It’s an engineer! It’s a model! It’s CRAVE ITguy Clay Doke!
words: Jim Wills
Wherever a top fashion show is held in Denver, you’ll find Clay Doke. Whether draped in the most stylish of menswear or startling seductive in women’s fashion, Clay Doke always leaves the crowd wanting more.
During the day our model superhero is a mild mannered petroleum engineer. An intellect for certain, he even wears glasses while crunching the numbers and running mathematical formulas.
Interestingly, this fashion chameleon is as comfortable discussing the Laws of Thermodynamics as he is ruling the runway in a pair of five inch heels.
Doke was “discovered” as many of talentedly beautiful are when he was a young adult, “I was eighteen or so at the time” he stated in an exclusive CRAVE Magazine interview. “A Brazilian gentleman who was a model manager here in the states caught me in the mall,” he continued.
Modeling and engineering seem like a mixture that wouldn’t stay homogenous, but Doke has learned to play in both worlds quite successfully. In fact, modeling has in many ways saved his life.
Doke has had a life-long battle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Proving himself as a successful male model has been both a crutch and a god-send.
BDD is characterized by an obsessive fixation of one’s own appearance. Often the preoccupation is such that the sufferer sees themselves as severely flawed or physically deformed and will go to great lengths to hide, cover or fix the perceived flaw.
Upwards of six and a half million people suffer from BDD as the disorder manifests itself in a number of different ways. Body image ideals such as too thin or too fat, to a perceived physical deformity that only be corrected through surgery are common. This can lead to a host of other problems including obsessive-compulsive behaviors, an insatiable need to workout and an unhealthy infatuation with plastic surgery.
For Doke, being physically tall and lightweight means 6’2” and 140lbs. This leads to a very narrow, 25-inch waist. While his figure makes him a great candidate to be high fashion model, his uniqueness also opens the door wide to BDD. As Doke stated, “In my case
On the flipside of what it means to be a model with BDD Doke commented, “Having BDD makes it very difficult for me to look at pictures of myself, but doing so is sort of my own method of cognitive behavioral therapy.”
Though he struggles with an obsessive desire to look at himself in every reflective surface in a room and plan potential plastic surgeries, Doke has embraced his uniqueness and the work that it brings him.
As a model, Doke has effectively made use of such individuality. He can blend seamlessly from male to female, from masculine to feminine. He is equally comfortable in women’s heels as he is in men’s boxer briefs. He has walked in countless runway shows from Red Ball to Denver Fashion Weekend and has had many firsts as the “first male model to close a particular show.” Such confidence crosses over seamlessly from runway to page. Doke has been in numerous print and online publications, including a terrific spread in Gothic Beauty Magazine with fellow Denver model Chloe Bundt.
Doke will continue to mesmerize in front of the camera and on the catwalk. He hopes that spreading the awareness of his battle with Body Dysmorphic Disorder will help others to come forward as this is a disorder that we need learn to deal with together and perhaps one day eradicate from our social consciousness.
Here’s to one of Denver’s top male models. We are proud to recognize Clay Doke as our second ever CRAVE ITguy!
images: Belles Lumieres Studio
wardrobe & artistic direction: Vandalism Designs (Read the CRAVE Magazine interview)