The best-looking Nordic male models of the past and present
By Signe Hansen
Now, there’s a topic that’s bound to cheer up your lunch break. For decades, the Nordic region has been an abundant source of iconic male models who have not just left a permanent mark on the fashion industry, but also provided daydream material for millions of women – and probably quite a few men too. We explore some of our favourites.
With their chiselled features and laidback demeanour, Nordic men have graced runways and magazine covers for decades. Moreover, many of the region’s most successful models have not only shaped the fashion industry but have also used their talents and good looks in multiple artistic endeavours. Oozing effortless elegance and presenting a broad palette of styles from sleek metrosexuality to raw Viking power, the appeal of the male models of the North does indeed go beyond the walkway. From the classic charm of Marcus Schenkenberg to the androgynous beauty of Mikkel Jensen – it is evident that while some ideals of male beauty are indeed fluent, these Nordic men have a quintessentially timeless appeal and envy-worthy beauty. Below, you can join us on an enjoyable exploration of the lives and careers of five of the best-looking and most successful Nordic male models of all time.
Marcus Schenkenberg (Sweden):
Born in Stockholm, in 1968, Marcus Schenkenberg’s striking blue eyes, chiselled jawline, and muscular physique turned him into one of the world’s first male supermodels. Rising to fame in the ’90s, Schenkenberg dated several super-famous women, including Mariah Carey and Pamela Anderson, and graced the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair.
However, most Danes of the television-watching age in the 90s will remember him in a quite different setting, namely seductively soaked in a bathtub full of milk. Back then, the Danish dairy industry hired Schenkenberg and Danish female supermodel Helena Christensen to provide a wink-in-the-eye incentive for Danes to drink more milk. Whether Schenkenberg, who is today a well-known animal rights activist, regrets this appearance is unknown, but in 2011 he was one of the numerous superstars who stripped down for PETA’s campaign against animal testing.
Mathias Lauridsen (Denmark):
Born in Copenhagen in 1984, Danish Mathias Lauridsen has been a consistent presence in the modelling world since the early 2000s. Renowned for his timeless elegance, he has walked the runways for top-tier designers like Prada and Gucci. In 2008, he was ranked the “second-most successful male model in the world” by Forbes, according to earnings. On the runway, Lauridsen has pulled off a variety of looks, from stylish suits to short leather shorts and pink coats.
Stille actively modelling, not much is known about Lauridsen outside the fashion scene. However, in the spring of 2023, the supermodel appeared alongside his son in MANGO’s presentation of their latest menswear and kidswear collections. Needless, to say the image story titled Dad & Me is absolutely adorable. It is not the first time Lauridsen’s son appears alongside his successful dad. In 2021, the two of them starred in Massimo Dutti’s story A Family Man, and despite his strikingly good looks, Lauridsen had his match in his son’s unbeatable charm. In other words, we might be looking at a future Nordic supermodel.
Mikkel Greger Jensen (Denmark):
Born in Copenhagen, in 1989, Mikkel Jensen was initially spotted in Copenhagen and signed by the Danish model agency Scoop Models. Thanks to his androgynous beauty and expressive eyes, he quickly became a favourite with major fashion houses like Dior and Valentino, despite his many tattoos. In fact, Jensen became one of the first Nordic male models with prominent tattoos to walk headline shows with brands such as Calvin Klein, Givenchy, and Armani. Jensen’s tattoos are also prominently featured in several steaming-hot photo campaigns where he can be enjoyed posing scantily dressed alongside equally stunning female models.
In 2012, Jensen was first featured on the Models.com top 50 list of male models. He retained his spot on the list until 2019 when his name appeared on the even more coveted “Money Guys” list, a list of the best-paid models in the world. In Denmark, Jensen increased his recognisability by dating Medina, one of the country’s most successful singers. Today, however, he lives with his German model girlfriend Maya Stepper in Brooklyn, New York, where both models are signed with IMG Models.
Mathias Bergh (Sweden):
Born in 1987, at the age of fifteen, Mathias Bergh was discovered by a model scout in a restaurant in Stockholm. In the first instance, however, Bergh showed greater dedication to his passion for football than for modelling. In his own words, he quickly got “kicked out from the modelling agency”, not for a lack of job offers but simply because he didn’t show up for the jobs. However, five years later, a large modelling agency from Paris gave him a second chance, and soon the stunning Swede and his striking chiselled features were taking the Paris runways by storm. Campaigns for Calvin Klein and appearances on the runways for Burberry and Dolce & Gabbana solidified his position, and in 2008 he became the face of Gucci. Bergh also starred on the cover of several prominent magazines and remained highly ranked on the models.com list of the Top 50 male models for many years.
While maintaining an active role in the fashion scene, Bergh has diversified his pursuits. In addition to his modelling endeavours, he has founded KSTING a web portal aimed at connecting industry professionals and improving fairness, transparency, and efficiency in the industry.
Oliver Sonne (Denmark):
Born in 2000, Danish Oliver Sonne has, despite his young age, achieved an impressive feat, namely succeeding in two careers. As the nephew of Helena Christensen, probably the most famous Danish supermodel of all time, it might seem only natural that Sonne should also pursue a career in modelling. However, in his home country where he plays for Silkeborg, a Danish Superliga team, the 22-year-old is mostly recognised for his football talent. But at 17, Sonne was already well into a very different career, modelling. Like his famous aunt, the 22-year-old can ascribe his unique looks to a combination of Danish and Peruvian genes a combination that quickly led to high-profile jobs like photo shoots for Vogue and work on New York runways for Calvin Klein and the likes.
Despite his continued success in the fashion industry, Sonne has, however, been clear about his priorities – football comes first. His large following on Instagram can, however, still enjoy a highly appealing combination of model and football photos. Moreover, Sonne holds the odd record of being the most Googled person in Peru last year the footballer became part of the Peruvian national team).
Indeed, Nordic male models do not only display great diversity in looks, but also in talents, passions and endeavours, and one thing seems sure – while their outer appearance may have catapulted them into a path of success, their ability to stay on that path comes from within.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Receive our monthly newsletter by email