VALENTINE, 66, is an independently wealthy philanthropist who modeled for Elite in New York (from 1979-81) during the Studio 54 heydays and the AIDS epidemic. He then traveled around the world using his modeling credentials to pay for his extensive travels.
He was the first professional model in most markets and the first New York high fashion model in all. He began in Mexico, then went on to Sydney where he pushed an 18 year old Elle Macpherson to model in New York, and when she hesitated, pushed his Chadwick’s head booker Stuart Cameron to take her there and manage her.
He modeled in Singapore at a time when junks dominated the harbor and Manchu styled addicts smoked opium on sacks of rice. He sang some of his showtunes like “Singapore Girls” and “My Girl’s Chinese” with the Singapore orchestra. He modeled in huge cities like Hong Kong where he also recorded a few songs for a musical he was writing in his spare time, and Tokyo where models were treated like rock stars.
He was the first western model in “red” China at a time when every citizen wore identical black changhsan outfits and rode identical black bicycles. They would stop in the many hundreds to behold Valentine and golden haired female models in colorful Chinese garments forbidden to Chinese citizens but for sale in western markets at the start of China’s transformation into a world economy.
He modeled for a season in London and Paris before returning to the US to study music in Las Vegas and Chicago. He then moved to LA, modeling only occasionally for the several clients who sought him out for large jobs.
When a young model recently pointed out that older models are now in demand, Valentine decided to put his look out again. He looks forward to reconnecting with the fun fashion crowd he always loved.