Pitch Perfect

SEPP's Markus Ebner Talks Publishing, Beckham and Karl

As well as heading up the football and fashion biennial SEPP, creative director Markus Ebner is the man responsible for Germany’s ACHTUNG magazine—one of the few independent fashion periodicals in the country, whose dedicated team of contributors includes influential photographer Walter Pfeiffer and Godfrey Deeny, a former editor of Vogue Hommes International. As the World Cup heats up and men’s fashion week kicks off, we caught up with the Berlin style ambassador (and new dad).

How do you get everything done?

Fortunately, my German origins help. It helps keep a schedule. But it’s definitely a challenge. My wife works all the time—it’s like that in France; she works for Dries Van Noten and they have a show coming up next week. She works more than me, so I am the babysitter and the magazine maker. But it’s all good. If you look at the SEPP project I’m [obviously] a huge football nut so it was a fun thing to do.

Are you getting to watch any of the World Cup games?

Ideally I would have gone to South Africa because the issue is supported by Nike—as you can see on the cover—and they invited us down, but I have to cover the men’s shows here in Paris and in Milan. Of course, I’ve been watching!
I suppose congratulations are in order—Germany beat Australia 4-0!

That was a strange one, no? I have to say I was a bit surprised. We have a young team and I am excited about them, but I wasn’t sure what they could do. But man, they destroyed Australia.

I imagine you grew up a sports fan, but where was the intersection for you between football and fashion?

I started in 2002, which is already a long time ago now. The games were in Japan and, if you were in fashion, there were two players in that world—Beckham and (Hidetoshi) Nakata. Beckham was already by then on the cover of Vanity Fair. I just felt it was in the air.

But it takes a particular touch. Not just anyone can ask Karl Lagerfeld to sketch a soccer kit. You can.

He is a man who contributes to a million things. He’s the kind of guy who will be backstage at a Dior Homme show and you can talk to him and put stuff in his head. That's generally what my co-editor Godfrey Deeny and I do. Godfrey has known Karl for centuries and on good days Karl will speak German to me. He’s actually been contributing since issue two. He liked the idea. He said, “Yeah, football guys are the new icons.” He thought it was fresh, maybe.


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