It’s hard not to fall for the Swiss model Vivienne Rohner. “If we could only shoot with Vivienne for the rest of our life, we’d never be bored and perfectly happy.” So say Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in the premiere issue of Study magazine.
Christopher Niquet, the founder and editor of Study, fell for Vivienne when he bumped into his friend, the photographer Theo Wenner, and Vivienne on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street. “I thought she was one of Theo’s guy assistants. She’s very tall, and she had short hair then, proper 501s, and biker boots. I went up to say hi, and she turned and I realized she’s a beautiful girl.” A second chance encounter a day later— “that time she was taking the photos”—led to the beginnings of a friendship. When Vivienne landed an exclusive contract with Chanel, Niquet encouraged her to document her experiences. “I said, ‘this is an opportunity.’ Vivienne shoots very few frames. So, I told her instead of bringing one roll of film for your three weeks in Paris, maybe bring a little more and snap more. You’ll be happy to have those mementoes of working with the house.”
Originally, Study was going to be a conventional magazine with multiple contributors and different stories, but during Niquet’s conversations with its designers Ezra Petronio and Lana Petrusevych the concept evolved. Each issue would be a deep dive—or study—of a single subject. Vivienne Rohner is Study’s debut subject. The issue features about 60 images by the model and photographer, a mix of self-portraits, locations shots, and still lifes that tell a story of her recent travels. Ahead of its launch today and a party in Paris to celebrate it on the evening of July 5, after the Chanel haute couture show, Niquet and Rohner Zoomed in for a conversation about the project.
Vivienne, were you shooting from the start of your modeling career, or even before?