Frank Sinatra sang in his 1979 homage to New York: “If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere”. Isabel Scharenberg from Munich has made it in places many others only dream about. For almost ten years, she has successfully worked as a photo agent and producer in New York where she realizes photo shoots with stars such as Naomi Campbell, Bill Murray and Gisele Bündchen for editorials and brands including Massimo Dutti or Kate Spade. This wonder woman told us how she managed to build her own business in America and what her first friendship in the Big Apple, a flower vendor, has to do with Naomi Campbell. Isabel Scharenberg founded her agency Isabel Scharenberg Creative Management in 2009 in New York.
VOGUE: How did you manage to set up a network in New York as a new resident from Germany?
Isabel Scharenberg: Fortunately, I already knew several photographers from Germany who live in America. In the beginning, I went to lots of events and vernissages and just mingled with the people there. As soon as you meet someone from the scene, they show you around – New York is very open in that respect. In the New York photo and fashion industry, there are very many stylists and hair & make-up artists who live and work in America and Germany. That makes it relatively easy to make friends.
You just recently cooperated with Naomi Campbell and Bill Murray for GQ Germany. Can you tell us a little something about how it is to work with celebrities?
It depends on the star. It is important to respect their privacy and fulfill the wishes you were often informed of beforehand. I try and make everyone on set feel comfortable. For Naomi Campbell, I had to make sure she had a separate area reserved for her where she could retreat. For Gisele Bündchen, it was the same, and we put up a wall in the studio. Bill Murray was very relaxed at the shoot in MoMa. He made the whole team laugh with his jokes...
What those wishes exactly are, what fascinates Isabel about New York, and what you absolutely must see, she reveals to Jana Ackermann / Vogue in an interview.