We will never know if the trend for using high-performance motorcycles in combination with haute couture has resulted in better dressed motorcyclists, or even fashion fans with a new-found love of biking, but one thing is for sure – top lifestyle photographer Markus Hofmann has created a new genre with considerable appeal…
The latest designer to embrace this concept is Marcus Merkel, whose clothing was recently modelled by the beautiful Juliane Grzeja for a roof-top fashion shoot in central Munich. For Marcus, who is more used to the catwalk ‘runway’ than the racetrack, this latest cooperation came out of the blue, yet ignited an interest in motorcycling that he didn’t know he had.
“As a designer I was a little bit surprised when I was offered this chance to feature my clothing in a shoot involving a BMW motorbike. My fashion is made for Paris, London and New York, for fine-boned angelic characters and not for motorcycling women – or so I thought! I started to imagine models wrapping themselves around the bike half-naked, but when I saw the earlier work of Markus Hofmann and how he integrated motorcycles with other designers’ fashion, I was instantly convinced that it could work for me too. Then, when BMW sent me pictures of the RR, I have to admit I hadn’t been expecting a motorbike this elegant, with such high quality, so I quickly asked for some further details.”
A graduate of fashion school in Dusseldorf, Marcus Merkel soon made a name for himself doing wardrobe and costume design for a variety of television programmes and films, as well as styling various actors and models for a variety of different events, such as music videos. Add to that an impressive portfolio of dressing celebs for magazine editorials and it’s quite surprising that Merkel managed to find the time and energy to create his own fashion label called ‘RochaChana’, which he launched in 2009.
With his agency comfortable with photographer Markus Hofmann’s concept for this fashion shoot, Merkel put together a collection of outfits for blond haired, green-eyed model Juliane Grzeja to wear on location during the shooting. Following his recent theme of outdoor shoots in urban locations, Hofmann found a roof with a great view – right across the Munich cityscape – and he was able to place a black series production RR on top of this private parking garage and set to work.
Unfortunately, for Merkel, he wasn’t able to be on set during the shooting, but a few weeks later, when he saw the final pictures, he was amazed at the finished results.
“In the beginning, I’d had my doubts about how the photographer could combine my fashion with the motorcycle and model in a parking garage, but when I looked at the final material I was speechless. The elegance and high quality of my fashion was highlighted by the BMW motorcycle and the results were outstanding. BMW is known for only choosing the finest designers to do their shootings – and who wouldn't like to stand in the same line as Karl Lagerfeld or Vivienne Westwood? Some day in the future I would love to design again for BMW and who knows, maybe one day it will be me sitting on the RR!”
For more information about the designer Marcus Merkel, please see http://rochachana.com/ and to watch a video of the ‘making of’ this photo-shoot, please visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y0dYST5uu8&feature=player_embedded