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Tech Founders-Turned-Fashion Models

Sex sells. And what's sexier than the entrepreneur geek next door? Foursquare, Tumblr, and Twitter founders dabble in modeling.
David Karp, founder of Tumblr, strikes a pose.
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For a guy who’s notoriously anti-advertising--"[it] really turns our stomachs"--Tumblr CEO David Karp is sure showing up in a lot of them.

According to Women's Wear Daily, the founder, 26, will be one of the faces of J. Crew’s fall ad campaign. Instead of professional models, the campaign will feature Karp and other “fashion-forward” notables like Virginie Mouzat, deputy editor of the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, and Matthew Moneypenny, CEO of image licensing agency Trunk Archive.

“We chose very accomplished people who have an impact on our customers and culture in general,” Diego Scott, chief marketing officer at J. Crew told WWD. “They appreciate quality and detail. Our customers identify with them, but the campaign is not about celebrities.”

This won’t be Karp’s first go-around in the modeling game: He did a stint for Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo last year. And he's not the only tech founder getting in front of the camera. In 2010, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone was featured in a string of ads for Stolichnaya Vodka, joining the likes of celeb spokespeople such as Hugh Hefner and Julia Styles.

Since then, the founder-turned-model trend has spread. Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai appeared in a promotional ad for Gap during the clothing line's 2010 Christmas campaign. Selvadurai and Alexa von Tobel, founder of personal finance application LearnVest, modeled their hands for New York jeweler DANNIJO last fall. And famed photographer Annie Leibovitz plans to feature Crowley and Karp in an upcoming Vanity Fair photo essay.

“It’s the right moment to tell our story about quality in a little louder way,” Scotti told WWD of J. Crew's decision to feature "real people" such as Karp.

 

IMAGE: Michael Lewis
Last updated: Aug 20, 2012




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