With his once-in-a-generation face, Australia native Jordan Barrett has captivated the hearts of the industry’s top star-makers. Right before he headed off to Burning Man for some R&R (ha!), The Daily caught up with the ultimate free spirit to talk about life through rose-colored glasses. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS COLLS
What have you been up to this summer?
I went to Australia to see friends and family and then I went to Bali. Now I’m on my way to Burning Man.
Carine Roitfeld is one of your biggest champions—she’s presenting your award. What’s your relationship like?
I love her. She’s everything. I was in love with her from the moment that I met her. She’s fantastic to work with, and she’s an industry icon. She has been so kind to me and invited me to her amfAR events, which are so important and super fun. Carine is so inspiring to me, and I’m thrilled every time she books me. Love! Love!
Have you ever won anything before?
I was awarded the GQ Australia Man of Style award in 2015, which meant a lot to me.
Who are you going to be thanking in your acceptance speech?
Right now, that’s a surprise—even to me!
You’re an amateur photographer. What do you enjoy shooting?
Naked people, crazy people in New York…I’m not really one to take photos of landscapes. I have hundreds of Polaroids from my travels. I keep some in a big box at home, and I stick others on the wall. They remind me of really fun memories.
Which photographers do you admire?
Mario Sorrenti is definitely one of my favorites. I also like Cass Bird—she’s awesome. I also really like Hans Feurer. Mario’s pics are always dirty, crazy; Cass’s are always alive; and Hans always has that pop of color.
You’ve worked with a lot of heavyweight photographers—any others that you’d like to work with?
Steven Meisel. I haven’t worked with Mark Borthwick, either.
British GQ Style shot a cover of you that’s an homage to George Michael.
They came up with the idea—they wanted to do a tribute to him. I didn’t really know who he was while he was alive. I was once on my way to meet [my manager] Jen at Kate [Moss’s] house to go to dinner in London and the taxi driver asked if I was going to George Michael’s house. [Kate and George were neighbors.] I didn’t know who he was or if I was in the right area, and I called Jen and told her what the driver asked, and she laughed. I asked if I should Google him. Now it’s like an ongoing joke between us. I recognize his music, but I didn’t grow up listening to him.
Before you were professionally modeling, were you comfortable in front of the camera?
I don’t really have many family photos or photos of myself as a kid. It’s weird! But in the ones I do have, I’m always completely grinning.
Is acting still a passion?
It is. I’m studying and working with dialect and acting coaches in New York and Los Angeles. It took me about a year to start feeling comfortable, and now I’m really starting to enjoy it.
Are you more of a dramatic or comedic actor?
I hate comedy. I like psychological thrillers. I wouldn’t mind playing an action hero.
Which actors do you admire?
My favorite actor was Heath Ledger. His performance in [the Australian film] Candy was amazing. I also loved Abbie Cornish in that film. The other actor I love is also dead—River Phoenix.
You have a River-like quality to you.
I get that a lot. I like every one of his movies.
We hear that you want to open a hotel.
That’s the goal. When my mom used to ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up, I would say, “I’m going to be rich and I want to open a hotel.” But the hotel I want to open would be more like a healthy retreat in Costa Rica. There’s one in Mexico I like that’s like a tree house. It doesn’t use electricity and they work to save turtles. I want a sanctuary, not a hotel…a big sanctuary for everyone to come to.
When will it open?
When I have enough money!
Do you follow astrology?
I bought a book about it but haven’t opened it yet. I’ve started spending a lot of time at The Alchemist’s Kitchen in Manhattan. I sit there for literally three hours a day and try oils. Downstairs, there are infrared saunas, a mediation room, and cryotherapy.
What’s next for you?
I want to take more photos and make things. I’m also collaborating with Frame on a collection, which comes out in spring 2018.
And you’re also making glasses?
My friend [photographer] Alana O’Herlihy and I started a label of fashion goggles called Heavily Sedated that you can wear any time of the day. Everyone’s going to realize that the world is better in really tinted color.