I consider myself an early adopter of hot men of color. I was stanning for John Cho before his sex symbol profile blew up. I still remember Jay Hernandez’s early days on Undressed. Glad everyone finally got on the Michael B. Jordan bandwagon.
But Eliad Cohen I didn’t see coming.
One day, after months of seeing him pop up in my Facebook feed, I had to ask, “Who the hell is this guy?”
Turns out he grew up in Israel and has managed to use his “tall, dark and handsome” look to launch several entrepreneurial ventures.
Gay-ville is like an LGBT airb&b. But after some research I became fascinated with his Papa Party. The branding is really smart, centered around this kind of modified hegemonic masculinity. The bodies in the imagery are very muscular, but the humor has a good sense of camp. Papa (as opposed to Papi) is loose enough to encompass multiples races and as such Papa Party has been successful all around the world including France, Brazil, Australia and Spain. I had the pleasure to go to the first Papa Party in NYC at XL last February and it’s one of the best times I’ve had in a while. The music was amazing, it was a very diverse crowd and the energy was electric. Nowadays I’m usually hanging at the urban parties, I haven’t really done the circuit party crowd since the Roxy days.
I also got to meet Eliad that night and I’m happy to report he’s really sweet! Honestly, I’m not used to the really good looking gays being nice, but he was nothing short of the adorable persona he comes across as online. Not only will I continue to support him when Papa Party comes to NYC, I want to earmark one of the international ones for next year. They look like so much fun!
His profile says he “likes to see people happy” and it doesn’t seem to be the usual PR bullshit. I personally like to keep my circle small, but he seems to thoroughly enjoy creating this worldwide brotherhood. It’s a great lesson in personal branding as well as getting paid for doing what you love.