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What does a male model tote around?

Portfolio? Check. Hand sanitizer? Check. Hey, what's this . . .

March 08, 2009|Adam Tschorn

On the subways of Milan, Paris and New York, a telltale sign that you're in the company of an honest-to-goodness male model -- besides his impossibly good looks -- is the ubiquitous backpack. Never a briefcase or a rolling bag, it's usually a soft-sided athletic number a little larger than a car battery, with two straps, one of which is slung ever so casually over a shoulder.

Last month, at the end of New York Fashion Week, curiosity got the better of us and we finally asked rising star of the male modeling world Matvey Lykov to share the contents of his knapsack:

"My model portfolio book -- for obvious reasons," he began. "The book that I'm reading right now: 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. Some Airborne; some vitamin C; my iPod that I listen to before shows; hand sanitizer, which I always carry; my Diptyque scent, which I think is fig [Diptyque Philosykos, 0.4 fluid ounce in a black Bakelite tube]; and the Gingerbread Man -- from 'Shrek.' "

Lykov plucked the last item from his bag and placed it proudly on the table. "Just before I went to America for the first time [from St. Petersburg, Russia], my friends and I all got together and they gave me the Gingerbread Man as a symbol of their friendship. He travels all around the world with me."

As if to prove his point, a few days later I received an e-mail from Lykov, who had decamped to the beaches of the Dominican Republic to unwind from New York Fashion Week. Attached was a photo of the figurine frolicking in the sand.

"The Gingerbread Man says hi!"

-- A.T.

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