Purple Magazine
— S/S 2012 issue 17

Sven Schumann

couture pour homme

photography by PAOLA KUDACKI
interview by CAROLINE GAIMARI 


The German former model Sven Schumann is a brilliant interviewer and an aspiring writer. He created The Talks, a successful online interview magazine that he updates weekly, featuring
only the most sought-after icons —  from Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, Mick Jagger, and Bill Murray to Viktor & Rolf, Nick Cave, and LeBron James. Charmed by Robert Rabensteiner, Sven agreed to return to his modeling days just for Purple.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Where did you grow up?
SVEN SCHUMANN — Munich,the beautiful, conservative city in the south of Germany.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Where do you live now?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I’ve been living in Berlin for six years. I travel a lot, but I like Berlin best. It’s a hub for everything. I love my friends — I spend most of my time at their places and at restaurants. Everybody in Berlin has a spacious flat, so the best times often happen in private homes.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — How would you describe your style? Did being a model of men’s fashion influence it?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I always liked nice things, but I was never crazy about fashion. As a child I loved cashmere sweaters and jeans, so my style is pretty simple. Lately I’ve been wearing suits, which I enjoy, strangely enough. But modeling exposed me to labels I would not have discovered otherwise. My favorite collection from my modeling years was Christopher Bailey’s Burberry Prorsum, not just because the clothes fit me perfectly, but also because Burberry — and especially Christopher — treat their models better than most of the others.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Are you still involved in modeling?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I do have an interest in fashion, but modeling was something that happened by chance. I was never that into it. I did well at it for a while, and I met some great people, but there’s not much money in it for men, so it could never have become a career. Modeling was a tool to travel, meet beautiful girls, and be independent from a fairly early age. After two years of it, I moved from New York to Berlin, to study and to start working as a writer. I would take jobs here and there if they paid well or if friends were involved, but for the past five years modeling hasn’t played a role in my life. Purple brought me out of retirement, I guess.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — How did you decide to start your website?
SVEN SCHUMANN — Four years ago, I founded a company with Johannes Bonke called COLORSTORM MEDIA, which does media consultancy, PR for selected companies and individuals, and
content development for international magazines like Vogue, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar. After a few years of doing that, I had the idea for The Talks, a weekly updated on-line interview magazine. I wanted to publish stories my way, with-out an editor telling me what to do. I wanted a place where people could be themselves without being censored. We don’t promote anything on The Talks — the conversations are always about the people and their view of life.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — How did you meet your collaborator, Johannes Bonke?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I’ve known Johannes since I was eight years old. We’re very close friends. On weekends and holidays we used to play tennis together in a small Bavarian town called Flintsbach, where Johannes grew up, and where my parents owned a country house.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Who does what for the website?
SVEN SCHUMANN — All interviews on The Talks are conducted by Johannes or myself. We collaborate with a number of photographers, most frequently with the amazing Alex de Brabant.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — You’ve had some real icons on The Talks — Jack Nicholson, Michael Douglas, LeBron James, Meryl Streep. How do you get them to do it?
SVEN SCHUMANN — Over the years we built up contacts in the media industry through the magazines we worked for, so now we can set up appointments around the world. My involvement in the fashion industry also helps us with designers and photographers. We never just run into people and bother them for interviews. Everything is set up in advance. I’ll think of a few topics to talk about, instead of having a full list of questions. It helps to really listen — that way, you can have a real conversation. Ideally, we do our own photo shoots, as well. We’re getting more and more requests from people to be on our site.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — How do you select them?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I select people who actually interest me. It’s important to be interested in the person — it’s easier to get something out of them that way. I really enjoy talking to older men who’ve had eventful lives and careers. They’re not so worried about their public images, and so they’ll actually say something about themselves. I loved my conversation with the Pop artist Mel Ramos. The first answer he gave me started with “Picasso was so full of shit,” which is the way you want things to begin! Of course, it was also amazing to meet Jack Nicholson and Patti Smith.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — Were you ever interested in starting a print magazine?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I love print magazines, and I am generally interested in the idea of publishing one of my own. It was just easier to do it online. Besides, I don’t have the time to do a print magazine.

CAROLINE GAIMARI — What’s the next interview you have in mind?
SVEN SCHUMANN — I really want to do a story on Jack White. He’s the most badass guitar player of his generation.



Seb Bascle @ ARTLIST PARIS, hair — Christina Corbel @ JEDROOT, make-up — Hervé Sauvage and Céline Martin, set designers — Francesca Cefis and Valentine Bocciardi, stylist’s assistants — Sven Schumann @ MEGA MODEL AGENCY, model

[Table of contents]

S/S 2012 issue 17

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS

purple BEST of the SEASON





purple BEAUTY

purple TRAVEL

purple NAKED

purple NIGHT

purple SUMMER


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