James Lorenzo: “We are still a minority in the business but we have some greats on the forefront that can vogue with the best of them”

11 out, 2014

My name is James Lorenzo McDonald. I go by James Lorenzo because it sounds cooler to me. Sort of like James Bond, “I’m Lorenzo. James Lorenzo” I was born and raised in Southeast, Washington, D.C. I grew up playing all sports and earned over 20 scholarship offers for football.





I went on to accept one from Penn State, and graduated with a bachelor in Broadcast Journalism. I love double stuffed Oreos. I can go through a whole pack in one sitting and I dunk them two at a time.

I decided to become a model in 2011. I started modeling at the behest of an acting coach that I was seeing at the time. I walked in to a couple agencies and got turned away before walking into a Wilhelmina open call. They signed me the next day and I screamed at work (I was working for Cole Haan at the time).

My first shoot was awkward. I pulled up to the photographer’s house and it was a creepy house. I could’ve sworn I was about to end on the news, but it turned out great. Shoutout to Tom Clark in Miami. I’ve worked with a handful of clients thus far, but my favorite client is Belk.

The best time on set I’ve ever had was with Nike and Perry Ellis.










Posing to photographers 

I love testing. I compare everything to sports and testing is like practice. I love discovering a “new move” and perfecting my craft.

I like a photographer who isn’t afraid to coach me. Give me direction or critique me. Depending on the type of shoot, ill cut back on Oreos. Other than that I just try to stay hydrated and rested. I’m a big time napper. I had one shoot that gave the perception I was naked but I’ve never done a nude shoot. I wouldn’t be opposed to it if I thought it would benefit all parties involved.

On catwalks: no time for gawking

I’ve walked a few times but my most memorable time was my first time. I was walking for Neiman Marcus and it was a co-ed backstage. So I remember changing outfits and seeing women so “free” but you quickly realize its all business. No time for gawking.









Male x Female models

I think male models, as a whole, have more longevity than females. I think they kill it for a good spell but men kill it well into their early 50’s. My favorite models are Tyson Beckford and David Gandy. Other contemporaries always inspire me as well.

Black models are making a way. We are still a minority in the business but we have some greats on the forefront that can vogue with the best of them.

Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowd!

I´ll probably just smile really hard. Maybe pull out my phone and put it on Snapchat.

 On show business

I think show business is still looked at as taboo by your peers until those “model” checks starts rolling in. I remember when I first started it were always “Aw you model. And what else do you do?” You never say, “So you’re a banker. What else do you do?”










Dating x Loving

I’ve been in a relationship for almost 8 years. It’s a journey. I’m quietly, competitive. I’ll stay quiet until I win and then I passively gloat.

Super powers and superheroes

To fly and Iron Man

Dumbest think u´ve ever heard a model says

“Don’t bust out laughing”

“Reading makes my head hurt” #modelstereotype

Atracting someone´s attention


Having fun, enjoying life and craziest  craziest (nastiest?) thing youve ever done in a summer time season

Great sushi and a movie. I can do both by myself and have fun, but it’s always better when I’m with my lady.

I had a pellet gunfight in the middle of the college dorms on campus. I was wearing a full snowsuit and ski goggles in the middle of summer.

Fav body part and underwear

Other than the obvious butt and breast, I love hands and feet. Well-manicured toes and fingers go a long way.

My daily underwear is always a Ralph Lauren boxer brief. On set I always wear Calvin Klein briefs. With my lady, I’m usually going commando.








Earliest childhood memory and nickname in school

My earliest childhood memory has to be falling off the top bunk of the bunk bed my brother and I shared growing up.

My nickname in school depended on whom you asked. My friends called me Renzo or Zo. My classmates called me Ronald McDonald, Old McDonald or anything else related to McDonald folklore.

Reading, Music and Food

Love the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. I love losing myself in that character. 

My favorite performer is Jay-Z. I’ve been listening to him for as long as I can remember. In my iPod you are likely to hear anyone from M.I.A. to Brittany Spears to 2Chainz to the Rent soundtrack.

I love anything my lady cooks, Mexican food and I haven’t found a sushi roll I haven’t liked.

Yourself in 10 years

In 10 years, I see my self-living bi-coastal, as one of the world’s most sort after models. Taking my family on road trips throughout the country and attending my son’s tee-ball and soccer games.

Guilty pleasure

My guilty pleasure is Playstation 3. I’m in the process of updating to a PS4.

If u weren’t a model u would be….

News reporter. (May still try that out one day)

An unforgettable moment

Holding my son for the first time is the most unforgettable moment thus far.


“Control your mind; control your body. Control your thoughts; control your outcome”.

Next Chapters

I actually have a few things in the works. I’m currently writing a fictional novel, and working on a couple short films.


Mother agency is Wilhelmina Miami http://www.wilhelmina.com/ and  I’m also signed with Vision in Los Angeles. http://visionlosangeles.com/






Interview by Ed, the Brazilian editor


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