HGTV’s “Rock the Block” host Ty Pennington didn’t always envision a successful career in television and home renovation for himself. Long before he gained fame as a host for HGTV’s “Trading Spaces” and ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, Pennington began his career in modeling. In a 2012 blog post, Pennington reflected on his career beginnings, saying this period of his life gave him the opportunity to travel, see the world, and gain inspiration for his later design work that he still carries with him to this day.
This week, Pennington is looking back on his modeling days again in a new Instagram post, where the host recreated one of his old J. Crew campaign photos. The first photo of the post features Pennington, now 58, sitting outside in a polka-dot bathing suit with shaving cream on his face and a razor in hand. The next slide shows the original campaign from 30 years ago, which features a 27-year-old Pennington shaving on the beach in the same pose (though a different polka-dot bathing suit) as his older self.
Ty Pennington Explains Why He Stopped Modeling
Ty Pennington’s throwback post included the story behind getting the J. Crew campaign, and why he wasn’t able to expand his modeling career in the ways he would have liked to after the campaign came out.
“Looking back, I remember the absolute shock of hearing I was on the @jcrew cover. This one image finally gave my sad attempt at being a professional ‘Male Model’ a glimmer of hope. Overnight my career seemed to explode… but alas, fate had other plans,” Pennington wrote, “Only one week later I would be in a horrible car accident- catapulted out of a barreling jeep, sliding across a razor sharp road on my backside. Somehow, I survived… my buttocks sadly did not 😂😐 The staples and stitches couldn’t revive my new found ‘Body of Work’ in Modelling. So after my brother left my only portfolio of pictures in his unlocked car (that someone found and used as toilet paper-no for real 😳) I hung up my one decent head shot, picked up my trusty tool bag and went back to construction and carpentry. 9 years later I would get a call to audition for Trading Spaces… and the rest is ✨ history ✨”
Friends and fans alike took to Pennington’s post to remark on his 30 year transformation, as well as his younger self’s car accident leading him back into construction.
“The High/Low Project” host Sabrina Soto commented on his post, writing, “Verified
I love this story! Trust the universe. 🙌”
The account @lostjcrew, which documents J. Crew campaigns from “before the internet” (1983-1997) also chimed in, saying, “❤️ Remember that shoot like it was yesterday. The universe had bigger plans for you!!🥰 (and 58 is giving 27 a run for his money!!)”
‘Rock the Block’ Returns for Season 4 in March
Ty Pennington is currently gearing up for the return of his hit HGTV show, “Rock the Block”, which pits pairs of fan-favorite HGTV designers against one another while they renovate identical homes along the same block. Season four of the show was announced in October 2022, with filming wrapping later that month.
Season four is set in Berthoud, Colorado, and features four teams of two: Bryan and Sarah Baeumler (from “Renovation Island”), Michael Smith Boyd and Anthony Elle (from “Luxe for Less”), Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin (from “Farmhouse Fixer”), and Page Turner and Mitch Glew (from “Fix My Flip”).
Season three aired last Spring, and saw “Married to Real Estate” team Mike Jackson and Egypt Sherrod defeat Leslie Davis and Lyndsay Lamb (from “Unsellable Houses”), Dave and Jenny Marrs (from “Fixer to Fabulous”), and Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas (from “Bargain Block”).
This puts season four right on track to begin in March 2023 as was confirmed in the initial renewal announcement, although the official premiere date has yet to be shared.