Willie Thomas doesn't have to convince anyone he's evocative. That's his new title.
Urban Body men's clothing in Tampa recently named the 30-year-old personal trainer and part-time model from Carrollwood its official spokesmodel. For the next year, he'll be a walking mannequin for the store, going to parties and fashion events in the latest Urban Body threads.
Thomas was one of 23 contestants vying for Urban Body's Evocative Male, a job that pays in clothing, exposure and a photo shoot for the store's Web site. He was the top vote-getter in the online competition and audience favorite at the finals Sept. 24.
Urban Body owner Scott Moore said he wanted a fresh face to promote his South Howard Avenue store, which "sells image, not clothing'' for men. He described Thomas as an ideal Evocative Male: confident, independent and fashion-forward. What you see him wearing today will be all the rage tomorrow.
Looking hip in jeans by Silver Jeans Co. and a long-sleeved button-down woven shirt by 7 Diamonds, Thomas spoke with tbt* about his new role and the pitfalls of having a 28-inch waist and large quads.
What's it like being an Evocative Male?
I'm still trying to get used to the title. Friends of mine are still trying to figure it out. They're like, "What are you now? The evocative male? The erotic male? Are you the urban cowboy?" I'm like, "Eeeeeasy there.'' Evocative Male, Urban Body clothing. Let's get it right.
What will you be doing as a spokesmodel?
I want to get the store out there. I hate to say that it's unknown but, to the masses, it's unknown. The people in fashion know it, but the general masses who go as mindless zombies need to know about it, too. I'll be going to events, whether it be fashion shows or social events, and I'll always be wearing these clothes.
Where did you used to shop?
Not a lot of places. Because of my athletic build, for me to buy something off the rack ended up costing twice as much because I'd have to get it tailored. If I found something that fit me right, I would snatch it up right away. If someone said where did you get that shirt, I'd say, "I don't know.''
Have you always considered yourself a clothes hound?
No, believe it or not, my closet used to consist of black, white, gray and blue. I felt like an extra in a movie; I always faded into the background. Now I love wearing colors — greens, oranges and reds.