Photo: Rick Day (click here for more).
The 31-year-old Ohio native launched his own swimwear label, Charlie by Matthew Zink, in 2010 after making his mark at Carolina Herrera, Tom Ford, and Victoria's Secret. We caught up with him following his landslide win in our 15 Sexiest Moustache reader's poll.
Our readers seem to have a huge crush on you: You gathered almost 40% of the votes. How does that make you feel?
Matthew Zink: I'm shocked! I mean, I was in such good company. Tom Selleck is one of my all-time style icons. He's synonymous with 'handsome' in my book. To be on the same poll as someone like that was very flattering.
Who would get your vote among the other 14 contenders?
MZ: Tom Selleck, hands down. He's the original. The thing about him is that he doesn't look like he's trying to make a statement with his moustache. It looks natural and effortless.
How do you take care of your moustache?
MZ: I don't use a lot of products. I trim my beard with a Wahl Peanut Trimmer from the drugstore ($69.99 at Ricky's). Some of the bigger clippers are hard to negotiate around the lips. I usually trim my stubble shorter than my moustache to make my whiskers stand out a little bit.
Do you have a grooming routine?
MZ: I keep it simple. I moisturize my face with Aquaphor Daily Moisturizer by Eucerin ($10.99, 14 fl oz). It's water-based and very soothing. Some people might find it too greasy, but it leaves my skin hydrated all day. My favorite fragrance is Kiehl's Musk ($42.50, 1.7 oz). It's clean and masculine. It kind of moulds onto you.
What were you doing before you launched your label?
MZ: I was the designer for Victoria's Secret swimwear for five years. Before that, I interned at Carolina Herrera and freelanced for Tom Ford.
What was it like working with Tom Ford?
MZ: It was amazing. I was his production assistant for three months upon a recommendation by the casting director James Scully. It was one of Tom Ford's last collection for Gucci. It was so valuable to be exposed to such a level of passion and commitment. I was not a kid who grew up exposed to high fashion: GAP was designer fashion to me! But I recognize passion and beauty, and discipline.
What has served you the most in your career after that experience?
MZ: Tom Ford knows who he is as a designer, and he wants to dazzle people. He wants to seduce you and make you feel beautiful. He's one of the first designers who made sex sexy, if you know what I mean. He didn't do it for shock value. I don't think there's been as much excitement in the industry since Tom Ford at Gucci. People don't wait for shows like they waited for his shows. It was just an amazing time for fashion.
Your resort collection is going to hit stores in August. What's in the cards?