As we shift the focus back on the fashion industry, it is my pleasure to introduce a rising face that is taking the modeling world by storm.
Who is this talented man, you may ask? Well Conrad Bischoff, of course, a mature, 18 year old who will be jet setting off soon to study at the NYU campus in London, England. It comes as no surprise that this fellow has had quite the luck in his claim to fame, taking on the names of Prada and Marc Jacobs in his first year of his modeling journey. In less than 10 months, he’s conquered more than some have done in years. To hear his story was quite the honor and I’m incredibly pleased to share it with all of you.
So, how did this all come about? I’m sure Mr. Bischoff didn’t call Prada up and just simply ask to model. No, there was a beginning before that. “I signed with my agency, Red Models NYC, in August of last year, so I was 17. My freshman year of high school, I started to get into fashion more through Tumblr and eventually Instagram, and I sort of discovered the world of high fashion and it became less alien to me. During the end of my sophomore year, I started sending a few photos around to different agencies, but it wasn’t until I was living in NYC that summer, that my agent, George Brown, scouted me. I signed about a week later.”
It seems as though the process has only begun, and yet, everything is moving so quickly. I’m sure it was only a moment’s notice until he got his first job, right? “My first ever shoot was for an online blog, Visual Tales, shot by John Tan. It was an interview series he was doing for new faces. Going into it, I was pretty nervous just because I didn’t know how he’d react if I messed something up or didn’t know how to move for the camera. But he ended up being really chill and we actually shot again a few weeks later. Our first shoot was at different locations around Manhattan and I had to change looks in alleyways, so it was definitely a sort of crazy first experience, but I loved it.”
And soon enough, he took from changing in alleys to working for Prada and Marc Jacbos, two very incredibly experiences, I’m sure. “After about 3 months of doing test shoots and building my book, my agent told me that a few big designer brands were interested in having me walk for their Fall/Winter shows in January. The brands I knew of were Gucci, Prada, and Burberry. Throughout most of December, I’d have to go to my agency and take unedited digitals to send to the brands, since they couldn’t actually meet with me as they were all based in Europe. Sometime at the end of December, my agent called me and just said “Hey Conrad, what do your parents want..?” Confused, I asked what he was talking about and he said, “When you go to Milan, I mean, what do they want?” After that I freaked out and couldn’t believe that someone had actually booked me so soon. He explained that Prada had booked me as a Worldwide Exclusive, meaning they wanted me to walk for their show and only their show that season, and in exchange they’d pay extra and cover my airfare/hotel costs. The actual show was amazing to be a part of, things like meeting Miuccia Prada and meeting up with other models from around the world was so incredible. About a month after Prada, Marc by Marc Jacobs booked me for their lookbook shoot, which was inside of this really sick, sort of tarnished warehouse in downtown Manhattan. They had installed this half pipe in the space and had us shooting on it, which was really cool. A few weeks after that, I did a job for Marc Jacobs that’s been one of my favorites to date; I basically just played dress up with the team as they tried different pieces on and off me in order to decide what the new collection would be like. It was everything from last season’s pieces to vintage stuff and the looks were all amazing, plus the people are so nice to work with.”
With all this success in such a minute amount of time, it must be a completely different environment for the family setting. How does his family take to all of this? “They are supportive to the extent that modeling is a good way to make money. They don’t really understand the more artistic viewpoint of you helping someone’s vision come to life or how you’re becoming a different character each time you’re in front of the camera. They’d really like to see me go into business or science, but I’m so into art, music, and fashion now, I know I’ll be working with something a bit more cultural.”
Alas, some are just not artistically inclined to appreciate the finer points in life, yet he could find the situation much worse. So, what does Mr. Bischoff plan on studying at college then? “I didn’t know exactly what part of fashion I wanted to work in going into the college application process, so I thought a broad education like Liberal Studies would be best until I work it out. I hope the more work with modeling I do, the better I’ll know the industry and what exactly I want to do later on. I’d love to be a creative director for a label or magazine. I plan on modeling as long as I can; I really do love the work and the people I get to meet/places I get to travel. It sounds so cliche, but its 100% true.”
And it seems 100% genuine. Fashion has inspired millions of people, taking them from beyond who they thought they could be. With the infinite meanings of fashion, what does fashion mean to him? “Fashion’s really become my best way to get a first impression from someone. How much someone cares about their appearance really tells you a lot about who they are. And knowing fashion as I do now, you’re able to identify certain looks or pieces with past influences and see what the person was trying to identify with when they chose that to wear. Fashion’s all about choice and the individual’s image.”
So then what exactly is Conrad Bischoff’s image? “I don’t think I really have a look. I really think I identify best with Marc Jacob’s “Slight bohemian, a little off-color” brand description. I’ll usually take a lot of inspiration from 40’s and 50’s musicians/actors, but put more of a modern spin on it. I love the patterned/color blocked button ups from the periods, but instead of slacks I’ll wear skinny jeans and a leather biker jacket with them. Mixing pieces is a big part of my style, but doing it in way that’s effortless. If some stuff isn’t meshing well, I’ll just feel uncomfortable wearing it. A big part of modeling is being comfortable with your look, so you can be confident to meet with a client.”
Well, confidence is key in a world that judges your image, but certainly, Mr. Bischoff has no problem with that. It’s safe to say that, soon enough, we will be seeing the Conrad Bischoff as the face of, maybe, Prada, perhaps, Gucci, or so be it, Vogue. Whatever the case may be, I am certain that he will be going on to conquer the world in the most fashionable of ways.