Jeremy Meeks’s icy blue eyes enticed the Internet in 2014 and kept it hooked on through 2016 in a rags to riches narrative that not even Lifetime could have created — and which continued this week on the runway.
“Hot felon,” as Meeks was nicknamed online, was called “one of the most violent criminals in the Stockton area” by police more than two years ago during a gang roundup in Stockton, Calif., that put him in prison for a year on a felony firearms charge.
His mug shot was posted to the Stockton Police Department Facebook page and quickly went viral — eliciting lip-licking adoration from fans who were more concerned with his chiseled jawline than his rap sheet. Plenty of people found it, and Meeks, not so hot, especially in light of the memorial on that same Facebook page to a fallen officer who had died from injuries he suffered in a crash while on his way to help another officer. “I find it incredibly sad that an alleged felon on this page gets so much more attention on Facebook than a fallen officer,” wrote one commenter.
All the attention reportedly landed Meeks two talent agents before he was even sentenced for his crimes.
He served a year in prison and, while still on the inside, landed a modeling contract with White Cross Management.
When he was released from prison in 2016, he posted a picture with Jim Jordan, of White Cross, to his official Instagram account with the caption: “I want to thank my family and everybody for all your love, support, and prayers, I’m overwhelmed and grateful for what lies ahead.”
His Instagram account since has been filled with photos of his wife and children and still photos of that now infamous sultry gaze to good use.
And this week, the 33-year-old Meeks made his runway debut at New York Fashion Week, walking in the Philipp Plein show at the New York Public Library, reported CBS News. It was a first for Meeks, according to CBS, which said that his onlookers in the audience included celebrities and fashion icons like Madonna, Kylie Jenner, Tiffany Trump and Paris Hilton.
“Big thanks to [Philipp Plein] for believing in me,” Meeks posted to Instagram. “Last night was epic.”