German model Katrin Thormann was known as the “tall skinny girl” in her native Kiel before she was discovered in Berlin as a teenager. In 2008, she scored back-to-back Vogue Italia covers shot by Steven Meisel. Eight years later, after a brief hiatus from modeling — and with dozens of campaigns and editorials to her credit — Thormann is busier than ever. She also landed a runway spot in Balmain’s fall men’s show. “I’d never walked a men’s show before,” Thormann said. “It was much easier, much more relaxed.”
Can you recall your first major job?
When I was in high school, I did some minor jobs and test shoots, but nothing too special. Then, I did a shoot in London for Dazed & Confused. That was the start of my career. I got the cover and it was so exciting. It came out right when I was done with high school. I came to New York and did the whole round of shows…first New York, then London, Milan, Paris. I think I was 20 at the time. I started working a lot in New York and became friends with a girl who I’d seen in all of the shows, Iris Strubegger. We rented an apartment together and she’s still my best friend.
I still love the first shoot I did with Steven Meisel — the one for Italian Vogue. It was right in the beginning of my career. We were on the beach, and it was kind of like a movie set.
After a whirlwind couple of years, you took a hiatus from modeling.
I moved back to Germany after three years in New York. I just felt like I needed something else. I studied literature and history. I’m still doing it, but now I’m back in New York and I do everything online and go back to Germany for the exams. I want to finish my degree, but I’m a little slow with it. Whenever I have time, I study.
It was good to stop [modeling] for a little bit. When I came back, I could appreciate it so much more.
What have you learned about yourself through your experiences?
I think it has made me more aware of my body and how I look. And also, it gave me a lot more confidence. In the beginning, when I started, I was very insecure about everything. I didn’t know the business and I didn’t understand what was going on. But modeling made me feel better about myself.
What do you do in your spare time?
What I really like to do is try different fitness classes — my favorite class is Nicole Winhoffer’s [NW Method]. It’s so much fun. She has such good energy. I take classes at NYU, too — I just took a drawing class.
What do you hope to accomplish?
What’s most important for me is school. I want to try different things and figure out exactly where my interests are. That helps with modeling, too. The more things I do, and the more interested I am in other things, the more I can bring to my work.