Originally published in The Hudson Reporter
Last month, Valentine’s Day became something of a working “holiday” for me. I was covering New York Fashion Week before, during, and after V-day. Since I was around designers, models, and some mini-celebs, I decided to do some research on love, dating, and sex, especially considering I was tripping the light fantastic around what other people may consider their ideal dates.
At the Mik Cire show, a great menswear designer, I caught up with some of his models backstage to talk about what these young men are looking for in their ladies. Berthold, a lanky, long-haired fellow, was what the other men described to me jokingly as their “bitch shield.” In order for him to let down his guard and engage in a convo with a girl, what would it take? “Someone who has good energy and can be natural,” he said. “I want to talk to someone who wants to talk. Not someone looking to get a date with me. And she has to have great eyes.”
A.J. and Tobias also agreed with the “great eyes” comment. Mr. A.J. is looking for someone who is charismatic and has that X-factor. I know, I know, not very specific, but we all remember those people we’ve met along the way that have that, oh, I don’t know, a certain, “je ne sais quoi.” “She also has to be able to hold a good conversation,” he adds. Tobias is more fun-loving. “I really like a lady with charm. Someone with a clever wit that we can laugh together.” His type? “I like a classy girl with an edge.”
Corey chimed in that he’d just like someone fun to hang out with, preferably with red hair. And Will, obviously the comedian of the group, wants a microbiologist who can quote the whole script to The Big Lebowski and whose last name is preferably “Jagger.” I’ll get right on that for you, Will…
When asked what they like their ladies dressed in, Tobias, Corey, and Will answered respectively, “jeans and a tank top or C.K. PJ’s,” “sweats and a T-shirt with a Yankee’s cap” and “a T-shirt and boxers.” See ladies?! Even the models like a down home, natural look and vibe to their potential suitors. So ditch the LBD and go with the C.K. T!
Jeannie Ortega, a songstress and actress who opened up for Rihanna on her 2008 tour, was nice enough to spend some time answering my only mildly probing questions. The Latina chanteuse describes her perfect man as “A God-fearing man. Someone who is compassionate, confident and clean.” The clean comment threw me a bit, so I asked her to elaborate. “Don’t have bad breath! It’s my number one pet peeve! Also, his shoes should be ‘not wrecked.’ Make sure they look good.” Alas, I am guilty of wearing my shoes down to the nubs sometimes. Physically, what catches her eye about the XY chromosomers? “I like a good strong jaw. Also a strong chest and shoulders.” Adding to what I’ve seen as a growing trend among males, she likes facial hair on her men. Hmmm…. I might have to look her up once my chin-strap beard fills in!
At the afterparty for Richie Sambora’s line WTB, I met Paola and Martha, a beautiful mother-daughter pair who looked more like sisters. Martha, who was divorced in 2001, took about two years to get back into the dating scene. Previously, she liked her men “tall, dark and handsome” and was a sucker for good hands. After a brief cougar phase, she has settled back down to looking for someone to spend a long time with. The biggest thing that she says has changed for her is that she now says she has no type. “I look for a man that is smart and has a quick mind. I need to feel comfortable with him. He needs to have a good heart. I am not so conservative anymore, but anyone who talks too much about their past life is definitely a turn-off for me.”
Her lovely daughter Paola says she is a sucker for the “Brad Pitt / pretty boy type.” And while she likes to gander at men’s gams and guns what really gets her going is someone “genuine, sweet and outgoing.” She then shares with me that she just got engaged! (Congrats girl!) Okay Paolo, so what did this guy have that made you sure you wanted to stay with him forever? “He is so caring and romantic and has always been there for me and my family. Also, he’s great at remembering little details about our relationship.” Okay boys, the ladies always say it’s about the little things, but here it is straight from the, uh, gorgeous equine’s mouth.
Pinstripemag.com is billed as “A guy’s guide to gear, girls and gadgets.” They had their third anniversary party during Fashion Week and I got to talk to Marv Valladares, the founder and editor-in-chief of the mag as well as a men’s designer. As the DJ pumped out the tracks and the Star Vodka flowed, I prodded Marv for his thoughts on the shorter sex. He admitted that he had two types. “I am a sucker for the tallish, thin model type. But I also love a curvier, video-vixen type like Kim [Kardashian].” Okay Marv, fair enough, but what about personality? “I definitely like an independent, confident woman. She has to have style and know how to dress. My favorite thing to have a woman in is a beautiful cocktail dress. But I like a woman to be able to dress casual and still look hip and trendy.”
Looking around the place, deep in the bowels of Soho, it looked like he was describing the crowd around us. “I’m also a big “face” guy. Aren’t we all? “I mean I like a very pretty, innocent yet gorgeous face. First off though, she’s gotta have great skin and full lips. That’s the foundation of what makes a pretty face.” I guess it’s fair for a guy that’s always surrounded by fashion to be a sucker for a thin, pretty thing. But like just about everyone else I talked to, personality always comes first.
Well, dear readers, I could go on and on, but I wanted to give you a little slice of life into the minds and desires of those that a lot of us DO desire. So what’s our take away from this? Ladies, be charismatic, witty, and fun to talk to. Men like you in casual stuff just as well as dress up. Take a chance and try out ultra-casual some night. See what happens.
Men, you heard the ladies. Be genuine, try to be confident and you don’t have to go all metrosexual on us, but take a bit of care in your grooming and dressing. And you know what? This is exactly the same input I usually get from the “(wo)man on the street.” These people are all still looking for the same thing as all of us. And if you find yourself around one of these mini-celebs, don’t front, just be genuine. You’ll be surprised at how far that gets you! – Hunt