When pro surfer Danny Fuller first learned he was the star of Chanel’s new Allure Homme Sport campaign, he was “blown away.” But such a high-profile gig isn’t all that surprising for the 30-year-old athlete, model, and photographer who’s already been featured in the pages of GQ and ELLE.
Fuller first came onto the scene on The WB’s The Boarding House, a pre-Jersey Shore reality TV show where seven pro surfers were shacked up together for six weeks. After that, when his blond hair and hazel eyed mug catapulted far beyond the surfing realm, he initially struggled to find a balance between surfing and fashion. “There was a time when I put all fashion opportunities aside and just focused on my surfing career,” he told ELLE.
But the surfer never gave up on the camera entirely. He began taking photos to document his travels, and now, he’s been featured in photography exhibitions all over the world, most recently at the Brucennial in New York’s Greenwich Village. Intriguingly, Fuller actively tries to separate his surfing life from his art, even going so far as to adopt different names for each profession: “Danny Fuller” for surfing and “Daniel Fuller” for photography. “I don’t want to be riding the coattail of, ‘Oh, the pro surfer that does art,’” Fuller said. “That’s just lame.”
Despite his passion projects, Fuller says the chance to model for Chanel was “absolutely a dream opportunity”—especially because it was surf-related: “It’s really me in my organic, natural environment.”
For the new ad campaign, comprised of four short films, Fuller worked with Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)—an experience he called “such an honor.” He continued: “She really gets to know her subject matter and gets familiar with their expertise. She was constantly just reminding me, ‘Do what you naturally do.’”
The ads launched globally in early April and feature close-ups of a shirtless Fuller riding waves (if you look closely, you can even spot his tattoo—his last name—across his abdomen). According to Fuller, surfing and modeling go hand in hand because the sport is an art form as well. “[Surfing] is a way of expressing yourself,” Fuller said. “I’ve been known to have a very graceful style and presence within the ocean, and my intimate relationship with Mother Nature definitely translates with my work.”
See for yourself in one of the video shorts for the fragrance below!