One of the top icons of the male modelling industry, Werner Schreyer is a trailblazer – paving the way for male models everywhere.
Throughout his two decade spanning career, he has worked with some of the most prestigious photographers and fashion designers and modelled for some of the most recognisable campaigns globally. Born on March 10, 1970 in Vienna, Schreyer likes the simple but active life, telling World of Models that he loves “sports, soccer, martial arts, mountain biking, running and nature.” Following his graduation from the European School of Economic and Social Sciences in Vienna, Schreyer was kindly told by his mother that it was time to get out of the apartment and into the real world. Lacking direction himself, his mother suggested modelling as everything he wore seemed tailor made for him. This served as the catalyst for Schreyer and he joined a modelling agency in Austria before quickly going global. A new star was born.
Soon after his international debut, a fateful encounter in London with legendary photographer, Mario Testino put him on the road to superstardom. It wasn’t long until Schreyer was working on campaigns for Versace, Armani, Guess, Calvin Klein, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana. Not just a photoshoot model, Schreyer could also be found strutting his stuff on the runway, appearing on the catwalks of London, Paris and Milan for several prestigious designers. Working with some of the best fashion photographers in the world, including Mario Testino, Herb Ritts and Bruce Weber helped Schreyer become one of the most recognisable faces in the fashion industry.
However, you don’t get to that stage without appearing on the cover of some of fashion’s biggest publications and that’s exactly what Schreyer did, going on the appear on the front cover of Elle and GQ magazine, to name a few. Schreyer also has the unique honour of being the only male model to ever appear on the cover of French Vogue. Not bad! His most notable campaign which propelled him to iconic status was for Hugo Boss. Werner became the face of their mens fragrance as a jumping off point towards becoming the face of the entire brand. The move proved doubly fortuitous as the brand got a new shot of life while Schreyer became a household face around the world.
Fitting for man now nicknamed, ‘the James Dean of Fashion’ Schreyer went on to try his hand at acting. He trained as a method actor at the Gerard Vergez school in Paris as well as training as a stuntman at Action Concept, Cologne. His big acting debut came in the 1993 costume drama Sense which won first prize at the International Historic Film Festival. Schreyer then appeared in Élisa, alongside Gerard Depardieu and Vanessa Paradis as well as Bandits, Point Blank and Another 9 1/2 Weeks in 1997 with Mickey Rourke. Although Strayer’s film career was not as successful as he would have liked, he quickly found more success returning to the modelling industry in which he made his name, becoming the face of Fred Jeweller in 2007.
Schreyer married Jeanne Dupuy in Las Vegas in 1995, moving to Paris and having a son together. Although the couple separated within eighteen months, Schreyer’s son Marlon has since followed in his father’s footsteps and entered the modelling industry. Schreyer currently resides in Switzerland where he indulges his creative passions including painting and photography. Despite his stardom, Schreyer remains humble about his role in opening up the fashion world to male models, telling World of Models that “the nineties were the birth of the acceptance that modelling is a profession regardless of the gender. And you can believe me – being a model is not an easy job.”
Stay tuned for FIB 5 minute Web-Doco Top Models Vol. 66 “Male Legends” and book coming soon!