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Alton Mason


From dancing at the VMAs to becoming the first black male model to walk for Chanel, the Jamaican-Ghanaian model has been making waves ever since he was scouted on Instagram in 2015.


Alton Mason is a model and dancer who was discovered in 2015 and went on to become the first black male model to walk for Chanel.

Born to a former model mother and professional basketballer father who played overseas, Mason grew up in a number of countries, including Belgium, Greece and his home base of Arizona, United States, before pursuing a future in acting and dancing at the American Musical Dramatic Arts Academy in Los Angeles, at the age of 17.

In 2015, while he was still studying at the Academy, Mason was scouted via Instagram. “I thought it was a joke,” he said in an interview with W magazine. “But then my agent contacted me through email and I saw all the confidentiality stuff and I knew it was real.”

Mason’s first major modelling gig was for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 2 collection at New York Fashion Week in February 2016. The following year, he presented Gucci’s Cruise 2018 collection and was subsequently asked by Creative Director Alessandro Michele to appear in the luxury house’s 2017 Pre-Fall campaign — a moment Mason has called the “highlight” of his career.

Since breaking into the modelling industry, Mason has walked for Heron Preston , Louis Vuitton and Off-White, and featured in magazines such as L'Officiel Hommes USA and V magazine, for which he appeared alongside Lizzo on the cover. He met the late Karl Lagerfeld during a campaign shoot for the designer’s namesake brand, where he was photographed by Lagerfeld himself and scouted to walk in Chanel’s 2018/2019 Métiers d’Art show. Mason became the first black male model to walk for the luxury house in its then 108-year history.

Mason is represented by State Management in New York and IMG worldwide.

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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.