web_style_fashion_ModelBehavior_LauritoThese queer models show just how fierce lesbians can be on the catwalk.

From magazine covers to commercials, product packaging to catalogues, lesbian models have a definite presence in what is commonly considered a strictly straight girl industry. These models are not only drool-worthy but also redefine beauty—from femme to butch—in the fashion industry.

Samantha Laurito

Samantha Laurito doesn’t like being a good girl. Laurito affirms, “Definitely not.” Her average day entails “waking up, getting ready, going to a photo shoot or a fashion show, then getting wasted with my girlfriend.” Her girlfriend, Alexis, is a personal trainer, a big bonus for Laurito, who admits, “I’m so bad at the gym—I hate going.” When asked how the 5-foot-10-inch, 120-pound brunette keeps her figure, she replies, “I have no idea.” To my surprise (or naivety), Laurito explains, “I can’t do high fashion because I’m not thin enough. You have to be a double zero, and I’m like, a four.” Instead, the Italian Colombian beauty gets plenty of work modelling urban wear, contemporary rock wear and sportswear (she was on the cover of Paint Ball magazine) and enjoys modelling clothing for companies like Love Letters, Rocawear, Kenneth Cole, Whiteboy and Gap. “I do some business-edgy stuff, but mostly do photo shoots with photographers that work with Vellum magazine. It’s very artsy and dark.”

Laurito has a sultry, sexy, exotic look that’s very versatile. She went to a creative and performing arts school where she took drama and dance but worked primarily in modelling. “I’m freelance, so I’m signed with different agencies in different states.” As a side project of her own, Laurito is putting together a lesbian photography book that will feature butch and femme looks. Laurito is openly gay but often has a hard time convincing others. “It gets annoying when nobody believes me. I may be feminine in how I dress, but not by how I act.”

Gevin Fax

Musician, model, actor and stuntwoman: How does Gevin Fax do it all? “I start the morning with 200 crunches, 35 military push-ups and chin-ups,” Fax admits, hinting at the drive that sustains all her careers.

A motorcycle documentary called Biker Women aired on Discovery Channel first put Fax on the map. “It was a wonderful moment,” she says. “We got great reviews. It catapulted me into the limelight.”

Now known as a skilled motorcycle rider, Fax can tackle the most difficult moves on a bike. She was called to save the day in Rat Race, a movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Cuba Gooding Jr. “The girls they initially hired could not do it—one girl lost control of the bike and broke her leg and ankle. It’s a complicated move and one of the most dangerous stunts I’ve ever done,” explains Fax. “I told them I could do it, but they had to bump my salary up two levels.”

Fax has appeared in Rolling Stone, People and various magazines across Europe. Her edgy rock-‘n’-roll look oozes style and turns heads. But while she still gets occasional calls, Fax has been modelling less and less. “I worked hard to keep my body and health in great shape, but I’m 50 now, so modelling is not coming after me. I’d like to say I’m aging gracefully.”

Instead, Fax focuses on her musical career. She excels as a vocalist, guitarist and bass player. A vocalist since age 13, she learned to play the guitar in Catholic school and went on to front her band, Galadriel, in the ’80s. Eventually, luck struck, and she was asked to join MCA recording artists Klymaxx as their bassist, and she stayed on for several years. She appeared on national television, played in videos for MTV and VH-1, Soul Train, and performed on and produced the band’s latest album, The Maxx Is Back, which hit No. 13 on the Billboard charts.

Fax is as realistic about the music business as she is about modelling, a pragmatism that shines through as she describes her 15 minutes of rock star fame. The Maxx Is Back, she says, “was a hit for two weeks. They were wining and dining us, and we went everywhere in limos. But the universe plays exciting games on you. We’re hanging out with LL Cool J and Quincy Jones, and [then] we’re the shit—it gets to the Top 100, Top 80, Top 50, all the way to number 13 before it plateaus and drops out like that. Everything was called off.”

That’s OK with Fax, who continues to perform regularly, sitting in with various bands and working on her solo project. “I’m not going to say it’s easy to become rich and famous, but you can certainly find ways to make money as an artist. I’ve had a great life!”

Jenice Armstead

California native Jenice Armstead models all types of fashion, from military uniforms to bathing suits, and looks great. Armstead lives in Sacramento with her partner of seven years and is pursuing a modelling career in between trips to Washington, D.C., where she travels as an HR analyst.

Armstead started modelling for catalogues when she was 18 and has done many modelling jobs. “I’ve modelled uniforms,” she explains, “because they wanted a military-type physique.” Armstead is sculpted to perfection, and she has no trouble finding work. She also does a lot of runway modelling. “I pride myself on my Tyra Banks runway walk and my Tyra Banks forehead,” she laughs.  Armstong’s personality is another selling point in getting her on stage and in front of the camera. “You have to be very flexible and be able to engage in any type of conversation at any time. I can talk about politics one minute and then have an all-out-fun bar discussion the next!” Armstead credits her upbringing in a military family for making her so personable. “Being a military brat made me very cultured because I was around so many different types of people. I had to adapt and be a chameleon.”

Armstead has worked different jobs, aside from modelling. In Key West, Fla., she worked as a desk clerk at the famous lesbian resort Pearl’s Patio, a job she enjoyed. “I discovered Pearl’s and just loved it,” she says. “I asked them for a job, and they started me the next day.” She met her partner, Dee, in Key West and lived there for four years. She recently moved back to Sacramento with Dee, where they took advantage of California’s recognition of same-sex relationships and immediately filed for domestic partnership. “That was part of why we came back—to get some legal ship.”

Armstead is also writing a lesbian cookbook on the side. “It’s called Lesbians Have to Eat Too. Not only is it a cookbook, it also has memories and stories. I go through each recipe and tell how it came about.” Many of the stories involve her friends and family, who are very supportive of her lesbian lifestyle. “I’m very out to my family. My mother is getting used to it, and my father loves it. I wasn’t raised with him, but now that I’m older, he’s very supportive, and we talk daily.” The strangest recipe in the cookbook? “Well, the fact that I am a lesbian and I talk a lot about sausage in my book…I’ve been told that’s kind of weird,” she laughs.