'Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, you're the best'
Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Although Halloween is the rear view mirror, November 1st is actually the perfect date to spotlight a particular model's ultimate costume. It was five years ago, on Halloween night, that Bond Brown first appeared on FH. (Those Who Wait). Since that first introduction, featuring Bond's work with New Manhattan Studios, it was inevitable the popular model would slide into... and the out of, the tux of his namesake.
Farewell's can be difficult, just ask Cher. I think I saw one of her first farewell tours in the late 90's. The reason it's simple, it difficult to say goodbye to something, or someone, we've grown to love. I loved getting to know Bond through his work with Wes and NMS. Bond has an engaging sex appeal that has made him a favorite of many, including many readers of FH.
For the last several ears, each time Bond work with NMS, there was a possibility it would be his last. A move west, a new girlfriend and career meant a change in Bond's focus. Change isn't easy however, and Bond still found himself drawn back to New York in large part, because of his love of being in front of the camera, and the close relationships he'd formed with the NMS team.
Whenever Bond was home, Wes worked his magic to organize a shoot, and I worked mine, to ensure I could share it with viewers of FH. I've known from Wes this shoot was coming, and thanks to Wes, got an advance copy of Bond / Manhattan, the 64 page book (or PDF) with highlights from the shoot. The photo essay contains many images not seen here, including many views of both Bond's golden gun, and golden eye...
Bond, James Bond
by Wesley Triplett
Months before the shoot, Bond had started signaling the likelihood of his retirement from modeling at the end of the school year. Nearing the end of grad school in Southern California, he was finally staring adulthood in the face and was being realistic about having the time to work out as long and hard as he felt was necessary. Equally realistic, I knew that modeling careers are short and other interests and responsibilities capture the time and attention of these young men as they mature.
BOND had a successful run at modeling and had already worked longer than most. He’d worked with only a few select photographers on both coasts but thanks in no small part to Favorite Hunks, he had a sizable worldwide following that was a continuing source of inspiration for his modeling.
'Discussing modeling careers, we had agreed that it was always best to go out on top. Bond was hitting the gym several times a week and maintaining an equally rigid diet. He was determined to deliver his buffest, sexiest Bond ever. '
'After more than a dozen sessions together, one of the studio’s two muses was retiring. I have been blessed to have worked with this man. If this was to be Bond’s last session, it would have to be special. And if we were ever going to photograph him as the dashing secret agent, a goal of that we’d nurtured since he chose his modeling name at his first session, it was now or never.'
Bond got the star treatment. In addition to the attentions of professional makeup artist and stylist, Bond had three photographers pointing cameras at him over the long weekend: myself, Alex Bustamante and Jorge Figueroa. With attendant wardrobe, props and venue, we finally realized the 4-year-long fantasy of shooting Bond as the famous secret agent. Bond/Manhattan features the highlights of Bond’s three days and nights in New York.
'The unexpected bonus tossed in at the last moment was the opportunity to realize the secret agent in body paint. Charles Zambrano, the film and TV makeup artist who worked as the stylist at Bond’s shoot is also a talented body painter. At the end of Bond’s weekend in New York we managed to squeeze in a body painting session. But that’s another story and another set of pictures.'
To see more of Bond, James Bond, check out some hot extra's (sans tux) and behind the scenes shots of Bond becoming Bond on PAGE 2 HERE: