“Be Unique!”, it should sounds more or less like this the new spot by Ford Vehicles that will have Shaun Ross’ face and soul.  Who better than him might have performed as the protagonist? He, the “First African American Albino Model”. He with a bizarre beauty. He charismatic, provocative, different of that diversity both derided and fought and which he turned in his strength. He bold, a contemporary symbol in the fight against prejudice and stereotype.

Model, dancer, actor, Shaun was born and grows in the Bronx. He comes early in in the Alvin Ailey dance company and in 2008 – at the age of sixteen – the photographer Shameer Khan notices him while dancing in a video posted on Youtube. The success is immediate. That same year, Shaun treads Tim Hamilton’s runway. Many other will follow this one as the most prestigious magazines start to contest him.

Some turn up their nose in front of his unconventional physicalness but Shaun doesn’t care and goes straight on his way.

In 2011 he appears in the video of the single E.T. alongside Katy Perry and in the same year he is with Beyoncé in Party. He is instead a modern Adam in the more recent Tropico where along with Eva-Lana Del Rey he is the protagonist of a pop, psychedelic, sometimes mystical story…

The video clips amuse him. They allow him to combine his passion for dance and the innate predisposition for acting. Who knows if our darling will not be soon the star of a Hollywood movie, too? We can do nothing else than wish it to him because Shaun is original, cool, fresh… absolutely FUCKING YOUNG!



Fucking Young! – Hello Shaun! How are you? Well… You started your career as a dancer in the Alvin Ailey American Theater Company. What is the dance for you?

Shaun Ross – Growing up for me and dancing has always been another outlet towards self-expression. I was always interested in the way people could move their bodies, in the way they use the movements to express the way they felt at that current time. So I guess I can say I use dance as both a relief and  another way to express myself.


FY! – What links fashion and dance together?

SR – Fashion and dance are extremely linked together. When it comes to being a model it is always a plus to know how to move in front of the camera, Knowing your angles, knowing your lighting and knowing your space. Dancing has always helped me when it comes to modeling because it has allowed me to not only move my body in various ways but it has also taught me how to execute different expressions.


FY! – In 2008, Djamee Models discovers you while watching a video of Alvin Ailey posted on Youtube and where you were performing. You were only 16 years old. How do you remember that time and how has your life changed since then?

SR – Well let’s be more correct I actually was discovered on a YouTube video of me Voguing by photographer Shameer Khan who then later brought me to Djame’s office. I remember this being a conformation on what is about to become.


FY! – You started treading the catwalk for Tim Hamilton. Since then you’ve come a long way modeling for Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Walter Van Beirendonck and posing for GQ, Another Magazine, i-D, Vogue, Paper Magazine. So far, which has the most exciting experience been?

SR – Fashion has always been something that I’ve been  interested in but to be honest the most exciting memories that I have are the moments that I spent in front of the big screen filming. Seeing a picture in motion is something far more beautiful than seeing it still so  when I have a highlight it usually is in the place of film.


FY! – You have been described as the “First African American Albino Model,” but before you got this title less gratifying ones had followed over the years: Casper, Powder, White bread… How did you approach your being “different” in the eyes of the others? Does the diversity exist?

SR – Diversity does exist but it is slowly becoming something that we see as the norm. Influencers such as Stacy McKenzie, Alek Wek, and Iman are great influencers and leaders that are helping to make the subject of diversity become much more greater in the eyes of others.


FY! – “Iron gets put through unbearable fire and heat to be made into steel”, that’s your motto. Life has not always been kind to you. You were born and raised in the Bronx, a tough borough to live in. Your mother always told you: “You have no fear. You let people judge you, but who gives a f..k?”. She’s always been by your side supporting you even when you were 7 and you were stabbed in the back with a pen  by one of your peer. Is she who has given you the extraordinary power you have?

SR – My mom has definitely helped me on the person that I am, she is like a superhero not only to me but to many others. I remember times I would be so sad because I didn’t understand why I was being made fun of but my mom made sure I then understood others lack of knowledge and stupidity and why it should not affect me.


FY! – With the hashtag #InMySkinIWin you have launched an awareness campaign in favor of Albinism, a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin. Do you want to talk about it? How important is letting people know this disease to break down mental barriers and to understand that uniqueness is beauty?

SR – I started this campaign being unaware of the impact it would have on others so when I saw what it could do and how it could change the world was when I started to take a grater notice. I want this message and campaign to be for everyone and I want everyone to not feel but know they are beautiful.


FY! – Enlightening smile. Confident look. Bizarre beauty. In your opinion, which is the feature that more than any other makes photographers want to immortalize you or designers choose you for a show?

SR – It honestly all depends because everyone has a very different vision of who “Shaun Ross” is and I think that is what’s really interesting.


FY! – Let’s come to us… It’s only a few days published Tropico, the video directed by Anthony Mandler and starring you alongside the singer Lana Del Re. The 27-minute short film features three of Del Rey’s songs: Body Electric, Gods and Monsters and Bel Air. How was to dive into a real and surreal, half-way between the sacred and the profane dimension?

SR – It was unreal to be honest but more so beautiful to have watched it come together in the end.


FY! – An adjective to describe Lana and one for Anthony…

SR – I would say Lana is loving and Anthony would be an Einstein.


FY! – As modern Adam and Eve, in the first part of the video you are in an imaginary Eden with pop icons such as Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Elvis Presley, Jesus… A Biblical reinterpretation of the Beatles’ cover Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band … Which of these personalities would you have liked to be?

SR – I honestly would have loved to be some type of animal or some type of force field. I always think it is good to play with multiple characters when coming to filming.


FY! – Eva-Lana gives way  to the temptation of the snake and eats the apple of the original sin… But which is the sin for which you, Shaun, would easily fall into temptation?

SR – I honestly didn’t know maybe eating the apple as well. I wasn’t so sure on that part either… Hahahah


FY! – Down on Earth you both are victims of Gods and Monsters created by the contemporary society… Today, what  could we consider worthy of idolatry and what should be rejected with disgust? How much Gods and Monsters mingle with each other?

SR – I think gods and monsters continue mingling every day not so much as separate people but it can be within the same person. Almost like having inside that everlasting battle between good and evil.


FY! – In the last part the atmosphere returns oneiric, almost lovingly redemptive… The title Bel Air makes us think of Los Angeles, Hollywood and movie-studios… You should have performed in the television series American Horror Story (I’m a big fan of it!)… Do you think the cinema and the tv might be your future?

SR – Unfortunately that was not me inside of American Horror Story due to having a busy schedule I had to forfeit the small role. Also it is not up to me to decide if I have a future in film. It is up to the world to decide if I have a future home in the cinema and to be honest I think the world has my back.


FY! – Before Tropico you were already appeared in Katy Perrys E.T., Beyoncés Party and  in Gold Fields Dark Again. What do you enjoy about the video clips?

SR – The funny time, super energetic people and the experience. Also working with some of my favorite artists such as Beyonce.  


FY! – London, Milan, Paris, New York… Where will you be next winter for the A/W 2015Men’s Collections?

SR – I don’t focus on fashion really but I am sure you will see me somewhere probably just not on a catwalk or maybe in a film… Shhhhhh


FY! – The garment that can’t lack in your wardrobe…

SR – A pair of good black pants.


FY! – Favourite designer. Favourite song. Favourite city.

SR – Favourite Designer: Calvin Klein. Favourite Song: Love is in need of love today by Stevie Wonder. Favourite city: Paris.


FY! – Your secret dream…

SR – If I told you then it wouldn’t come true… Hahahah



SR – Fucking Young is to live it up and shine.


Thanks a lot!



Video directed by Danny Roche in exclusive for Fucking Young!