Scandinavian MANScandinavian MANScandinavian MAN
Style, innovation & equality

World-leading male model agency opens Scandinavian office today

As ideals of masculinity change, so do the models. For Kult Models, opening in Scandinavia is a way to create the next generation model agency. ”Scandinavia is the future”, says founder Marco Cordes.

Words: Konrad Olsson Photography: Fredrik Andersson Andersson

When Marco Cordes came up with the idea of a men’s only model agency, it was a different time in the world of fashion.

— The industry was all about women. All the major icons were women. And at that time, men weren’t using anything other than shaving cream. But I realised that men were becoming more interested in fashion. Guys began to take pride in their appearance. I saw a gap in the market and knew there was massive potential.

Marco Cordes started out in the model industry as the accountant for one of the major established German agencies. Bored of working on the accounting side, he quickly moved to the other side, and began working as an agent. In 2001, he founded Kult Models. Since then, the Hamburg-based company has launches offices in Austria, South Africa and Australia, representing the best of the best male talent in the business.

This fall, Kult Models is establishing its fourth international office — in Stockholm. For Marco, a Scandinavian outpost is a way to create the next generation model agency.

— The most sort after models have always come from South Africa, Australia, and Scandinavia. I want to create a new type of Kult agency, an agency that is focused on the faces of tomorrow. I want to focus our Sweden office to recruit the next generation of top models. Scandinavian talent have always been in big demand by key clients from over the world. They are renowned for their healthy athletic bodies and incredible beautiful faces.

Why is Scandinavia good for being ”future oriented”?

— Scandinavia has always been in the forefront. Not just in terms of fashion and design, but also in the way you live, how you balance work and life. I know the rest of the world looks up to Scandinavia because of this. Many international brands try to implement a Scandinavian lifestyle.

— I also think that Scandinavia is a perfect place to try out new ideas. Many companies are open to try new and different things. And if it works in Scandinavia, I know that it will work in the rest of the world.

How has the model industry changed during your years in the business?

— It’s much more diverse. Eighteen years ago I couldn’t book a single black model, which was so frustrating. Today I book models from all cultures, and that’s the way it should be. It used to be that we exported German talent to Asia, now it’s the other way around. We’ve also seen a shift in aesthetics. From the more classic, handsome looking guy, to something more androgynous.

What is your vision for the Scandinavian office?

— I want to create the strongest men’s model agency on the ground. And by being present we show our clients that we can offer them every type of guy. We have recruited Lars Fredrik Svedberg, one of Sweden’s most experiences talent agents. Lars will join us a director and partner of Kult Scandinavia.

You will be sharing offices with us at Scandinavian MAN, and we are also doing some projects together, like the fashion show Live! tonight, on August 28. What does that mean for your business?

— Scandinavian MAN is one of the key reasons why we decided to make this move into the market. We share the same core values, and the vision of Scandinavian MAN is very much what we are aiming for when it comes to scouting. But most of all, I like the people. I love to work with smart, forward thinking teams.