The food? The climate? The lottery-lucky genes? There's something about Denmark that has made it one of the leaders in producing home-grown, fashion flawless, supreme SUPERMODELS. Some of the most recognised models today call the Scandinavian country home, from Freja Beha Erichsen to her male model counterpart, Mathias Lauridsen. So it makes perfect sense that ADOMM squeezes in a Dane to interview. Christopher Sylvest is not a super-male-model just yet, but the young 19 year old hailing from Værløse is most definitely on his way. As hard as he tries to be normal and live an ordinary life, there is no denying that Christopher has that extraordinary something that top models in the making only have. Just his boyish looks alone can carry him in the modeling world, but on top of that he is simply lovely in every sense of the word. With much to boast about in his impressive modeling career, after working for and with some of the fashion world's most influential, he manages to stay humble but at the same time, confident that his stint as a model is all just beginning.
Name: Christopher Sylvest Hermann
Agencies: 2pm, Nevs, Why Not, Bananas Mambo, New York Model Mgmt.
Birthday: 12th of November, 1988
From: Værløse, Denmark
What were you doing prior to modeling?
CS: I was attending High School, and working as a delivery boy on bicycle- which I still do.
How did you get started in this business?
CS: At work, driving around Copenhagen on a bike, I was stopped a couple of times by different agents who asked whether I was a model. The third time it occurred I called 2pm and the rest is history.
Generally the modeling industry is surrounded with stereotypes, what were your first impressions of modeling before actually joining the industry?
CS: I imagined that it was a shallow world - all about money and the way you look. And that the demands to you as a model were very high.
After signing with 2pm, did your impressions of the industry change?
CS: It was no surprise that money and the way you look is a big part of the industry, which can be positive or negative, depending on the individual. But there are many cool and nice people in the industry, who compensate for all the bad things there might be. I’m surprised that the demands to you as a model weren’t higher. It seems to be harder for the girls, and it’s not that tough being a male model but maybe I’m just naive..
Can you tell us about your first “model assignment.”
CS: My first paid assignment was a lookbook for Annhagen. It was quite tough, because I had only slept 3 hours the night before, because of my father’s birthday and I was going to Barcelona later that day. But it went out well, though it was a huge challenge for me. The people there were really nice, so it was good experience.
You’ve been pretty consistent as a model, squeezing in a couple photoshoots here and there which is great since the modeling industry is famous for it’s rejection. But in your opinion, would you say you feel more accepted by the industry or more rejected?
CS: Generally I feel accepted, but if you count the jobs I’ve been rejected against the jobs I’ve been accepted, I’ve probably been rejected the most times.
Aside from the rejection part, what would you say is the worst thing about modeling?
CS: It must be that you can’t be sure about if you get a job. You just have to wait and see, you can’t really do anything. I can imagine it can be difficult to be away from home if you’re traveling a lot. But I haven’t traveled that much yet.
So the uncertainty must be a killer. Then what’s the best part?
CS: To get the chance of traveling around the world and to explore a world so many people would love to be a part of.
So far in your travels, what would you say is your favorite city in the world?
CS: It must be Barcelona, but I haven’t been there modeling. It’s a great city with beach, nightlife, football and a lot history involved. Plus I met my girlfriend there on vacation. What are three essential things you can't leave without when you travel for work or on holidays?
CS: A book, money and my camera
Okay aside from the opportunity to travel, another perk is meeting really interesting models. And as a model from Denmark you have worked alongside other in demand Danes such as Eddie Klint and Mathias Lauridsen, do you ever get intimidated working with such big names?
CS: No, not anymore really. Of course I think of it, but it doesn’t affect me like it maybe did once. At the shoot with Eddie and Mathias I was a bit intimidated, because I knew I couldn’t do the job as well as they did. They were excellent, so as a “newbie” I felt a rather big amount of pressure.
You’re book is full of great editorial work. In your opinion, what makes a photoshoot great and who are some of your favourite photographers to work with?
CS: An interesting story or an interesting location makes you look forward to the job. Or if you’re working together with a model you know. I don’t have a particular favourite photographer, but I think Markus Pritzi and Kai Z. were cool to work with.
Then what are some of your favourite photoshoots you’ve done so far?
CS: The HE magazine editorial with Mathias and Eddie and the Maxim editorial in München with Bryton Munn. The first one because it was cool and educating working with them and the latter because it was a fun and relaxed photoshoot and I visited München, where I probably wouldn’t have gone to if I wasn’t modeling.
We all know that campaigns pay big money. What’s your “dream campaign"?
CS: A Calvin Klein fragrance with Gisele Bündchen on Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro would be pretty awesome!
Gisele is no stranger to runways, and like her, you’ve done a couple yourself. When you are walking for a runway event do you ever get nervous or is it nothing for you by now?
CS: I always get a bit nervous before entering the catwalk, but a glass of champagne always helps the nerves! I definitely get some kind of a rush after walking for many people – because I cross my own lines by walking for so many people, though it’s nothing compared to scoring a goal in a football match.
Between doing photoshoots for editorials and walking the Copenhagen runways, which do you prefer more?
CS: It depends on the job – but generally I prefer photoshoots. Doing shows means a lot a of waiting time, but I’m looking forward to go to the fashion weeks in Milan and Paris, as my education has prevented me from going to there the last couple of times
So a lot of waiting around. How do you pass the time then?
CS: I read a book, chat with some of the other models or I just observe all the busy people and what’s going on around me
If you could change one thing about your job as a model, what would you change?
CS: I support equality in society, so I also think male models should get the same salary as female models. Although the demands are higher for the girls and it’s a bigger market, so in the end it’s probably okay!
Like you said the male modeling industry is less demanding and in a sense less “competitive” in comparison to female modeling, so it seems like most male models get along more. Who are some of your “modeling friends”?
CS: I think my only “modeling friend” is Mads Nikolaj from Scan/Elite. I have hung a lot out with Thomas Andreasen and some of the guys from 2pm.
Okay we agree that the pay is never as high as what a female model would get, but we still hear from other male models that they do the job for the somewhat easy money. Do you model because of the perks and the cushiness of the job or is it something you truly enjoy doing?
CS: So far I’ve really been enjoying it. But I don’t think I would do it if the money and traveling didn’t come along.
Some models see this as another perk of modeling, the recognition and to an extent, the fame. Is it strange for you to see yourself in magazines, websites, and reading things about yourself by sometimes overzealous fans?
CS: It’s strange that someone suddenly knows you, without having met you. But so far it has been fun getting the attention.
Looking back at what you’ve accomplished as a model, what would you say was the “turning point” of your career?
CS: I would say the HE Magazine editorial, but I don’t think the real turning point has occurred yet.
How have your family and friends reacted to you becoming a model?
CS: They are mostly interested and supportive. Of course there’s a lot of joking coming along, but that’s just fun.
Schooling wise, do you still attend school or is modeling your top priority as of now?
CS: I have just graduated high school this summer, so now I’m officially a full time model
Hopefully we see more of you now that you’re full time. At the same time, you are aware that the job doesn’t last forever. Once you leave the modeling world, what do you plan on doing?
CS: I’m expecting to study Political Science or Journalism.
Hypothetically, if you never decided to call 2pm and become a model, what do you think you’d probably be doing now?
CS: I would probably be working full time somewhere, and travel around the world before attending an education.
Lastly, what are some of your upcoming projects that we can catch you in?
CS: An editorial in British Arena with some of the other guys from Nevs [Modeling Agency].
ADOMM Quick Questionnaire:
Could you tell us more about where you're born?
CS: I was born and raised in a small town called Værløse outside Copenhagen. It’s a very nice and quiet place – with beautiful nature, I lived just next to the tennis courts and football grounds, so I spent most of my time there. Now I live in Copenhagen, which is a very exiting place to live in. It’s a big city, but it’s still quite charming, as it’s still a bit provincial. There are loads of opportunities here and a lot of history, not to forget the water surrounding the city.
A normal day for you would be…..
CS: Right now, the days are not really normal, because I’m not used to not going to school. But yesterday I got up at nine o’clock, starting off with a shower and a good breakfast. Then I went to my delivery job for about 4 hours, driving around the city in a car. At 4pm I drove on my bike to the café where my girlfriend is working and got a cup of coffee. From there I went home to my friend- we went out to play some tennis, before we went home and ate Pizza and watched football in the television.
What are your hobbies/interests?
CS: I’m interested in the society, in Denmark and internationally. Football and history are also some of my main interests
For the sake of asking and because we love football, what is your favourite team?
CS: FC Copenhagen. Internationally, Manchester United and FC Barcelona.
Describe what “fun” is to you?
CS: Fun is to be in the moment and not think of the everyday life, it could be playing football, partying.
What is something that most people don't generally know about you?
CS: That I have lived 3 years in England.
Appearance wise, do you look more like your Dad or do you go after your Mom?
CS: That must be my mom, but by statue my dad
Of course a model has to be somewhat appealing, what do you consider to be your most attractive feature?
CS: I would say my eyes
The industry is basically about appearance and the way you look, are you a fashion conscious guy at all?
CS: I consider myself as a fashion conscious guy, but not in any extreme way.
Who are the people that influence you the most?
CS: My girlfriend, my friends and family.
Describe your ideal woman:
CS: Beautiful, intelligent, sincere, kind, and happy.
Your favourite television shows?
CS: "Ali G in tha USA", especially when Brüno makes fun of the modeling industry, a Danish sitcom “Klovn”, “Lost”, and “The Daily Show.”
Your favourite music?
CS: I like all kinds of music, right now especially Indie/Rock
Your favourite movie?
CS: I think “Zoolander” is a great movie. If you want me name a more serious movie I would say “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest”
Your dream job as a child was to be a...
CS: Professional Football player in Manchester United
What’s one of your phobias?
CS: I hate snakes
Do you have any special talents?
CS: I’m quite a good football player.
One thing you MUST do before you die or become too old to do is…
CS: To bungee jump and to visit Brazil.
*images courtesy of: Christopher Sylvest, www.2pm.dk, www.modelhommes-forum.com
with photoshopping done by adomm