This is how Kendall Jenner met the “Romeo of Venice Beach.”
After word got out that Jenner, 20, helped kickstarted a homeless man’s modeling career, the reality star took to her app to explain just exactly how it all went down. According to Jenner, she was working on a photo shoot with pal Gigi Hadid and Ansel Elgort when John Economou, a Milwaukee native now living on Venice Beach, caught her eye.
“There are a lot of stories out there about the ‘Romeo of Venice Beach,’ but here’s the legit version of how it happened. Gigi, actor Ansel Elgort and I were in Venice shooting for Vogue earlier this year, and during our lunch break, we decided to have a picnic on the beach instead of on the concrete next to the wardrobe trailer,” she recalled. “We saw this kid just sitting on a sand dune. I was like, ‘He’s kinda cute,’ so Gigi and I kept looking over at him. Seagulls started attacking us or something, so he came over and asked if we were all good.”
Jenner said after learning that he was homeless, they invited him to sit down with them for lunch.
“After talking, we found out that he’s 20; he ran away from home and came to L.A. to model. After we got back from lunch, we gave him my agent’s info and Ansel was so sweet and suggested we bring him more food. When Ansel went over, John was so happy!” she explained. “Later on, John and my agent got in contact and now he’s a ‘Romeo’ with a contract—amazing.”
Jenner added, “It’s important to remember to do good things when you’re in the position to help people. I’m really grateful for this cool experience.”
Recently, Economou told New York Daily News that he earned the nickname “Romeo” from picking up girls and spending the night at their house when he doesn’t feel like sleeping on the beach.
“If a girl comes up to me and finds me attractive, I’ll give her my energy,” he told the publication. Though he saved up $4,000 before his big move and had his parents pay for his iPhone 6, the aspiring model said he’s still living on the street. “I don’t have an apartment; I don’t have a house out here. I don’t know where I want to settle down yet.”