A chance encounter with photographer, Skye Tan, and an impromptu photoshoot at the Berlin Sanitation Department was all German born model, Julian Hennig needed to live the model life. Julian has walked for majour designers, participated in two different fashion weeks, graced the pages of well known magazines, and worked alongside some of the biggest male models today. Not bad for only being a model for a mere month and some odd days. With all the momentum surrounding Julian, it's safe to say that this newcomer has a bright future ahead of him in the industry.
Name: Julian Hennig
Agencies: Viva/Ford Homme
Birthdate: 18th of August, 1988
From: Berlin, Germany
Your career is basically on high-speed. How has modeling changed your life in the short time that you've been working as a model?
JH: It has changed quite a bit. I haven’t been home for more than a couple of days in July and did not get to see my friends very often but I can still keep in touch with them online. I guess you have to make some sacrifices if you want to be successful and I am willing to make these sacrifices.
What were you doing prior to modeling?
JH: I was just a regular guy, who’s going to school.
Many models are usually plucked out of obscurity and had "grand discoveries", so how were you discovered?
JH: I was found on myspace.com by a photographer named Skye Tan. He dropped me message saying that he is a photographer from Singapore who is living in Berlin right now and asked me if I have ever considered modeling. In the beginning I was very skeptical because I honestly had never really thought about modeling but I decided to give it a shot and met up with the photographer at a café were he showed me his work. Later on we did a test shoot in the parking lot of the Berlin sanitation department and he introduced me to Viva Models. I signed with them in the end of June and things started taking off pretty fast from there.
Before your lucky break, what were your first impressions of modeling?
JH: It may sounds strange but I never ever really thought about what it must be like. At the time right before I was discovered “Germany’s Next Top Model” was running on TV and my brother used to watch it with his friends at our house and so that stamped my image of the modeling world.
So what would be your first modeling assignment?
JH: My first job was an editorial shooting for a German magazine and on the same day I shot a small movie in which I introduced myself to YSL because they had shown interest in me. I went to Paris 24 hours later.
You basically just started modeling a few weeks ago but you've already caused quite a stir in the modeling world. How does it feel to be so well received by an industry known for rejection?
JH: It is still hard to believe what is happening right now and I guess I just got really, really lucky. I am very happy about how everything happened and I hope it’s going to be like this in the future.
So far everything is going pretty well for you, so what would you say is the best thing about being a model?
JH: Traveling around and getting to know so many interesting people.
What's the worst part?
JH: Having to ask stupid questions like “What exactly is a ‘go-see’?”
Your runway debut was in Paris, for Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 08 collection. Tell us how you felt about doing such a high profile show?
JH: I did not know how high profile it really was until more and more people started telling me after the show was over. Now I know that it is a really good show to be doing and I am glad I was able to do it.
The YSL show had a lot of big time male models walking, such as Mathias Lauridsen, Danny Beauchamp, and Eddie Klint (to name a few); were you intimidated in anyway being a newcomer?
JH: No, not at all. I didn’t know any of them so I could not be intimidated. I was a little nervous because it seemed like everyone at the show had a lot more experience than I did. But other than that I just tried to do my best and not stick out as a newcomer too much.
Runway shows are more interactive than photoshoots, and especially doing high profile runways like YSL and Hugo Boss (the ones you’ve participated in) would be rather nerve racking. Do you get nervous at all or is it more of an adrenaline rush?
JH: Both. It’s like taking a hot and a cold shower at the same time. On the one hand I was a little nervous but on the other hand I just thought “This is so cool”.
We all know that a runway show takes time and preparation, which means a lot of waiting around during these type of jobs. What do you usually do to pass the time?
JH: I just sit around listen to my iPod, read magazines or talk to some of the other guy models.
It’s all pretty hectic backstage, but many of the male models seem more relaxed and friendly towards one another in comparison to female models. Who are some of your new model friends that you’ve made?
JH: I don’t think I can call them friends yet but I have talked and hung out with quite a few models. The first guy I met was Sean Opry, then I met a whole bunch of German models, some of them were newcomers also like Felix Schopgens who is from Berlin, too. I got to know Valentine from St. Petersburg and went out for dinner with my agent, Franck Welker where he introduced me to Adrian Bosch and Mathias Lauridsen. In Berlin I met Douglas Jewell and Thibault Oberlin at the Hugo Boss party after the show.
Ok so between fashion shows and photoshoots for editorials, which would you prefer doing?
JH: I know this answer is boring but I don’t think I prefer one of them. It’s just so different, I like meeting new people and that’s much easier when you do shows. On the other hand I like photoshoots as well because everything is a lot more relaxed and there are not quite as many people watching you.
You mentioned that your favourite part of modeling was traveling around, so what would be your favourite city you've visited thus far?
JH: Even before I started modeling I traveled a lot and I always loved going to New York City. Paris is very nice, too and I will always enjoy being in Berlin. So if it comes down to the cities I have got to know through modeling it has to be Paris. I liked London as well but I hardly saw anything of the city so I can’t really make a judgment about it.
What are three essential things you can't leave without when you travel?
JH: My iPod, my cellphone and lots of cash :D. Unfortunately my iPod broke right after I got home from Paris and so I had to stick with books from then on. I will have to buy a new one as fast as possible.
A lot of male models see the industry as an opportunity to gain easy money and get pampered a bit along the way. Is modeling like that for you, or do you genuinely enjoy being a model?
JH: Thus far it has been a lot of fun and I enjoyed doing it because it allows me to do what I love to do right now which is trying new things and meeting new people.
It’s safe to say that male models usually don’t achieve superstardom compared to female models, but they do achieve a small amount of recognition. How do you feel when you see yourself in magazines or knowing that somewhere on the internet groups of girls are wishing to meet you? Is it strange for you or do you embrace it?
JH: I don’t really care to be honest.
You are still quite young, do you still attend school?
JH: I am in 13th grade next year which is my last year of high school since we have thirteen years of school in Germany.
Would you say school is important to you, or is it just a back up plan to what you’d really like to do?
JH: School is very important to me. Before I am going to continue studying at a university, I am planning on taking a year or two off studying to work as a model full time.
What do you expect to do once you decide to leave the modeling world?
JH: I want to major in either business or medicine at a top university.
You're definitely a model on the rise, so you're quite busy. Laslty, what are some of the things you are currently working on?
JH: I just got back from London were I shot an editorial with Dazed & Confused Magazine. I will also be featured in Flux Magazine, FHM Collections and the German QVEST. I am going to Hamburg next week for another editorial shooting and I am sure there is more to come.
ADOMM Quick Questionnaire:
Could you tell us more about where you're born?
JH: I grew up in a suburb of Berlin called Kladow, very close to the border of the former East Germany.
Back in Germany you also worked as an editor at a magazine. Can you tell us more about the magazine and your experience working there?
JH: The magazine is called Readmore. It was launched as a web blog by students and was recently bought by a big German publisher. I was primarily doing interviews for them. I traveled around Germany and to NYC for the mag.
You’ve also lived in the USA for a bit. What was your trip to Oregon for? And how did you like America and the people?
JH: I went to the United States as an exchange student in the summer of 2005 and stayed there for about a year with a host family in the capital of Oregon, Salem. I went to the South Salem High School and graduated with the class of 2006. My host family was great and I made a lot of very good friends while I was over there. I like America but of course, like everywhere, you have some ignorant people around, which can be dangerous if they have great influence. For the most part all the people I have met have been very open, helpful and nice to me though.
What are your hobbies/interests?
JH: I have always been a sportive kind of guy. I love sports. I used to play football (soccer) tennis and do athletics. Right now I only play golf at a nearby golf course and go to the gym. I also enjoy going snowboarding or skiing in the winter. Besides sports I like to go fishing and I read everything from newspapers to books and magazines.
Appearance wise, do you look more like your Dad or do you go after your Mum?
JH: I think I look more like my dad.
Of course a model has to be somewhat appealing, for you, what do you consider to be your most attractive feature?
JH: I like my frame.
Describe your ideal woman?
JH: I haven’t met her yet. Most of the girl models I have met were too skinny for me though.
Who are the people that influence you the most?
JH: My grandparents and my parents.
The industry is basically about appearance and the way you look, are you a fashion conscious guy at all?
JH: You can’t do much wrong with jeans and t-shirt. I like wearing nice cloth, but I still do not spend too much money on clothes.
JH: I just watched “Walk the Line Last Night” and loved it.
Favorite musical band:
Now, define yourself in three words...
JH: Optimistic, Confident, Polite.
*images from: www.hugoboss.com, www.vivamodels.de, www.modelhommes-forum.com
with photoshopping done by ADOMM