First Male Supermodel John Pearson Launches Digital Magazine with Help from Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford

Pearson also recruited Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Christy Turlington for a special "Freedom! '90" reunion to help kick off his new website Mr Feelgood

John Pearson
Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty

You may know John Pearson as the world’s first male supermodel who 30 years ago starred alongside Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford in George Michael’s iconic "Freedom! '90" music video. These days, he is a 51-year-old husband and father of three who still poses for the likes of Kenneth Cole, Etro, Esquire and Vogue Italia — but he has a lot more to say about everything from culture and style to self-improvement and mental health.

While in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic, Pearson developed a place to compile these thoughts and encourage thought-provoking conversations. The final product is a digital lifestyle magazine that launched on Thursday called Mr Feelgood.

"I just want everyone to feel good!" the supermodel and entrepreneur tells PEOPLE of creating the website. "While we're going through this period of time in our history and the world, I just think it's really important that we can connect. So with Mr Feelgood, we're just attempting to get a candid conversation going, but especially for men who are sort of afraid, depending on the generation they came from, [and] don't have the tools to discuss in this way."

Pearson says the site became a way for him to express himself during quarantine, adding "I know it sounds bit hippie ... but, to be honest, I'd rather talk about things that are interesting and really matter than superfluous. I think it's really important that we connect with each other on an authentic level."

Mr Feelgood’s overarching theme of tackling taboo topics, asking the hard questions and digging deep can be summed up into one phrase that appears several times across the site: “What the F***," which became the mantra for the project when Pearson asked his business partner Pete Samson "what the f*** is namaste?" during the early stages of brainstorming.

Mr. Feelgood
"Freedom! '90" music video. Mr. Feelgood

And his fellow '90s supermodels were totally on board with the concept — Pearson reunited with Campbell, Evangelista, Patitz, Turlington and Crawford to talk all things "Freedom! '90" and reminisce on their careers in a Q&A-style piece for the site.

"I went to [my friend] Tatjana with my idea for Mr Feelgood. She was so encouraging. She was fantastic. Then I sent an email to Christy who lives in New York, but I didn't have the emails of the other girls. Christy came back saying, 'This is great. Love it. I've cc'd all the girls'."

"They're all really amazing, smart, entrepreneurial, classy, awesome women," Pearson says of his longtime friends. "They were then and they are now. They're very smart, all of them. They're very industrious. They're just great, great people. So it's always nice to catch up with them."

Beyond fashion and friendship, the supermodel also hopes Mr Feelgood will help break the stigma surrounding mental health, especially during the pandemic and as it pertains to men.

"I lost a friend last year to suicide and it really shook me to the bone because I was the guy he came to to talk to and he didn't and I lost him. That sort of thing is happening way too regularly, way too frequently.

"We're not experts. But we will talk to experts. We want to cut to the chase," Pearson says of Mr Feelgood, which he plans to develop into a podcast soon. "It's uncomfortable sometimes. But I think when you learn things, it just energizes you, inspires you, gets you out of the funk and gets you going again. It's innovating, it's exhilarating to some extent."

Pearson says working tirelessly to prepare for the launch of Mr Feelgood was somewhat therapeutic, keeping him “focused and sane" while quarantining in Los Angeles with his wife Alison Edmond.

“She's been great to lean on and have great ideas to sort of bounce back,” Pearson says of Edmond — an acclaimed fashion stylist and editor. "Lockdown is the first time in 35 years I haven't traveled. The good news is, me, my wife and three children all still love each other."

As for the couple’s three children, Pearson could not be more proud of them and says he wants to get them involved with Mr Feelgood at some point.

They are amazing, amazing human beings," the supermodel says. "Very, very proud of them. I don't know what we did right but we did something. I want some of them to write for Mr Feelgood...I'm really looking forward to just getting on with the work and seeing where it all goes."

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