John Tuite, a native Floridian artist, and Carlos Santolalla, his Californian photog boyfriend, have become what is believed to be the first pair of gay models to be signed as a couple. “Jarlos,” as they’re now being billed, have walked runways for DKNY, built up a gargantuan Instagram presence, and are now making headlines as Fusion’s newest, and somewhat controversial hires. While both of the men have backgrounds in modeling individually, they’ve made it clear that Jarlos, their gestalt presence, is the unit that they’re presenting themselves as for Fusion. The decision to work together rather than separately, say the pair, came from pressures within their old agencies to remain in the closet about their sexualities.
As much as we may stereotype the fashion world as being stacked with queer designers and beautiful, sexually charged people, the industry can have its moments of glaring bigotry.
“It’s so fucked up. After coming out, I didn’t want to be weird about it again and act straight at castings,” Tuite recounted in an interview with The Cut. “I met with this one agency and they said, "We’d like to sign you, but you have to delete your Instagram account with your boyfriend and you guys can’t go out to parties together anymore." What the fuck? That was last year.”
According to Alexandra Phipps, a representative from Fusion, the agency had their eyes on the duo long before they were signed on. The passion and presence that they both brought to the runway were more than enough to bring them up on peoples’ radars, and when Fusion learned that they were interested in working together, the decision was a no brainer.
"We have been aware of Carlos and John for a while, now. We have an agent on the men’s board here who started Carlos in the modeling business,” Phipps explained to Dazed. “John and Carlos have modeled together in several projects, so it seemed natural to sign them both. They are great models and they have an amazing look, as a unit and individually."
Check out a collection of Jarlos’s candid photos AFTER THE JUMP...