The fashion scene is typically dominated by highly curated Instagram grids and other aesthetically pleasing social media feeds, leaving little to no room for content creators to veer off course. And yet, in an attempt to open people’s eyes and minds, and broaden their understanding of the industry, a wave of new creators are flipping the script and letting people in on all of the fashion tidbits they didn’t know they needed to know.
Enter Calum Harper, the 20-year-old model and TikToker taking the industry by storm. Harper’s audience is lapping up his every word. He currently has 1.4 million followers on TikTok and over 100,000 on Instagram, and for good reason. His humorous approach to content is giving his eagle-eyed audience an insight into what being a model who gets to travel the world is actually like.
The fashion industry is usually observed from a distance, leaving those who aren’t involved in it somehow with little knowledge about what goes on behind closed doors. The glamour, the star appeal, and the huge scene that fashion encompasses are all out of reach for ordinary folk—but creators like Harper are breaking down the industry’s gatekeeping nature one video at a time.
Harper got his start in the modelling industry at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, though he shared that his childhood dream was in fact to become an actor. He’s hoping modelling will help him get there.
“During lockdown, I was crazy bored. So I thought ‘Hmm, what’s a way of getting my face out there? Oh, modelling.’ So I applied to all the agencies in London and very fortunately, I got accepted into one,” Harper told SCREENSHOT.
It didn’t take long for his burgeoning modelling career to take off either. This past fashion month—February 2023—saw Harper make his debut on the runway. Despite the fact that being a model during Fashion Week is probably one of the most stressful jobs out there, the content creator says he thrives in the chaos: “I love running around and having lots of things that need to be done. Being busy in an industry like this is an absolute honour and so I think that’s why I embrace it so much when I am.”
Fashion month may be a whirlwind but Harper isn’t taking his foot off the pedal. He walked for Ludovic de Saint Sernin at Paris Fashion Week, and manifested walking on the Gucci runway.
As for a dream brand he’d like to work with? Well, Gucci (again), Prada and Saint Laurent are on the cards. Or, as he puts it: “My dream campaign is any campaign that gets put up in airports. I don’t know why, but I always walk around looking at the big campaigns. I think they’re so cool!”
At a time when content remains king, Harper is the fashion creator of the moment. He’s managed to grow his loyal following by taking a humorous approach to content that brings people all the lolz instead of looking down on them—whether that’s a video about being a model in Japan “posing his ginger ass off,” his most embarrassing model story or revealing what model interactions are really like at castings.
Harper is putting the fun back into fash-un and stands out in an otherwise overwhelming content landscape. “I do like to think that I might be ‘putting the fun back into fashion’ with my videos, but in all honesty, it was never my intention,” he explains. “I just wanted to show people what I was up to during my day and try to be positive.”
Fans of the content creator will recognise his iconic run and his “yep yep yep” tagline which has become a mantra of sorts. Harper’s carving out a unique online persona through quirks that come from a genuine place. “I have a lot of weird little phrases that I like to dish out during a cheeky vlog and I find it interesting that ‘yep yep yep’ was the one that got the most interest. I think the combination of all of these strange little things I do during my vlogs is what has helped me forge my identity online.”
Alongside his modelling gigs, the vlogger path Harper has found himself on is one that’s leading to millions of views. “My most viewed TikTok video is a vlog I made in Target when I went to New York City for Fashion Week. It currently sits at 20.2 million views and 4.3 million likes,” Harper says. “I think it did so well because in the video I saw many things that I recognised from watching American TV shows or films as a kid. And fortunately, people saw my reactions to things like that quite funny!”
The life of a model is different from one week to the next, and despite Harper having made quite a few videos on the ins and outs of his career, his followers are still requesting more content on what it’s like to be a model in 2023. As Harper told me, “A lot of the vlogs that I post are around the subject of what it’s like to be a model. And my main intention with this is to genuinely show what it’s like and try to be as transparent and honest as possible.”
As his modelling career progresses, Harper hopes to travel more with work and show his audience different countries, cultures and experiences that they may not otherwise get to see. And all through a unique fashion lens that’s light-hearted and welcoming.
Blending in was never on the cards for Harper, and as his career continues to develop at a rapid speed, he’s taking his followers along for the ride.
If you’ve never had dreams of dating one of those incredibly cool and skilled chefs who have the most perfectly curated Instagram feed you’ll ever set your eyes on—the likes of Laila Gohar and Jonah Reider—then it’s simple: you’re either lying to yourself or lying to me.
As Disney+’s The Bear continues to garner rave reviews for its portrayal of day-to-day life in the kitchen, and following the success of 2021’s relentless yet accurate single-take movie Boiling Point, it’s safe to say that cooking is in and Deliveroo-ing all your troubles away is very much out.
But like with all things on the internet, rule 34—you know, the infamous claim that if something exists, it will inevitably end up getting sexualised online—has already made its mark on the comeback chefs and cooking in general are currently having.
In other words, while Gohar, Reider, and other Instagram-famous culinary artists are keeping it PG 13 due to the nature of their social media platform of choice, our friends over on TikTok have decided to spice things up after spotting a rather tasty gap in the bottomless pool that is the video-sharing app’s creative content.
Enter Cedrik Lorenzen, TikTok’s sexiest chef who, since January 2020, has managed to bring a whole different meaning to ‘food porn’ through mouth-watering cuisine and, well, other things too… In an attempt to dissect the rise of #WetTikTok—which has 22.7 million views at the time of writing—and shed some light on the creative process behind the trend, I reached out to the naughty, finger-sucking pro himself. Buckle up everyone, because it’s about to get hot in here.
For those of you out there who are interested in learning more about exactly what it takes to become a sexy chef, it’s important we first take a moment to look back on Lorenzen’s life and career. Though the 30-year-old content creator grew up in Switzerland, he moved to Australia during his teens. From then on, he moved a fair bit between his new home, Indonesia, and Europe.
“My professional background consists of over ten years of hospitality experience,” Lorenzen told SCREENSHOT. It might come as a surprise to some that none of his experience related to the kitchen, instead focusing on the front-of-house. “I have always aimed to work for the best in the industry. During my time, I did a lot of fine dining (Michelin-level and Hatted-level restaurants) but also cafes and bars.”
Some people step into a classroom and shine—their performance is consistently stellar in all academic subjects. Others are just as bright and capable, but they seem to struggle with listening to a teacher and focusing on their work. In a way, Lorenzen considered himself part of that second group. “I got into this industry initially because I did poorly in college and lacked the overall motivation to study. I was also unsure what I wanted to do in the long run, and with university fees being so expensive in Australia, it did not make sense to continue straight into uni (like most others),” he explained.
But further along the line, aged 25, Lorenzen decided to start studying again—and he was ready for something more challenging this time around. Though he first applied for the #2 business hospitality university (at the time) in the world located in Switzerland (and is now ranked #1), unfortunately, he shared that his Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) grades from Australia were not high enough.
In order to get in, he had to redo his Year 12, which he then got the required grades for after a year, entered as a direct entry student and eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Hospitality Business Management. Speaking about the specificities of his experience, Lorenzen added, “Again, to avoid confusion, I did not do any cookery classes at this university. It was purely theoretical, not related to food or cooking, with a six-month administrative internship.”
It was also during his “university stint,” as he called it, that the creator started focusing on TikTok and Instagram to practise his craft, “with the idea of eventually using these platforms to jump into the next idea or business.” As you can imagine, having to work to pay his living costs while passing his modules successfully and cooking weekly was challenging to say the least. “Perhaps it was for this reason that I completed my studies in four years instead of three,” Lorenzen added.
“In the beginning, it was tough because many of the dishes I made took me three to five attempts before I considered even uploading them, each taking anywhere between eight to ten hours. It was only after two years that I started to manage it in one or two attempts. And then, one year before completing my studies, I started having my first viral videos, and my plan started to click. The last year of studies was also quite intense, working almost day and night with little to zero free time between studying, cooking, and working outside of university. The pressure to keep up content while continuously improving was challenging (and is still now).”
It’s funny that he mentioned when his “plan started to click” because, when asked about what exactly inspired him to ‘sensualise’ his skills and video content on TikTok, Lorenzen first explained that “there wasn’t, per se, a plan of action”—at least not to the extent that it is now.
That being said, there definitely was a vision, a goal to keep his content on-brand when it comes to the “storyline of creating beautiful desserts for your significant other.” As time passed and his skills improved (both in video editing and cooking), Lorenzen continued to expand on this sexy food approach. “However, ultimately, the goal has always been to open up my own business eventually. Making content, in part, has been a strategic move towards that goal,” he told SCREENSHOT.
It’s a tough world out there, and looking at Lorenzen’s tender dough-kneading and provocative drip-licking in slo-mo, I couldn’t help but worry that the sexual side of his content would ultimately distract viewers from the culinary talent he also clearly showcases.
To this, the creator replied that, even though it is a risk he’s fully aware of, he prefers to see it as a challenge rather than a threat, “I always knew when I started to compete in this 15-second content space that I had to bring something interesting to the table to capture the short attention span of my audience while also showcasing my craft.”
“It is a fine balance between creating something perfect and slightly triggering,” Lorenzen observed. “In short, as long as my skills continuously improve, I don’t think my approach takes away anything from my talent. But then again, ultimately, my followers and viewers who watch my content can be the judge of that,” he concluded.
I have to say, more often than not, the chef’s answers to my questions surprised me. As shameful as it is to admit, perhaps I had subconsciously let my perception of Lorenzen’s content influence my expectations. It’s safe to say that, when I mentioned his go-to moves of “being shirtless or spitting in a dish,” I didn’t hate the fact that he put me back in my place, saying: “For clarification’s sake, I don’t spit in my food—it’s my sink.”
Not only is Lorenzen incredibly skilled when it comes to making his audience drool—and very down to earth about it, might I add—but he also learnt to take it on the chin when it comes to the range of feedback his content receives.
“It is what it is. There are always people criticising what I do—the spit, the fingering of food, me being shirtless, not wearing gloves, my captions about gender equality, and so on. All I can say is that there are bigger things to worry about than commenting on whether I should be wearing gloves or not, for instance. While it may be annoying, I’ve learnt over time to take everything with a grain of salt and ‘kill em with kindness’ when replying to shitty comments,” the creator explained.
If you consider yourself as part of the netizens who aren’t completely down with the chef’s sultry ways—“thirst traps balanced with artistry,” as he described his videos himself—then I hope you find comfort in the fact that, prior to speaking with Lorenzen, I did spare a thought for you.
It is my incredible thoughtfulness—nothing more, and certainly nothing less—that led me to ask the creator whether the character he had built on social media was actually supposed to be arousing or if there was another side to it, one poking fun at what ‘sexy’ is expected to look online.
Alas, it appears I went too meta with this one, because Lorenzen simply told me, “It is meant to be arousing. Does it always work? Maybe not.” You win some, you lose some, heh?
I guess this is my cue to leave then—you’ve probably had enough of my inner ramblings and are eager to swiftly close this tab, in search of more of Lorenzen’s mouth-watering content. I don’t blame you. Bon appétit!
You can also check out Cedrik Lorenzen’s website here.