Model Patrick Grünhag

A Day in the Life of Illustration Duhrivative

Consider a job in the creative industry: what usually comes to mind are images of glamour and variety, as well as the promise of self-fulfilment and freedom of expression. At the same time, you might think about short-term contracts, designers disappearing faster than it takes to read this sentence, and overworked freelancers. As always, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. In our new series “A Day in the Life of,” Œ investigates the daily lives of creatives, taking you behind the scenes into the fashion hub of Berlin.

A Day in the Life of1

To start, we caught up with model Patrick Grünhag during Berlin Fashion Week. We meet Patrick in Kreuzberg, where he is being fitted for the label IVANMAN. Outside the studio, Patrick, who previously worked together with IVANMAN for last season’s fashion week, tells us about his experience of working with the label’s designer Ivan Mandzukic. “Working with Ivan is super nice! He always creates a very relaxed atmosphere, and the fittings feel more like having coffee with a friend. That’s so different from other casting situations, where you sometimes have to wait for hours and people only take a very brief look at you. Ivan makes it more personal and he even invited me to his birthday party last year!”

A Day in the Life of Illustration Duhrivative
Illustration: Duhrivative

If he is not busy shooting for a magazine or presenting new collections on the runway, Patrick studies communication in social and economic contexts at UdK Berlin, where he also has a part time job at the career college. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also active in politics where he supports organizations fighting gender clichés in advertising, and takes care of his one year old daughter Rosa.

A Day in the Life of Patrick Grünhag

We went with Patrick to the IVANMAN show on the first day of Berlin Fashion Week, and saw how his day fit together to create a busy schedule.

6:00: “Time to get up already. This is not the time I’m used to, but since the call time for IVANMAN’s show is at seven, my day starts very early.”
6:20: “I grab a quick bite to eat, and pack a snack for a real breakfast later on. I’m not sure if there will be food for the models at the show, so it’s better to be prepared.”
6:40: “Walking to the S-Bahn station through the cold winter morning in Berlin. Luckily the venue is not too far from home, and I only need twenty minutes.”
7:00: “I arrive at the venue where the show will take place. Everyone is already busy, and I quickly go backstage to get ready.”
7:15: “After saying hello to everyone, I get my hair styled for the show. My hair is usually very curly, and it’s pretty painful when the hairdresser tries to tame it.”
7:45: “My make up for the show doesn’t take too long, especially if you compare it with the female models. Apparently my skin is too dry, so the make-up artist tells me.”
8:00: “After the first hour I can take a break, and chat to the other models. This time the label provided food for us, and I’m glad to have a little refreshment!”
8:30: “The final rehearsal starts, and we get used to the runway and the music for the show. I really like Ivan’s choice of music: electronic, with a lot of bass. We have over an hour before the show begins, and are still in our normal clothes.”
9:00 “Another short break, and I talk to other models and some of the backstage photographers.”
9:30 “We start dressing and I get my clothes. I already saw them last Friday; different shades of green, with black jackets and coats. I love the floral details of some garments!”

IVANMAN Patrick Grünhag
Photo: KOWA Berlin

When we talk about the process of getting ready for the show, Patrick admits he still feels a little alien in this environment. “Before the show, everyone pays so much attention to you and wants to take photos all the time. It feels a little strange because the moment the show is over, the hype immediately comes to an end.”

10:00 “The show begins, and all the models line up before stepping out onto the runway. After the final walk, we get together backstage and Ivan goes out for the applause.”
10:15 “After fifteen minutes the show is already over. Even though I’ve worked at several fashion shows, I’m always surprised by how short the actual shows are, and how much preparation time they need.”
10:20 “I change back into my normal clothes, remove the make-up and wash my hair. After everything is done, I say goodbye to the other models and Ivan. He is busy giving interviews.”
10:45 “Half an hour after the show I leave the venue. Almost all the people from the audience have already moved on to the next event. I walk through the snowy streets to the metro station, where I take the train to the University of the Arts.”

A Day in the Life of Patrick Grünhag

At 11:15, we go to a cosy café in UdK. Patrick shares his thoughts about his modelling career with us. “I’ve met so many friendly people who work in fashion, and I’ve gained a lot of experience. However, I still see things in the industry that need to be changed. Personally, I would never take a job that includes fur, and I think it is very unnecessary to take short-haul flights. I hope I can help transform the fashion industry from within, and that I can convince people to fight exploitative practices in fashion. Maybe that’s how I try to combine my political activism with working as a model.”

11:45 “For a few hours, I’m going to work at the Berlin Career College in UdK. I have a part time job assisting the team with course administration, and the variety of programs offered.”
13:15 “I catch the S-Bahn to the Wedding district where I live. Today I didn’t stay long at the office, because I want to spend the afternoon with my daughter Rosa.”

A Day in the Life of Patrick Grünhag

After working at his part-time job, the fashion circus seems very far away for Patrick. “My modelling job sometimes feels like a different world, and rarely overlaps with what I’m usually doing. I like the variety it brings, but I also like coming back to reality, where I can focus on things that matter to me. Right now, I’m trying to find a topic for my bachelor’s thesis. I’m thinking of writing about something related to artificial intelligence.”

14:00 “One hour of sleep seems a good idea, especially considering what time I got up this morning. Luckily Rosa is also tired, and the two of us lie down for a nap.”
15:00 “In the afternoon, Rosa gets my full attention. We play with her favourite toys, and she keeps me busy until my wife comes home. Fashion Week feels like a world away.”

A Day in the Life of Patrick Grünhag
Photo: Patrick Grünhag

It is obvious that family comes first for Patrick. “For me, it is important that my job is flexible enough to allow me time with Rosa, even if this means not taking every modelling job I am offered. I’m very happy my agency Core Management is very supportive in this regard. Although I like the opportunities I have through my modelling career, it is definitely not my top priority, and I would advise other models to not concentrate solely on modelling. It is very hard to make a living from it, especially as a male model, and I think it is important to have something else you are passionate about, for there are times when no one books you and you can’t find a job.”

17:00 “The three of us leave the house, and we go to Boesner to buy some art equipment for my wife Ruth.”
19:00 “Rosa is tired and after feeding her, we tuck her in and start preparing dinner for ourselves.”
19:30 “After dinner, I spend a relaxing evening with Ruth. We go on Netflix and watch part of a series.”
22:00 “I’m tired and my day draws to a close. Luckily I don’t have to get up too early tomorrow!”

A Day in the Life of Patrick Grünhag