My Girl’s Chinese” with the Singapore orchestra. He modeled and sang in out of the way places like the little Portuguese gambling colony of Macau, and in huge cities like Tokyo, and Hong Kong where he recorded a few songs he wrote for a musical he was writing, then tried them out on the humorous ex-pats at the Aussie pub Ned Kelly’s Last Stand in Kowloon.
He was the first western model in “red” China at a time when every citizen wore the same black pajamas and rode the same black bicycles. They would stop to see Valentine and later an 18 year old natural blonde female model from Alabama modeling colorful Chinese garments forbidden to citizens and instead destined for western markets at the very beginning of China’s transformation into a world economy. Hundreds then thousands would stop to see these fashion shoots, laughing hysterically at Valentine’s wacky physical humor during camera roll changes, (in Mexico they called him “cartoon”), happy for a few moments to forget the harsh realities of their oppressed impoverished lives. At the end of shoots these crowds would crush forward to touch the female model’s mystifying golden hair they were seeing for the first time. Even the 5 star hotel often ran out of food, forcing Valentine down to the Quanzhou river to eat boiled snake with some of the local boys.
He then modeled in London and Paris but only for a short time since it was cold and boring compared to where he’d just been. He returned to the US and modeled only occasionally over the years for clients who sought him out.
Now looking to start a new chapter in his life, he took a model friend’s suggestion and was pleasantly surprised to see models his age comprising 20% of men’s divisions! Still in shape from doing 1,000 sit-ups a day and daily workouts for 40 years, eating an organic diet with food-based supplements, and adopting a “happiness is the healthiest state of mind” attitude, his body is better than it ever was. With a look well suited to the lucrative boomer market, Valentine hopes to reconnect with the fashion crowd he always loved.