Austin man would be first deaf model for national clothing company

National retail company Chubbies is looking for their next “Man Model”. One of the finalists lives here in Austin, and there’s something that sets him apart from the rest. He’s hoping what makes him different will serve as a large platform.

"I was in awe for a while I was kind of shocked and I was like, ‘this is actually happening’. It took me a few good hours to let it sit. To be chosen out of thousands and thousands of contestants is amazing."

Julian Moiwai is a 28 year-old that’s also known as “JuJu”. Weeks ago he decided to enter the 2018 Chubbies Man Model Search.

Joseph Reyes works at Chubbies in Austin, and says he’s seen Moiwai shop there plenty of times there.

"It means a lot to him from what I've heard. He's really excited about the opportunity. I didn't know that he was deaf that's a pretty cool perk about it. Just a really cool and energetic guy. That's exactly the kind of people we're trying to reach out to. He fits the brand very well,” Reyes says.

When Moiwai was 10 months old, he got spinal meningitis which caused him to lose his hearing.

Julian moved from Durham, North Carolina to Austin a few years ago. He filmed the video he used to enter the competition all over the Capital City. Something else Julian says he developed at a young age, was his love for shorts. But modeling hasn’t always been his thing, which is why he says winning this competition makes sense to him.

"Growing up I was very humble I didn't like to be in front of the camera I was more of a behind the scenes kind of guy. And now I don't mind because of Chubbies, and the brand name I really love Chubbies. I've worn them for the past 6-7 years. I almost wear them daily. And modeling to me is just like….be yourself!” 

Reyes says if he were to win it would be insane for the city of Austin and he hopes that happens.

If you’d like to vote for Julian, here’s how. Click here and scroll to Julian “Juju” Moiwai, enter your name and address. You can vote once a day until May 19th 11:59 PT.

The winner will be announced on the 20th.