Thursday, March 8, 2012

First Love: International Male Model Brian Buzzini

The year was 1985. I had been living in Washington, D.C., for about a year and had just burst out of the closet that May. As was requisite for every gay in the 1980s, I frothed over every issue of clothing retailer International Male and its sister Undergear, both thinly veiled shout-outs to homos, with audaciously designed lines of underwear worn by hunky beefcake models that bordered on soft porn. Read: crotch forward.

Its most renowned face of the day was Brian Buzzini, who was so popular that he had a line of postcards and began appearing in exercise magazines and ads for Diet Coke, Kool cigarettes, Burberry trench coats and Edge shaving cream, as well as fashion in GQ. And then, glory be, he was featured in June 1985 in a nudie layout for Playgirl... marking the first time in my life that I ever bought a nudie mag. I recall—after coming out one month before—circling the drug store, walking up and down the aisles to summon the courage to say, "Playgirl, please," from the kid working at the front counter. I was so nervous I was dizzy.

But what a payoff. Boy, was Brian pretty as apple pie in his layout (which revealed: 190 pounds,  43-inch chest and a 30-inch waist), ultimately being named the mag's Man of The Year, with a delish centerfold in January 1986 featuring a rare Playgirl stiffie(!) Yep, I still have the first issue, featuring Robert Redford on the cover, as well as a couple postcards featuring Buzzini, in fact, right in front of me on my office bulletin board. Now that is dedication. And one sweet sentimental memory.

Brian, born in Modesto, Calif., and whose pappy was a pro golfer and mamer a pro tennis player, is still beautiful and fit, living in Los Angeles. Born August 18, 1962, he is now 49 years old. Check out his Facebook page here. * Check out Brian's commercial reel here... Some beautiful stuff, and oh so handsome.