Best known as the face of GUESS?, Chris Oprysk has been photographed by numerous elite photographers in the fashion industry: from Pablo Alfaro in GUESS, who he now counts as a close friend, to Bruce Weber on his first photo shoot for Abercrombie & Fitch, and to Liz von Hoene, Dean Isidro and Randall Mesdon among others. Also popular on the runway, he has also done shows for Sean John, Pelle Pelle, Liz Claiborne, Ron Chereskin, Fendi, Avirex and others.
Behind the success in modeling, there has been a long journey of compelling life stories for Chris Oprysk since his early days in the Bronx. Son of a Colombian mother and a Belgian father, grew up in the heart of a Jamaican neighborhood on the corner of 241st and White Plains Road in New York City. Living in one of the toughest neighborhoods in America, Chris didn't have the privilege to a normal life that most kids have. His family didn't move out of the Bronx to Westchester until he was 16, but the tough upbringing has made him a strong individual.
After high school, Chris got a day job at a moving company, and worked as a bouncer at Club Opera and a couple of other clubs around the city. It was on his day job of moving furniture that a photographer approached him. Initially Chris didn't take the proposal seriously. But as time progresses, Chris started to realize that being a mover doesn't offer the finer things in life; and the vicious attack on a boat cruise that hospitalized him for over half a year helped him to reach the life-changing decision.
Chris Oprysk showed up at the photographer's studio and had his photos taken. The feedback was positive, and Chris was recommended to the modeling agency, Major models. And major things have been happening ever since. The a few quick Polaroid's taken on the set at the agency soon snapped Chris a spot for Abercrombie & Fitch, in which featured Chris nude astride a horse. This is just the kind of wacky scenario that comes up a little more often in his new job than in his old one.
With his high cheekbones and sculpted body, Chris Oprysk is the epitome of the GUESS? man. When he walked through the doors for the GUESS? model casting, everyone involved knew the search was over.
The GUESS? Fall 2000 advertising campaign brought Chris to Costanoa, a beautiful stretch of land between San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California. "The 5 a.m. wake up call was a bit tough," Chris said, "but after some coffee I was ready to go. It was a beautiful location and the people were fantastic. We all became good friends."
The Bronx native spends his downtime hanging out with friends, tidying up his apartment, and keeping his car squeaky clean. His interests are varied - he considers working out at the gym his favorite hobby, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory his favorite movie. When he flips on the stereo, it's usually hip-hop or rap that blares out of the speakers. Chris lists Big Pun, Jay-Z, Notorious BIG, and The Lox among his favorite artists.
Chris' attitude towards modeling is a transformation of his larger-than-life character and integrity. "Only the strong survive!" is the motto that Chris learned from his childhood in the Bronx. His advice for all aspiring models? "Go for it and don't give up. Somebody somewhere will like your look!"