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Nick Chávez: 19(?)(?)—: Hair Designer, Model, Entrepreneur - Became Runway Model

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyNick Chávez: 19(?)(?)—: Hair Designer, Model, Entrepreneur Biography - Got Start Grooming Horses, Became Runway Model, Developed Own Hair-care Products

Became Runway Model

In his late twenties Chávez put his hair dressing career on hold and headed to Paris to become a model. "I told myself that I was going to go over there and get an agent," he recalled to CHB. "I was always talking to myself, telling myself what I was going to do, telling myself this is my plan. If you have a plan, an idea, just do it," Chávez continued.

In Paris, Chávez had no trouble signing with a modeling agency. His only decision was which one. On his first day with an agency, Chávez went on an interview and landed a job, beating out 200 other models who were vying for the slot. "I had a look," he told CHB, which he described as exotic. "There's something for everybody. That day they were looking for my look." At six feet three inches tall, the dark-haired, dark-eyed Latino Chávez certainly stood out in Paris. Soon, Chávez was a jet-setting model, working in Paris, Milan, and Switzerland. He was a runway model for the menswear collections of Yves St. Laurent, Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianfranco Ferre, and Valentino. He appeared on the pages of Vogue, GQ, Elle, and Esquire. Swatch and Piaget used him in their campaigns. He also appeared on a 100-foot billboard in New York City's Times Square in a Jeff Hamilton advertisement. Chávez was also the pitchman for Valvoline oil, Mazda Miata cars, and Taco Bell and appeared in several other TV commercials.

Chávez told CHB that while growing up he suffered relentless teasing. Because he was so wiry, kids called him "the human spring." They also called him "Road-runner" because he moved quickly and had a large Adam's apple that resembled the cartoon character. Kids followed him around shouting taunts of "beep, beep." This made the validation he received from modeling very therapeutic for Chávez. He commented to CHB, "I finally realized that if people were spending thousands, millions of dollars on the campaigns I was featured in—and it was working—then I must look OK. The validation helped me realize that I must look OK." Chávez modeled for about five or six years. Then, his steamy good looks landed him a role on The Young and The Restless. He played a character named Steve for about a year, and also appeared on the show Hollywood Detectives.

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