When tradie mates Jack Steele and Matt Ford kicked off their Instagram page last year, they had no idea it would turn them into fashion superstars.
The self-confessed “Aussie battlers” rose to fame with their The Inspired Unemployed page at a time when the country, and the rest of world for that matter, needed a good laugh.
Since then, as they would tell you, their social media presence “went nuts” after creating hilarious, relatable content that saw them reach almost 1 million followers in just under two years.
“I think at that time everyone was just doing it so tough and our content was a bit of light to cheer them up – plus during the coronavirus pandemic, no one could leave their homes and they were stuck on their phones,” Matt told news.com.au.
“So I guess people were just bored and were looking for some lighthearted stuff to make them laugh.”
The south coast larrikins became such a huge hit, that Jack, 27, a plasterer and Matt, 26, a carpenter, decided to quit their day jobs to focus on their new-found fame, but then came another, unexpected calling – a modelling career.
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“We honestly have always loved making content but what really kicked it off is we were both sick of our jobs as tradies,” Jack said.
“We were having too many days off and no boss wants that, so we decided to quit and go really hard at our social media pages.
“We launched our Instagram and TikTok profiles in 2019 after a trip to Europe, but it wasn’t until late last year (during the floods, bushfires and coronavirus pandemic) when things really started taking off for us,” Matt told news.com.au.
Amid their quick rise to fame (and good looks of course), their careers took a different path after catching the attention of high-end brands such as Fendi, Louis Vuitton and GQ.
Before they knew it, they landed their first-ever modelling deal.
Admittedly, they were just as shocked, sharing an image of their GQ cover to Instagram alongside the hilarious caption, “We don’t understand either”.
“Everything kicked off for us in fashion when Edwina McCann, the Editor of Vogue and GQ took an interest in us and invited us to come in for a meeting,” Matt told news.com.au.
“From there, she got us involved in GQ’s Man Of The Year Awards and then crazily snowballed into a GQ cover shoot for Fendi which was insane.”
Since then, the pair have done videos for Louis Vuitton on their social media and just recently, when they thought their fashion careers were short-lived, they got approached by Australia’s leading online fashion and sports retailer, The ICONIC, to feature in their 2020 Summer runway show.
“It’s been pretty wild – it’s been a whirlwind,” Jack said about the collaborations.
“To be honest, we still can’t get our heads around it.”
The former tradies will be not only starring in the brand’s first-ever digital runway on November 17, but guest choreographing it as well.
“We never thought working with The ICONIC would ever be on our agenda,” Matt said.
The pair will be dancing their way down runway as they model the retailer’s latest men’s summer collection.
“It’s been amazing, it is our first runway and hopefully not our last,” Jack said. “We loved this idea as it takes the traditional runway and puts a light hearted, fun spin on it.
“The team were great, everyone was like a family by the time the shoot wrapped up. Overall a great experience.”
Matt and Jack said while they never thought giving up their tradie jobs to become full-time comedians would turn into a fashion career – they may have an idea why they’re such hot property.
“We never intended to be fashion models, it was just being in the right place at the right time,” Matt said, with Jack adding, “We kind of just fell into it starting with Vogue and the rest is history.
“I think high-fashion brands and brands in general wanted to find that bridge between everyday regular guys and they just so happened to choose us. It’s all still so surreal.”
Jack and Matt said they would never tell people they’re models, “maybe you could classify us as part time models, but we never think of ourselves like that”.
The ICONIC’s 2020 Summer Show Runway – Runway Everywhere, kicks off at 8pm AEDT on November 17, and also feature leading Australian and New Zealand models, Georgia Fowler, Charlee Fraser, Samantha Harris, Mason Heaven and Caspar Thomas.
“In a year full of interruptions, this year’s runway aims to remind people that a ‘runway’ is what you make it – it belongs to everyone, everywhere, because fashion is for all; it shouldn’t be exclusive and it shouldn’t be taken too seriously,” a spokesperson for The ICONIC said in a statement.