NEW YORK - Like many University of Minnesota students, Will Defiel had to study for midterms over the weekend.
However, in between writing about "King Leopold's Ghost," he flew to New York to model in the Calvin Klein menswear show during Fashion Week.
For the show on Sunday, he wore a gray "cloud" trench coat and walked right by actors Chace Crawford, Kellan Lutz, Lee Pace, Mehcad Brooks and Ryan Phillippe. The label is helmed by Italo Zucchelli who was named 2009 menswear designer of the year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Stillwater-native Defiel was discovered by Teqen Zéa Aida of Vision -- who was at Sunday's show -- while shopping at Urban Outfitters at Mall of America in Bloomington. Soon after, the Calvin Klein people came across Defiel's photo, and he walked in the show last year and starred in the fall 2009 advertising campaign.
It has been a whirlwind year since for the 21-year-old, who walked in men's fashion shows in Milan last month, including Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide last week. "He was a really nice guy," said Defiel, who wore a face-obscuring ski mask in that show. "He interacted with everyone and treated everyone the same way."
As college graduation approaches, Defiel, a marketing and international business major, is job hunting and looking into graduate school. "I'm not sure if having modeling on my résumé helps," he said. "But I'm comfortable balancing work and school and traveling."