July 07, 2010 23:38

Breaking: Magnus Carlsen starts fashion model career at G-Star (UPDATE)

Magnus Carlsen starts model careerNext to his chess activities world's number one Magnus Carlsen has started a fashion model career. The 19-year-old Norwegian was contracted by international clothing brand G-Star. In a campain launched today in Berlin, Carlsen stars together with world famous actress Liv Tyler. Update: photos & more info.

The news was under embargo until today, when the official launch of G-Star's new campaign took place in Berlin, Germany. But a short while ago the Norwegian daily newspapers were the first to tell it to the world: Magnus Carlsen was contracted by G-Star as their latest male model. The Norwegian is starring with Hollywood actress Liv Tyler, famous for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and many other films. The photography for the campaign was done by star photographer Anton Corbijn.

"I think I look tough," Carlsen said to a journalist of NRK Sports, standing in front of a giant photo of himself. The contract with G-Star, already signed on February 1st but kept a secret until today, is for this year's autumn and winter collection and includes one of the world's largest fashion shows. Carlsen will probably go on the catwalk during the New York Fashion Week in September, as NRK reports.

Press Release

G-Star’s Fall/Winter 2010 advertising campaign

combines hollywood glamour with the chess world

Amsterdam, July 2010 - G-Star’s Fall/Winter 2010 advertising campaign, shot by celebrated photographer Anton Corbijn, combines the intelligence of Norwegian chess prodigy, Magnus Carlsen, with the beauty of model and actress, Liv Tyler.

This combination of contrasting and unexpected elements is one of G-Star’s key philosophies, displayed in runway shows, where destroyed denim pants are often paired with tailored jackets from the Correct Line range; and where iconic and fearless performers, such as Benicio Del Toro, interrupt proceedings to deliver spoken-word pieces in a form of ‘art-hijack.’

Already the world chess number one and described as a ‘Mozart of chess,’ Carlsen has the potential to become a similar level of icon. Becoming a Grandmaster at the age of 13 years and 148 days, Magnus is the youngest player in history to achieve the number one rank and his uncompromising approach to the game mirrors G-Star’s own hardcore design philosophy.

Hollywood actress Tyler perfectly embodies the modern G-Star woman’s combination of toughness with controlled sensuality. Her striking looks and assured, independent style have made her a globally recognized model and fashion icon. Liv returns for her second G-Star campaign, having previously presented the elegant Low-T capsule-collection.

The striking black and white images were captured by Anton Corbijn in a Miami shoot that represents his fourth major advertising campaign for G-Star.

G-STAR RAW. Just the Product.

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

On September 10th, 2010, G-Star travels to the Cooper Star Hotel in New York City to host a global chess competition: The Raw World Chess Challenge. Everyone in the world is invited to play Magnus Carlsen, the no. 1 chess player in the world, together at once, live on the internet. Three Chess Grandmasters, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, Hikaru Nakamura from the United States and Judit Polgár, will suggest a move each to the online registered public. The public can vote online for their favourite move to be played against Magnus. Here you can enter.

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star


Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star

Magnus Carlsen starts model career

Photo: Anton Corbijn / G-Star



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers


Creemer's picture


noyb's picture

Carlsen on the catwalk... "I'm, too sexy for my chessboard, too sexy for my chessboard, to sexy for chessboard by far..."


Peter Doggers's picture

Don't think it sounds like bragging. I see no problem with the quote like this. Hope to get more photo material later on from Carlsen's manager.

ludd's picture

The quote by Magnus is taken out of context, and makes it sound as if he's admiring himself or bragging. Just read the entire article (of course, it requires that you're able to read Norwegian) and you'll see what I mean (he just points out that he's surprised that things worked out rather well).

And why did Chessvibes pick one of the less interesting photos? Check out image 3 in this gallery for example:


Alphonse's picture

If you think about it, this is wonderfully "against-type"; a super-model that is a brilliant chess player?! Certainly not something that you would normally ever think of!

noyb's picture

Found this video of his shoot with Liv Tyler - http://nrksport.no/sjakk/1.7200825

Lisa's picture

Its great that not only football-, soccer-, baseball-players (etc) can be and do succes in these kind of comersals!
And I too think you look tough, Magnus! :)

jose's picture

haha.. it's gotta be a joke!

Bobby Fiske's picture

This is good news for at least 3 reasons: It’s good PR for chess in general, it adds to young Carlsen's pension fund and it provides screaming girls chasing the sharp chess bachelor. (Any sour grapes in this matter are pure envy).

PS: I saw a photo of a rather psycedelic G-Star shirt. Might be a good idea to wear against Topalov when he strikes you with his usual bad taste tie.

jussu's picture

@Bobby Fiske,

LOL. Pure gold!

test's picture

After my initial wtf moment has passed I can only say: brilliant! :)

Bart's picture

Fashion and chess... i don't know. I see enough commercial bullshit modelling
allready to be honest. Capitalism not my cup of tea.

Not much to do with envy, much more with the observation that money and greedy bussiness is ruling more and more and more.

I would rather see Carlsen spending some energy in global important issues - like Kasparov fighting for democracy in Russia for instance..

Hope he has a good time with it, though.. It's not too late to grow up.

test's picture

After my initial wtf? moment has passed I can only say: brilliant! :)

billybob's picture

Let's see; you get to play chess all day and prance with Liv Tyler at night. Sounds like a great gig to me!

test's picture

Bragging? Excuse me but have you seen this picture?

test's picture
Sam's picture

I thing Magnus looks pretty fierce in those photos!

Ron's picture

1 April has alraedy passed guys!

vaughn's picture

ridiculous.for me modeling is one of the dumbest and superficial things in the world!Lets put this on Carlsen's youth.As i sad some previous times i suspect Carlsen of lack of cultural education,which is the case of many chess players.

Dimitri's picture

Well ... I joined the rank of those who said the initial whaa...??!!!

But, if you think about it, Magnus is making the best out of his marketability right now. Unfortunately chess does not have NBA or soccer-like appeal to the majority of the world to pay $20 mil/yr, so if he wants to have relaxed retirement years, he should strike when the iron is hot.

So, modelling? Why not! Go Magnus!!!

Pablo's picture

Strange. I have no words. But this is interesting news.

lalo_cq's picture


I don't know.... as @vaughn say, modelling is one of the dumbest and superficial things in the world!.... but business are business.... sad but true.

Arne Moll's picture

Well, I don't know what's more superficial, playing chess or modelling... Anyway, I'm glad we finally have a male model in the chess world for once - it was about time someone challenged the monopoly of the Russian glamour WGMs! :-)

By the way, did Magnus actually do a shoot together with Liv Tyler? (That would be awesome.) It isn't very clear to me from the quoted articles. If I'm not mistaken, these pictures of Liv Tyler were already shown on billboards in Holland a couple of months ago.

T. Goto's picture

I say that this is a good news for fashion; not all the models are like Zoolander.

Actually, this is not the first time that some intelligent people did modeling. One can readily recall Tilda Swinton modeled for a Dutch house and she even collaborated with them. Of course, I don't know her personally, nor had any chat with her, yet I saw her interviews on Bush administration's preemptive war doctrine, and she was brilliant in that.

Well, it might be good for chess as well, since it exposes the current #1 to wider audience who resides outside of the select circle of chess enthusiasts. While I certainly do not meet the expectations created by Carlen's appearance to wider audience, i.e., intelligence, physical fitness, or chess itself (don't make me mention looks), I am secretly hoping that I will survive coming onslaught of public scrutiny in any of those aforementioned areas, in case I accidentally profess myself as a 'chess player' (I am just an enthusiast, ladies and gentlemen). Case in point: Carlsen is the current world #1, so it is natural for him to be exceptional!

Clammy Hamster's picture

Bart. You don't know him. Don't be a dick:)

Bionic Lime's picture

Don't forget that supermodel Carmen Kass is a chess player and is (or perhaps was) president of the Estonian Chess Federation.

Bobby Fiske's picture

Gentlemen, I think some of you are missing the main point here.

G-Star hired Carlsen because he is “the world #1 chess player”. They will use chess as a theme in the marketing campaign. They made a cool video featuring a chess game. If you look at G-Stars homepage, upper right, you find the “The RAW World Chess Challenge”. They are setting up a chess show in NYC, which will attract a large crowd.

On September 10th at Cooper Square Hotel in New York, Magnus Carlsen will play a game against “the world”.

Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgár and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave have been hired to suggest a move each. Which move to be played, will be chosen by Internet votes from spectators worldwide.

This cooperation between Carlsen and G-Star will probably generate more chess PR than FIDE does in a year. Or what?

Source & Video: http://www.vg.no/sport/artikkel.php?artid=10003021

Luis's picture

This is good for chess,it will be more popular.
It's good for Carlsen for money,I guess...and
it's very BAD for Carlsen because he won't use that time to prepare in chess,and it won't be so easy to improve and continue being the best.
You can be better than the rest in something but not so good to forget your hard work and starting to make different things...

buri's picture

Does anyone know how tall he is? Male models are at least 5' 11", but most are 6' 1" at fashion shows...

Castro's picture

Superficial and dumb it is, but so what? It's like that everywhere you look.
Let him (and every one of us) have pleasure and earn money!
Well, chess seems to have an absolute record in this kind of marketing things:
Did you know Paul Morphy was the first ever sportsman to lend his name, image and fame to a comercial?
It was a well-known watch company, and he subscrives something like:
"I studied this watch and ensure that it is made of pure machinery"
(One of the few minus in the image I have of this absolute genious, and ends up not being one, because of it's genious/hilarious nature!)

christos(greece)'s picture

It is obvious that Carlsen can make more money by not playing chess and doing other things instead. But if it distracts him from chess, it will be a pity for the game.

Probably he will not reach his full potential if he is distracted. At the same time, most of his top-level opponents will be fully concentrated on chess.

S's picture

Somehow this fits right in his profile with the book and clever media usage since his youth.'s The Carlsens like the media and money and if they chose to earn some extra like this, let 'm. Having seen the photo's of " test " I don't think he will quit his dayjob just yet, so not to worry.

Bartleby's picture

Pretty cool.

vlzvl's picture

funny & i like it,
this macho photo of carlsen in a matrix style ;)
Is there any plan for making Ivanchuk's the next top gm model? freaky lol
this news make my day

redwhitechess's picture

at least we catch up the ladies. kosteniuk and friends already doing this.

Coco Loco's picture

I must say I'd rather look at Liv than at Magnus, but good for him!
Wait, but that means he won't be the obsessed chess nerd/freak some of the commentators here want him to be. So much the better!

john's picture

he don't look good in some of these shots. he doesn't even look straight in one.

doesn't he have a world chess title to win?

no time for this garbage imo

T. Goto's picture

@Bobby Fiske

Thank you very much for that detailed description! Having acquainted with the true extent of this project, I am truly thrilled! This is good for the image of chess as an intellectual game. However, image cannot be walk alone, and I sincerely hope to see some positive changes in chess world (Good bye, Kirsan!).

Ben's picture


Bert de Bruut's picture


3000 > < 0000

Carlsen FIDE

hal's picture

this is ridiculous

Fabrice's picture

Why are you always so negative ?
This is a great news for chess ! The world outside our little chess universe is interested by our chess Number 1 ! And this is great because we are going to win an incredible positive vue of chess. Chess can't stay as a game for geek or for strange people as everybody outside chess used to think about us...
Magnus is also good looking and is like a young man who have a life with great success : a lot of money, stars company (Liz Taylor !) and everything he want. Every people can maybe dreaming about success thanks to chess like poker players seems to have this chance.
Thank you very much Magnus to give us a hope to have a very popular game !
And Magnus don't risk anything by that. Because he can of course do anything other than only to work at chess.
He has a life behind chess and he is like all people who aren't chess players.
I hope that the game of 10th September will attract a lot of people in our chess world and outside !!

Guillaume's picture

I don't understand why people are so negative either. There was recently an ACP and Fide round table about how to make the game of chess more popular. I bet they never considered fashion... Clearly, if there's one Grandmaster that can make chess more popular, it's Magnus Carlsen.

Well done, Magnus. Keep it up!

blueofnoon's picture

The reason is obvious.

Most chess players, myself included, are pitiful nerds who don't know how to socialize with friends, talk to girls, be cool, and so on.

They used to believe Magnus Carlsen was more or less same kind of man, but now they realize he's entirely different. He's an attractive boy even when not playing chess.

Now these chess nerds are jealous, disappointed and mad - easy to understand this reaction from them.

john's picture

after he wins the world chess championship he can do what he likes. But he should win it first!

Frits Fritschy's picture

No comment on the clothes?
A speckled tie with a patterned shirt, wearing a tie with a buttoned-up denim jacket, and then that overcoat, the dazzling combination of shit brown and fluorescent green, rather uhm... eclectic, I'd say!
No, this must be a joke.

Rubby's picture

Although I find the clothing combinations a tad bit of a mockery, I must say that I very well understand him. He's a young guy. And what better promotion can you make for yourself than, well, ... being an important model for a worldwide fashionista brand. I don't even think he does it for the money.

This just raises his chances with the opposite sex :)

wietse hoekstra's picture

Wat een azijnpissers!! Dit is positief voor ons kleine schaakwereldje.

Igor's picture

Blue Steel! Le Tigre! Ferrari! MAGNUS! ^^

Tony's picture

wow! Maybe FIDE and the rest of the players in the world can take a step back and realize that this is press! There is no bad press. IF encouraged there are a lot of chances to get exposure for chess and change its image.
This is a great start!


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