Marcus Schenkenberg is a name deeply ingrained into the male modelling industry even twenty-seven years after his debut. Schenkenberg made a dramatic entrance into the industry, barrelling into a world dominated by females and introducing to the world a new species – the male supermodel. Oozing sex appeal and charisma like no male before him, he certainly made his mark.
Born in Solna, Schenkenberg’s childhood dreams oscillated between wanting to be a fighter pilot and a professional NBA basketball player and like most people, this clashed with his parents’ desires for him to become a banker or doctor. Although, he eventually ended up studying Economics in Stockholm, fate had a different idea in store for him and by the age of eighteen, Schenkenberg began to feel an unexplainable pull to America.
It didn’t take long for the Schenkenberg version of the American Dream to begin to coalesce. He arrived in the US with his best friend, and after living the vagabond lifestyle for a while he eventually settled in the famed Hollywood Hills, California where he worked as a nanny. The job allowed him the time to go rollerblading on the picturesque Venice Beach where he was discovered by photographer Barry King. His first big break came courtesy of legendary photographer Bruce Weber who put the name Marcus Schenkenberg on everybody’s radar with a 116 page ad campaign for Calvin Klein in Vanity Fair. Firmly cemented as one of the stars of this growing industry, Schenkenberg had the honour of becoming the first man on the cover of fashion magazine, Harper’s Bazaar. He also featured on the cover of the 1st ever Boss Models calendar.
Since making his splash into the industry, Schenkenberg has gone onto work with some of the biggest names in fashion from iconic designers to top models. Some of the designers he can boast working for include Calvin Klein, Valentino, Gianni Versace, Donna Karan and Armani while his face and body has been a mainstay on the glossy pages of magazines from Harper’s Bazaar to Vogue and more. Furthermore, he can count as his colleagues and co-stars some of the most recognisable supermodels in the world, including Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss. A list of modelling talent that would make the models of today weep.
Of course, the natural progression from simply modelling for brands is to create one yourself. However, this is no easy feat and only the most charismatic of people are able to do so successfully. Schenkenberg is one of those people, launching the Marcus Schenkenberg fragrance line in 2009 and the YOU ROCK Pearl Jewellery Collection later in the year. The following year saw the creation of his own cosmetic line, titled PLATINUM. In that same year, he launched a limited edition fragrance, SPORT, as well as his first fitness DVD, BODY SECRETS.
Not keen to limit himself to simply one avenue of creative expression, Schenkenberg also has numerous music, publishing, film and tv credits. He features on the soundtrack of the film, Flawless starring Robert De Niro, with his song “La Chica Marita”. Film credits include appearances in Meatballs and Macaroni, Multiple Sarcasms and Prince Valiant. He has also appeared most recently in American tv show, Smash. Internationally, Schenkenberg has appeared in everything from Italian tv shows, The Corlucci Show and La Grande Notte del Lunedì Sera to guest star appearances on German chat shows and Heidi Klum’s Germany’s Next Topmodel. He made his debut in the publishing world, with his guide book, Marcus Schenkenberg, New Rules. The book featured photos and personal notes about his career, but also offers commentary by colleagues, family members and industry professionals.
If ushering in the rise of male supermodels were not enough, Schenkenberg is often credited for bring activism and a new social consciousness to the fashion industry. Schenkenberg is a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and took part in the provocative PETA advertisement, “Turn Your Back on Fur” by baring it all. Not only did Schenkenberg feature in this campaign, but he also appeared in Times Square alongside the team of The Boss models to promote the campaign during fashion week. Although, this may not seem like much, taking the risk to stand up for animal rights against quite a stringent fashion industry was a brave step. Schenkenberg also serves as patron for the LR Global Kids Fund in his native Sweden.
The man himself is strikingly modest (like most Swedes) and has claimed to feel uncomfortable acknowledging his vast sex appeal or charisma. If, like the rest of us, you can’t wait to see where he will pop up next, it’s a wait and see game. While, Schenkenberg himself has hinted at the possibility of writing his own cookery book, we can only guess what the future holds in store.
Book coming soon, Top Models Vol 66 “Male Legends” and stay tuned for FIB’s 5 Min Web-Doco