Robert Irwin’s Melbourne Fashion Festival catwalk moment is giving serious ‘golden retriever energy’

Robert Irwin made a surprise catwalk appearance. (Getty)

Australian conservationist Robert Irwin made a surprise appearance at Melbourne Fashion Festival, and his catwalk moment is giving “serious golden retriever energy”, according to fans.

The son of the late Steve Irwin swapped out his usual khakis for menswear designs by the likes of TOMBA!, DOM BAGNATO and GODWIN CHARLI on 6 March, and absolutely strutted his stuff with a spring in his step.

Notably smiling unlike the fellow model veterans he walked alongside, the Australia Zoo keeper took to Instagram on 8 March to share a slew of pictures from his debut catwalk moment. “Never imagined I’d be walking the runway, but here we are! Wow, thanks for an amazing night Melbourne Fashion Festival!!,” he wrote.

In a video which circulated X (formerly Twitter) of the star, fans dubbed his excitable catwalk appearance as a “literal golden retriever walking down the runway” and drew comparisons with Modern Family character Phil Dunphy. 

“Phil Dunphy energy is strong in this one,” said one fan, while another quipped he had “Kennergy”

A different fan added: “The himbo ‘just happy to be here’ energy.”

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Irwin’s fashion venture comes as the star prepares for his first major TV role this year. He is set to be replacing Dr Chris Brown on Australia’s version of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. He’ll be appearing alongside host Julia Morris. 

Irwin even recalled how he appeared as a guest star on the series back in 2016, writing: “I was knee-high to a grasshopper and had the bowl cut. This just feels like it was meant to be. I loved so much getting to do that show. I remember just being so in awe, getting on that set, seeing the massive crew, the incredible energy that particularly Julia brought to that shoot,” Robert recalled.

“Since then, I became a massive fan of the show and watch it every season so to be able to have this opportunity is wonderful.

“There have been so many rumours flying here, there and everywhere, and so, to finally say that I can be a part of this show in some capacity is so wonderful. It is actually a dream come true for me. I never thought something like this would be a reality. I just cannot wait to take this on, it is my first time getting to sink my teeth into something like this.”

The new series of I’m A Celeb is set to return on 24 March on Channel 10 and 10Play.