Handsome ex-criminal steals hearts at Milan Fashion Week

Model Jeremy Meeks presents a creation for fashion house Philippe Plein during the Men's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion shows in Milan on June 17, 2017.
Model Jeremy Meeks presents a creation for fashion house Philippe Plein during the Men's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion shows in Milan on June 17, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Ex-convict Jeremy Meeks stole hearts when he took to the runway at the Milan Fashion Week over the weekend (June 17-18), the Huffington Post reported.

The 33-year-old has come a long way since his police mugshot went viral after his arrest in 2014.

The Californian walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival last month, dressed in diamond-studded loafers and was photographed mingling with singer Nicki Minaj and heiress Paris Hilton.

German designer Philipp Plein gave him two looks to parade down the Milan catwalk, including a shirtless ensemble that showed off his ripped physique.

Meeks had been convicted several times in the past for grand theft, and had documented links with gangs including the Northside Gangster Crips, according to a report by UK newspaper Metro.

At his last run-in with the law, Meeks was stopped while driving away from a house that was due to be searched by police. A search of his vehicle revealed that he had an unregistered handgun and a small amount of marijuana, which led to his arrest.

He was given a 27-month jail sentence and a 500-hour substance abuse treatment program. But that last arrest turned out to be his ticket to fame and fashion glory.

His mugshot was posted on the Stockton Police Department's Facebook page, garnering over 100,000 likes.

The post caught the attention of White Cross management, which signed Meeks on as a model in 2016, and even used the mugshot on their website as Meeks' headshot photo.

Meeks was released from prison in March 2016 and transferred to a house arrest programme.

He was posing for photoshoots even before his official release.

In June 2016, Meeks posted a topless photo of himself in his house, counting down to the end of his house arrest stint, with the caption "Count down #housearrest #bayarea"

His criminal past has complicated his modelling career. In April this year, Huffington Post reported that he was deported from London's Heathrow Airport and denied entry into the country while travelling there for a photoshoot, because of his criminal record.

Meeks was none too happy about this, recording a video of himself saying: "London don't want me here. I done served my time. S*** is crazy. Don't make no sense."