SUNRAY MAGAZINE has the pleasure to interview the wonderful swiss model Karim Ben Hassine
City/Country of Birth:
Swiss and Tunisian
32 years old (30.06.1988)
Languages you speak:
French (mother tongue), English and German
SUNRAY: When and why you decided be model?
I cannot say that I ever “decided” to be a model. I was actually pretty shy as a teenager, and never expected to work as a model. I think this why I enjoy so much modelling – I’ve never had any expectations and thus was always very pleased by everything that was happening to me.
It all started in 2012 when I did my first photoshoot. I was already 24 years old – not that young for the modeling world – because I’ve been always focusing on my studies and the free time left I had was dedicated to sport (following an ideal of: “mens sana in corpore sano”). Hence, the first photoshoot I did was actually from a birthday present! I’ve never asked for it, but people around me encouraged me to do pictures, since I was investing a lot of time practicing sports and was always very fit. I liked the idea – thinking that, many years later, I’d be able to show these pictures to my grandchildren as a proof of the shape I used to be in. It may sound funny, but that’s the true story behind it: I wanted to “immortalize” the physique I managed to build after long years of training.
This first photoshoot led to a second one; later I participated in a “Mister Suisse Romande” contest, where I was elected as a first runner up. Then followed many other photoshoots; catwalks; participation at numerous events; and meetings with so many marvelous people! When I think back, I feel very grateful!
SUNRAY: Are you the first in your family who decided follow the fashion world? or do you have a fashion past?
The first one, but maybe not the last one. I have quite a big family, so who knows? My beautiful little nieces, for instance, might be interested by this idea one day. Anyway, they still have time to think about it and should focus on school first. Moreover, I could say that everything comes from my Mom who is a beautiful woman; she did not do modeling or was not in the fashion world, but she definitely could have.
SUNRAY: What was the first catwalk you have done and where?
The very first time I did a catwalk in my life was when I had to do the casting for “Mister Suisse Romande”. At that time, I had no idea how to do it and it was quite intimidating to walk in front of the jury with my swim pant. I was more used to the library or amphitheater atmosphere of my university and suddenly I was immersed in this new world with photographers, fashion designers, MUA, journalists, etc. It was also on that same day that I did my first interview for a TV channel.
SUNRAY: Can you tell us the brands or fashion designer you worked?
During the “Mister Suisse Romande” contest we had the opportunity to do many catwalks and we had clothes from different brands, mainly from Switzerland such as “PKZ” for instance. But I remember having runways with more international brands such as “Hugo Boss” or “Zara”. As a Swiss citizen, I also had the opportunity to do a photoshoot for the luxury watches brand “DeLaCour” and one of my sponsors during the contest was “UCS watches”. I also walked for runways such as the Montreux Moda organized by the talented fashion designer Giovanni Lo Presti and where also other fashion designers and brands were invited such as the “Evolèt” brand from Peru. I also modeled for the Italian car design firm “Pininfarina” during Geneva International Motor Show. Hence, I had a quite diverse and rich experience with modeling.
SUNRAY: We know you were part in 2015 of the wonderful Cruise MSC, what you did there?
Stop reminding me of all these great moments, I will start feeling nostalgic! MSC Cruise was indeed one of our main sponsors of the “Mister Suisse Romande” contest and they kindly invited all the finalists to participate in this cruise which left from Italy and traversed Tunisia, Spain and France. The boat was majestic and had everything one could imagine on board: swimming pools, fitness, opera, casino, dancing club, etc. Every morning we were training for the final contest show, as we had to learn some choreographies. We had also many photoshoots; the afternoons, though, were free and we could visit the city we were in, as well as enjoy delicious meals and try out different activities in the evening. The boat then sailed during the night and we would wake up in a new city every day. TV and radio journalists joined us during this week, so we had also many interviews and could practice our communication skills. Better yet, I had the chance to do a second cruise the next year – as a “veteran” 1st runner-up this time. For this second cruise, we went to Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. I had again a very nice time, and I really liked helping and sharing my experience with the new finalists.
SUNRAY: You was choose as “Mister Suisse Romande 2015”, how was that experience?
Stunning! It was not only about doing catwalks and participating in different events, but was much more than that: a real-life experience that it is part of me and that I will never forget. Mister participants may be the subject of preconceived ideas or considered as superficial; however, I was always very pleased to demonstrate the opposite. 2015 was indeed a very intense year, as I have traveled to 8 countries around the world (Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, UAE, USA) for my master thesis in Economics (I was part of a research team that tested the honesty of people around the world). I have traveled to more than 80 cities and, on average, moved to a new city every 3 days. Despite that I never gave up my training routine and managed to maintain my physical form – as, every time I would return to Switzerland in-between visiting two foreign countries, I had to participate to different events for the contest, such as doing photoshoots or catwalks. I enjoyed living such different experiences and feeling comfortable in every situation. If you are interested, I have done a video montage of this around-the-world experience; I share the link with you below.
SUNRAY: You traveled around the world, what was the place has surprised you?
It is a difficult question for me since I lived in many different cities (such as Los Angeles, Berlin or Beijing) and I am currently living in London. However, I am very delighted to talk about my traveling experience in Argentina! As previously mentioned, I was in Argentina for the experiment I conducted for my thesis. I have been to the following cities (in order): Salta, San Miguel de Tucumán, Mendoza, Córdoba, Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, Rosario, Buenos Aires and Mar del Plata. These cities were selected to fulfill specific criteria for the experiment. I would have visited even more cities or the wonderful Patagonia if I had more time. I therefore definitely need to go back to Argentina one day! I really loved my stay there, it is a fabulous country with admirable people. I was often staying at Airbnbs in Argentina, which enabled me to meet locals who were always friendly and helpful with me. I will never forget that, and I miss the Asado, Empanada, Dulce de leche, Mate and many other typical food and drink I had in Argentina.
SUNRAY: Talking about you fashion life, who is your favorite fashion designer?
Again, it is a difficult question to answer… I would say Tom Ford, since he is very known for his suits and I love suits. I agree with Tom when he says that “a good white poplin shirt is something that every man should have a few of in his closet” and that “all men should own a beautifully cut black suit”. He emphasizes on making strong broad shoulders and making the waist and hips look smaller – a perfect fit for anyone working out and having an athletic shape like I tend to have. Ford designed Daniel Craig’s suits for his last three James Bond films, I do not need to add anything more than that.
SUNRAY: What runway in the world would you like to be participate?
The ones with Philipp Plein! Not for his style, but for the runways he organizes every time, there are at a whole different level; he knows how to produce real shows, it is like a music concert, simply breathtaking. It must be a lot of fun to be part of such runways.
SUNRAY: Tell us the sites where we can find you
On Facebook: Karim Ben Hassine (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=809583288)
SUNRAY MAGAZINE is grateful with Karim for this beautiful interview! We wish you all the best!!
Photos by: Alain Pasetto
Interview by Maria Fernanda Capici
Owner Editor in Chief SUNRAY MAGAZINE