Modeling career

How autistic teenager Julian Scott forged a modeling career

At 13, model Julian Scott already has major campaigns under his belt for Gap, Levis, Under Armor and Abercrombie Kids.

But his success in front of the camera is all the more impressive given that the Manhattan-based seventh-year student has a so-called “invisible disability” that falls on the autism spectrum.

Julian was diagnosed with little-known and often misunderstood Non-Verbal Learning Disability (NVLD), a brain disease characterized by difficulty recognizing and processing non-verbal signals such as body language, facial expressions and tone. the voices of other people.

Comedian Chris Rock recently revealed he suffers from NVLD, which may require hours of therapy to resolve issues such as poor coordination and a lack of organizational skills.

But when it comes to modeling, Julian’s mother said her diagnosis doesn’t hamper her ability to strike a pose.

“Julian has challenges, but when he’s pictured they just disappear,” Melissa Reale told The Post. “Off the stage, he struggles with impulsiveness and lack of focus both academically and socially.

“They might cripple him in class, but if he goes on a set, he chameleonizes himself into a confident, self-confident child.”

Signed for the past three years with New York’s Top Model Management agency, Julian recently appeared in a global Teen Gap campaign for the spring season.

He told the Post that the shoot was “really fun… I loved wearing casual shorts and t-shirts.”

Model Julian Scott is a natural on camera.
Stefano Giovanni

That day he was photographed in a city studio by famous cameraman Coliena Rentmeester, who has worked with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson and Christina Aguilera.

Rentmeester told The Post: “Julian took the lead incredibly well and moved with subtlety and ease. Teenage years can be a tricky time for models but he was endearing and very cute.

Meanwhile, her agent, Megan Klein, described the sought-after muse as “exceptional” and “natural,” adding: “He entered the business later in his youth compared to most of the models in his group. ‘age, which is a hindrance to and of himself. Yet he thrived.

It often happens that companies prefer to work with established child actors, such as former Disney Channel stars like Julian’s favorite, the late Cameron Boyce. Celebrity kids are also doing well with big name clients, including Romeo, David and Victoria Beckham’s son (who posed for Burberry) and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son Jaden, who made a hit. campaign with Louis Vuitton.

But that didn’t slow Julian’s momentum.

His career has grown steadily since his debut in modeling with the encouragement of his uncle and godfather, Scott Reale, who tragically died in 2017 of a brain tumor at the age of 53. As a tribute to his loved one, Julian and his family chose to change his last name, professionally, to Scott.

“He would be so proud of his godson now,” Reale said. “My husband Chris and I initially pooped the idea of ​​Julian going into modeling because of his academic issues,” she recalls, noting that her son also suffers from hyperactivity disorder. attention (ADHD). But Scott said, ‘You have to do it because it will be a great way for him to express himself. “”

Julian’s mother, Melissa Reale, is proud of her talented son.
Photo by Joy Jaworski

It is certain that Julian, the oldest of three brothers, is grateful for the opportunities he has seized since 2018, including trips to Baltimore, Maryland and Boston, MA for glamorous photos and assignments on the podiums. The relatively small amount of money he earns goes to his university fund.

But the rewards go far beyond a salary.

“Modeling made me feel good about myself,” said the teenager, who attends Winston Preparatory, a Chelsea school specializing in learning about differences, since September 2020.

As for his advice to budding young fashion plates, whether or not they’re on the autism spectrum, Julian said, “You just need to believe in yourself.”