Happy Hasid Stars in American Apparel Ad

This piece first appeared in The Times of Israel.

o-AMERICAN-APPAREL

The latest American Apparel ads are eliciting double takes from viewers. Instead of young models posing provocatively in teeny-tiny garments, these new ads feature a fully dressed Satmar Hasid.

He poses playfully, but he’s completely covered up in traditional Hasidic black and white. It appears he even brought his own fur shtreiml to the photo shoot.

The Hasid smiling in these unorthodox images is 32-year-old college student Yoel Weisshaus. Born and bred in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he now lives in New Milford, New Jersey and works a variety of jobs to support himself.

As part of a group of “shomer Shabbat” (Sabbath-observant) actors, he’s had a few extra and supporting roles in TV shows and films shot in New York.

Out of necessity, he’s also learned to do paralegal work. In 2011 he sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey when it announced a hike in fare tolls. The case is pending in the federal Southern District of New York court.

Apparently, Weisshaus views modeling as a natural progression. “I’ve already been pretty out there,” he tells The Times of Israel by phone. “I started getting requests and one thing led to another.”

Click here to read more.

© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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