Australian models Jordan and Zac Stenmark chat about their early days in the industry, being banned from watching Zoolander, and convincing people they really do have distinct personalities.
As twins, models Jordan and Zac Stenmark are used to being together. They’ve worked on campaigns in tandem, been side-by-side mentors on Australia’s Next Top Model, and did set-ups that play off their symmetrical good looks for this photo shoot. Heck, they even share an Instagram account.
But they want to put paid to the popular notion that twins yearn for the chance to break free of their sibling, telling Stellar that they’re more than happy to “do” life by each other’s side – within reason.
“We do have separate parts to our personality,” says Zac, who both looks and sounds like the brother who was born eight minutes earlier. “In the industry, people have put us together, but we’ve also done things individually.
The one great thing about being a twin is that it’s nice to have someone you can experience life with. We have our own parts of our life and we always come back together, and we enjoy being able to share everything.”
Jordan adds: “When we were a lot younger, a friend of mine who was a basketball coach said, ‘You are stronger together than you are apart.’ And we believe that. One huge benefit of doing this together is that we’ve been able to support each other when we’re down.”
Indeed, long before they walked international runways in Milan and posed for Ralph Lauren and Giorgio Armani, the duo had dreams of playing professional sport. They were in a developmental squad for the AFL team Greater Western Sydney Giants and studying economics at The University of Sydney when they were scouted in 2011.
“When we entered modelling, I remember sitting on the couch in the agency signing that contract, and we never knew we were going to meet Tom Ford two weeks later,” says Zac.
“The only thing we were told then was not to watch Zoolander,” Jordan adds with a laugh.
The 29-year-olds’ passion for health and fitness has never abated – they’d travel to modelling shoots with a Sherrin AFL ball and kick it around between takes, and last year, they launched their nutrition and fitness program, Stenmark Fit.
Now the brothers have collaborated with Dr Stafford Sheehan, a chemical physicist at Yale University in the US, to launch Dreamers, a science-backed eyewear range that blocks 99.9 per cent of blue-green light from your device or TV as you read, scroll or binge-watch before bed, thus helping to improve your sleep quality.
“Zac likes to read medical journals,” Jordan explains. “He’s been doing that for a long time. He’s so enthusiastic about the fundamentals of health, which includes sleep. He started working on this project over five years ago. Now, together, we want to turn it into a global business.”
Despite the lofty ambitions, the brothers – who were based in New York until the pandemic hit – still have plans to keep one foot firmly in the modelling and entertainment worlds.
They’re busier than ever with fashion shoots, and hope to branch out into film and television, especially as the whole of Hollywood seems to have packed up and moved to Australia for work. Regardless of what comes next, they’ll fall back on a strategy they learnt in their sporting days: play what’s in front of you – and do it humbly, as a team.
“We definitely keep each other grounded,” starts Jordan, as Zac finishes the thought: “And I’m glad of that.”