BRING ON THE NIGHT: Achtung, everyone: Germany isn’t such a terrifying place, despite the country’s immigration challenges, violent attacks over the past few years and the fear, felt by many, that the country is no longer safe, especially at night. In the latest issue of Achtung, Markus Ebner, founder and creative director of the Berlin-based title, portrays his native country as an ethnically diverse — and fundamentally joyful — place to be.
The indie title’s 37th issue is called Gute Nacht!, which means good night, and it features a series of fashion shots, taken at night, in cities associated with violence, terrorist attacks and fear. Ebner said he was responding to “out-of-proportion” media reports and wanted to quell people’s fears. “With fashion, you can normalize things,” he said, adding he hopes that people will get the message that Germany is diverse, open, tolerant and safe.
He calls the magazine, “an urgent visual manifestation of freedom and equality in our country.”
The images show models eating, drinking and hanging out at places including the Cologne train station, scene of an attack and hostage-taking in October and where, on New Year’s eve in 2015, several hundred women were sexually harassed by immigrants.
There are photos in Nuremberg, a town associated with neo-Nazi violence and, of course, the eponymous war-crime trials; and Frankfurt, which has one of the highest crime rates in the country.
Instead of a model, the Frankfurt photo shows a journalist, late at night, in front of his computer at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the country’s most influential newspapers. He’s looking to order a takeaway pizza.
The magazine also shows a model, wearing a sparkling Swarovski Atelier tiara, drinking wine in Rheingau, in Germany’s wine country, a region adored by some for its purity and old-world values. The issue also features a mix of male and female models of different ages and ethnic groups, which Ebner said was an attempt to show “what Germany looks like right now. It’s not all Claudia Schiffers and blonde kids,” he said in an interview.
Ebner said the issue’s theme reflects the changes sweeping the industry. “Everything needs to be considered. If you are a brand, you cannot not have a model of color on your runway,” he said. The issue, which includes an homage to the late Karl Lagerfeld and Achtung’s first power ranking of German fashion industry figures, launches April 6, at CFA Berlin, a top contemporary art gallery in the German capital.