Think of all the pictures you’ve seen of Singapore’s Olympic champion, Joseph Schooling: chances are, you’ve either seen him pictured in a pool or all-dressed up in a slick Hugo Boss suit as the brand’s ambassador. Two extremes. So, when we were given the opportunity to shoot Schooling for the June/July cover of Esquire Singapore, we wanted to present him in a new light. Singapore’s golden boy, yes, but also as a game-changer—a maverick leading the way for a new generation of Asian sportsmen and women. And what better place to shoot (and show) Joseph in a new light than in Texas; the state that he has called home for the last four years studying at The University of Texas in Austin.
On a cool spring day in Lockhart—a quaint country town just a 30-minute drive from downtown Austin; and as famous for its Black’s Barbeque ribs (worth the hype) as it is for being the shoot location for one of Michael Bay’s Transformer movies (so we’re told)—a relaxed Schooling, saddled up with a vintage Cowboy hat and boots, revealed a rarely seen side to his public persona as Singapore’s poster child. Charming, yet vulnerable. In control, but still finding his way. Man, but very much still a boy. This is Joseph Schooling in transition. This is Joseph Schooling like you’ve never seen him before. This is Joseph as Singapore’s sporting maverick.
Watch the fashion film above to see Joseph at our cover shoot in Texas.
To see the full fashion shoot of Joseph Schooling in Texas, make sure you grab the June/July issue of Esquire Singapore available on newsstands now. The cover story entitled, ‘A Maverick is Born’, also features a candid tête-á-tête between Joseph and his father Colin Schooling as they discuss the burden of expectation, maturing in the spotlight, and growing up in America.
Photography: Onin Lorente
Creative direction: Norman Tan
Hair and grooming: Shannon Van Horn / Trove Artist Management
Assistant: Adam Moroz
Video: Todd White