was born in August 4, 1968 in Sweden and raised in
Stockholm, Sweden, he became the first male supermodel in
the world. As a lanky, dark-haired teenager
he was a basketball fanatic and dreamed of joining the
NBA. Ten years later, at the age of twenty-four, he was
named one of the 50 Most Beautiful People on the planet
by People Magazine
Marcus Schenkenberg is the first male supermodel for the simple reason that there has never been another like him, ever. "His unprecedented body of work as a male model has redefined the very definition of masculinity and in doing so, has pioneered the modern idea of the new male beauty," according to David Bosman, President of Boss Models, the agency responsible for building his career.
Discovered while rollerskating on Venice Beach by photographer Barry King in 1989, he is the first male model ever to grace a magazine cover, Harper's Bazaar. Since then he has been featured on more covers and appeared in more magazines and been shot by more lensmen than any other male fashion model in the history of the industry.Even a partial list of his photographers reads like a pantheon of the greatest photographic artists of our time : Richard Avedon, Francesco Scavullo, Karl Lagerfeld, Tyen, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, David LaChapelle, Guzman and Arnaldo Anaya Lucca, among others too numerous to name here.
|And the reason why is
readily apparent as Scavullo once quipped:
"You just have to look at him, he's fabulous. He's
got a fabulous body, face, and attitude." His face
has launched celebrated fashion campaigns for signature
designers including Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace,
Missoni, Dior, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Joop!, Iceberg
Jeans and Silver Tab Jeans, and that's only half the
list. He is the first male model to land an exclusive
book deal, hence its title: "Marcus Schenkenberg:
And the reason why is readily apparent as Scavullo once quipped: "You just have to look at him, he's fabulous. He's got a fabulous body, face, and attitude." His face has launched celebrated fashion campaigns for signature designers including Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace, Missoni, Dior, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Joop!, Iceberg Jeans and Silver Tab Jeans, and that's only half the list. He is the first male model to land an exclusive book deal, hence its title: "Marcus Schenkenberg: New Rules." He has appeared in four feature films and countless television programs. Writing in 'Clothes Show' magazine in 1995, journalist Sylvia Patterson memorably declared: "Marcus Schenkenberg is so good-looking it is, frankly, preposterous. He's a cartoon fantasy man...his chest is a two-seater sofa!"
|It's actually been
difficult to get a perspective on Marcus Schenkenberg
precisely because he is such a massive media phenomenon.
There is already so much written about him and so many
images available and so many interviews already done. And
yet, with all of this volume, very little exists that's
revealing about the person himself with the sole
exception of Marcus' own, fascinating book. Perhaps he's
been the projection of so many of our fantasies over the
past fourteen years that it's now impossible to actually
see him as he is, to scratch the surface of the image.
And yet, that's very much part of Marcus too, that he is a chameleon in the words of NYC fashion producer Kevin Krier. A very feline, leonine Leo, my initial impression was that he's much more like the Sphinx, smiling at his own mystery. But on closer inspection a more textured portrait begins to appear. While it may surprise those who only know him through his photographs, Marcus Schenkenberg is a genuinely nice guy an almost universally held impression. According to fellow model Catherine Hardenborg: "He was unlike any male model I had ever met before. He took his success very easily and with no attitude at all. He's very down-to-earth and uncomplicated ... the same sweet guy out in public as he is at home." Another colleague, Rosemarie Westzel, concurs: "Marcus is to be simple: The Supermodel Beautiful Man ... but behind all this hides something even more beautiful!"
|He's clearly compassionate, having been associated throughout his career with a number of causes including the prevention of cruelty to animals. According to his brother Michael, "Marcus was a very quiet kid and sort of shy. He was extremely kind and felt great concern for all living things." Michael has Multiple Sclerosis, and it's telling that Marcus donated the proceeds from his book to fighting MS.Marcus is also pretty funny, according to colleague Joel West: "When I began modeling, I knew of Marcus as the most famous male model in the world. I idolized him professionally because he made it much easier for me to break into the industry. Now, I am fortunate enough to call him my good friend. There is nothing I look forward to more than my nights out on the town with Marcus. He has an incredible sense of humor a master joke-teller. When he goes through his arsenal I'm always left sick from laughing."|
|He's certainly nobody's fool. Anyone who speaks five languages, as Marcus does Swedish, English, Dutch, Italian and French is intelligent. But if you look at the way he's managed his career and unprecedented media exposure, and the fact that he's still in the public eye some fourteen years later (and counting), you are forced to admire how brilliantly he has managed it all. And perhaps, unlike most men, he is just plain comfortable inside his own skin. As Gianni Versace says in New Rules: "It is not often one sees a man like Marcus. He is so comfortable with his body and with himself that he transcends the limits of culture. In this sense he is free and by looking at him you also feel free." His brother describes this quality about Marcus, this thing that sets him apart from most other men: "Marcus was a cool guy who didn't feel the need to get attention or prove himself in any way. I sometimes got jealous because he always seemed to be so pleased with everything. Everything always looked more fun when he had it. It often happened that when he started playing with something I wanted it instead, and would try to convince him to play with something else."|
|And finally, as George Wayne wrote in Vanity Fair Magazine: "Marcus Schenkenberg is a maverick. He was born Marcus Lodewijk Schenkenberg van Mierop, but Maverick could easily have been his middle name. Because that is precisely the effect this 'modern-day Michelangelo' has had on the world of fashion Supermodeldom. He broke the mold. Marcus created the whole drama. He broke the barriers and single-handedly put the male model on the map. He sort of said: 'Yeah, men can do this too.'"On a remarkably public stage for all of his adult life, Marcus has risked everything, time and again. He is truly fearless. Our concept today of what's acceptable for men, what constitutes a masculine image, has evolved a great deal. But long before it was chic, Marcus didn't worry for a second about looking like a sex object, or feminine or even elegantly foolish. Joel West describes being with Marcus in a Gaultier show, saying: "It was absolutely fabulous the hair, the makeup, these long, fitted gowns. To see Marcus in these lacy long gloves and these long fake bangs with makeup, it just cracked me up. It was just way too funny." And he never worried once about being photographed nude, another thing he's done more than any other male model now working. In fact, when asked once by an interviewer to name his best asset as a model, Marcus didn't hesitate? "My best asset? My bare ass, definitely."|