Max Irons in New York on Jan. 19.
Photo: Getty Images
When we found out that actor Max Irons (yep, the son of Jeremy Irons) was the new face of Macy’s INC, we pored over his spring/summer campaign images and pined for the chance at seeing that chiseled jaw in person. So when we were invited to meet and interview Max about his new modeling gig, we fired up our digital recorders, scrawled a slew of questions in our oh-so-official journo notepad, and immediately hoofed over to The London Hotel on a crazy-cold Thursday morning. Ushered into the all-marble lobby, we were ferried up to the 50th floor in an elevator lined with mirrors where we could panic-fix our wandering liquid eyeliner and fix our damp hat hair because, you know, smudged makeup and matted follicles are the ONLY thing standing in the way of making Max OURS.
We were momentarily distracted by a pile of croissants in this gigantic room with a great view, but then, we saw him. Max swans in wearing a black suit and gray tee, looking every bit the hot guy from a vodka commercial. “Hi, I’m Max,” he says, a bajillion feet tall and in a thick British accent. We sat down and then he crossed his legs, at which point we noticed he wasn’t wearing socks, which combined with his unwavering eye-contact thing left us at a COMPLETE loss for words. Thankfully he was cool and we talked about modeling with Kate Moss, his girlfriend and actress Emily Browning, women’s trends that he can’t abide by, and, whatever, it’s all below so check it out. Just do us a favor, as you read his answers, imagine it all in British accent paired with a screwy smile. It’s the beeeeeesssst.
Max Irons for Macy’s INC.
Photo: Courtesy of Macy’s
MTV STYLE: Is it true that you were discovered by Mario Testino walking down the street?
MAX IRONS: Well, I was having a fight with my girlfriend. We’d been to the video store. You always have fights in video stores and as we were walking back, she was on one side of the street, and I was on the other yelling across the street, and this big black SUV pulled up. He got out and said, “I’m a photographer, here’s my card, and I’d like you to come and meet with me.” I had no idea who he was and I said to my girlfriend, “This guy who looks a bit like the playwright Tom Stoppard (ed note: Stoppard is knighted, won an Oscar, four Tonys, and UM HI, WHAT GORGEOUS DUDE KNOWS WHAT PLAYWRIGHTS LOOK LIKE???!) just came up to me and invited me down to his office.” And she said, “That’s Mario Testino.” And that was it. It’s kind of nuts.
What was modeling with Kate Moss for the Burberry campaign like?
Quite exciting, actually, because I used to have a big crush on her. She did a shoot for Missoni, quite a long time ago, and she looked gorgeous in that, and I used to have it all over my room at school.
What did you guys even talk about? Did she give you any modeling tips?
A bit, but I was so blocked up with nerves.
So, you’ve modeled for Burberry, Mango, and now you’re the face of Macy’s INC. How do you choose who you want to work with?
The clothes have to appeal to you. INC’s classic stuff with kind of a modern twist, and it’s the kind of stuff that I like to wear so I feel very comfortable in it.
Where do you shop?
Macy’s, obviously. [laughs] Selfridges in London. I find shopping quite stressful and it also has a bar in it, which is quite good if you get really tired. That makes it more bearable.
Shopping’s that bad, huh? Who are some of your favorite designers or brands?
I recently discovered Raf Simons. Really like that. It’s incredibly expensive, and I can’t afford most of it, but Lanvin is pretty good. Prada. A.P.C. ACNE.
Oh, good selection. Favorite style icons?
Speaking of Tom Waits, any other musicians who influence your style?
I’ll tell you who I always think is so well put together—Pharrell.
OH MY GOD, SERIOUSLY. WE LOVE PHARRELL.
He’s just so cool. He gets it right. I saw him recently at the MET ball, and he’s just awesome. The White Stripes, they’re pretty cool. I always come undone at questions like this. Yeah, the White Stripes and Pharrell.
OK, pop quiz: name some things that every guy should have in his wardrobe. Go.
A good pair of jeans. I love coats. Nice coats. And it’s so cold in England so it’s a good investment. Yeah, I like to keep things simple. I don’t particularly like clutter.
What’s one item in your wardrobe you could not live without?
I’ve got a Prada coat, it’s incredibly simple but the cut is just perfect. And when you’re quite tall, for some reason when you’re wearing a long coat, it makes you feel more safe. You can put your hands in it, you can hide away in it.
Max Irons for Macy’s INC.
Photo: Courtesy of Macy’s
So, it’s like your security coat. Speaking of tall, you’re miles taller than your girlfriend Emily Browning, but do you ever share clothes?
She likes to chop things up. Some of my stuff she takes off my hands.
Nice one. So she just runs off with stuff? Like what?
I had a silk shirt. I never thought I’d own a silk shirt, but I did. But it got so frayed that she took it off my hands and cut it to pieces.
Like, she destroyed it or she made a crop top?
No, not like a crop top. I don’t know, she tucked it in and made it look cool.
Yeah, we love the way she puts things together. Aplomb for days.
She dresses really well. If you were to ask her who influenced her clothes, she’d be talking for a long time. I do look at her in admiration, thinking she’s quite experimental and she can really put an outfit together in a way that I simply haven’t got the imagination for.
Does she ever pick out clothes for you when you go shopping together?
Eh, she knows I’m quite difficult and that I’m quite boring in what I choose to wear compared to her, so bits and pieces, yeah, but not so much.
Is there any trend you don’t like? Like, most humans would probably say Uggs.
Uggs are good though. They’re comfortable! I mean if I could wear Uggs, I definitely would [laughs] but I’ve been warned against it. Some of Lady Gaga’s choices I’m never quite sure about, but that doesn’t concern me.
Is there one particular outfit that comes to mind?
Well, the meat outfit. That’s f***ing nuts, obviously, but no, I think she’s generally cool in the clothes she wears.
Juicy Couture track suits. The velour! I’ll tell you something I DO like that women wear: creepers. I like creepers. They’re cool. They’re the kind of thing when you see them on the shelf you think, “That’s nuts,” but then you see them on and they’re great.
LOVE. CREEPERS. You’re immediately forgiven for the Uggs misstep from earlier. Any parting fashion wisdom for guys?
Just keep it simple. If you work too hard to promote the way you see yourself through what you wear, it comes across like you made too much of an effort…. Don’t stress.