At home with Lou and Nils Schoof
We spent some quality time and had a great conversation with Lou & Nils Schoof during these quarantine times.
Who are you (the long answer, no cheating by just giving your name!) and what is your profession (as in, how do you define it, rather than just the job title it has)?
L&N: We are siblings. We share a lot of main elements in our lives such as the house we live in when we have time off work, the passion for food, sustainability and nature. Also, we love creating things together. We are in constant exchange, shoot eachother, give ideas, work on projects. That's what drives us!
L: It feels interesting to me, how this answer never is easy to answer on. Im ever changing and it is hard for me to define myself. Also typical for our time, where we want all doors to be open and the future to be unwritten. What is a red thread in my life is curiosity, I guess. Modeling brought me to the creative industry and I love finding new perceptions, projects and elements to play with.
N: Nils Schoof is my name, my life is built out of many facets. One of them is taking pictures and getting pictured. I try to learn and to live most of the time, but that does not work out all the time.
How do you think Covid-19 will effect the fashion industry both long-term and short-term? How do you see the impact of Corona crisis on the general perception of fashion? Do you believe everything will just go back to normal after Covid-19, or how do you see it will be?
L: We live in an overly informed, yet quite hesitant and passive society when it comes to acting upon information. Humans, I read, are good at deciding and acting when consequences lie in the near future. The urgency of climate change action for example - a relatively slow and long termed process- is harder to understand for the human brain. Covid sets things in perspective. The unimaginable all of a sudden becomes reality. People have to act now, change happens fast and as a direct reaction to information. The unimaginable such as not flying, reduction of work and consumerism, focus on the presence and the direct world around us. This all is doable, we experience. Experience teaches. Change happens. Personally, I made my decision about leaving the norm in the fashion industry last year, while actually spending some weeks in isolation in my northern german eco home. I since then only work with brands and on projects with authentic sustainable commitment. Slowing down processes and raising their quality is another big theme for me.
How do you spend your Quarantine time and are you still able to create while being quarantined?
L: I create nonstop and photograph so much since being quarantined. I love the process of finding inspiraton in solitude. I spend quarantine riding my racing bike, jumping into lakes and baking bread. Also I lay around in the fields, the garden, the woods and on the beach with a book in my hands.
N: I spend most of the time studying for the university. In the end, I think that gives me even more drive to create. It is the same as with laughing in a church -if you are not allowed to or can not, you ABSOLUTELY have to! So in that way quarantine is pushing me in a very nice direction and brings back a natural force.
What is in your planning for this year and how will Covid-19 effect that?
L : I had plans before lockdown happened, but I guess my job is the best training to become a person living the moment and taking life day by day. Things change and that is good - if you are willing to do so too. The last weeks have not been planned, yet been filled with unexpected and gamechanging experiences. I have grown without pursuing growth. Thats wonderful to realise.
N: I planned to go to several concerts this year and a bicycle tour from Germany to Italy with my bicycle i designed and built from scratch - if I cant do that, I will for sure find other things to do. In general, I don’t have big plans because I prefer to live now and not tomorrow
What is your favourite painting and has it inspired you for any of your work thus far?
L: We have in fact been inspired by old angelic paintings for this shoot, such as Michelangelo's unimitable artwork in the sistine chapel. Creating modern day paintings with a camera is a beautiful approach.
-What keeps you rooted?
L: To observe and re-experience the well known. to go deeper, basically like roots digging their way down to stand stable - and know their origin and surrounding.
N: What keeps me rooted is the knowledge that there are people who I love and they love me. Love and trust are fundamental things in my life.
-What gives you wings?
L: Ideas! New opportunities I create for myself, for the world around. The unexpected, the butterflies in the belly.
N: Two things on this earth let me take off from the ground.
1. People or myself burning for something and learn from each other- sharing moments - sharing point of views
2. Nature which is so old and powerful. You can go with every intention into nature and you will come back satisfied.
-What is the coolest new thing you have learnt since being quarantined?
N: I learned to press myself out of the L-sit into the handstand- I have been training for a while!
L: I will have my first ever singing lesson tonight! I am so excited!
What's your work-from-home style like during these times?
L: Summer has arrived so I am barefoot and in my favorite shorts and tank tops. Still wearing my favorite jewellery. My german countrylife uniform!
N: I join the uniform!
Tell us something about yourself that isn't on your resume (a secret skill, a hobby, a previous job or fun fact about you).
L&N: We grow our own vegetable garden. You can harvest pumpkin, herbs, zucchini, beans, potatos, fennel, carrots, salad, garlic and a lot of fruits and nuts from the trees! Everything tastes so much better when fresh and plucked with your own hands.
What inspired you to start working in the fashion industry? And what are you most proud achieving of thus far?
N: Before I started working in the fashion industry, I never thought about working there. I was always interested in dressing myself and try new things. At this point I am proud of having workded with some of my idols in fashion, art and phtography and having learned and observed people working in such different and inspiring ways.
L: I have always been interested in photography and art, yet this world seemed very distant and abstract to me when I was younger. I got scouted and went straight to New York after finishing high school. Im proud of that my life makes me reconsider, find new paths and truth now and then, grow in creativity. What makes me truly grateful are the unique people around me, the beauty of nature and my own strength.
What is your favourite song at the moment and why? Do you have a playlist that you would like to share with us?
L: Some days ago, a friend sent me a small, self-written song that is about visiting and staying at our country home. Listening to it while sitting in my living room made me extremely happy.
N: The last weeks I really liked B2 from Bladehouse, it’s a small label which I found on soundcloud while working out. It is hard for me to find music which I can do sports to. This one allows me to think and focus, yet it is there for giving me motivation for the next sprint, set or jump!
What is the first thing you like to do when you wake up, and last thing you like to do before going to bed?
N: In the morning I have a quick snack and a coffee, then the day starts and I go from where I have to. Before going to bed I write my diary.
L: I have a coffee and then I do my yoga workout. Every morning. Laying in bed at night, i prepare my wings to lift me up high, fly over the experienced day, create new realities. All night long and to inspire the next day.
How is it like being models and photographers both?
L&N: It adds so much! You get a deeper understanding for the different elements and people that only together make a good picture. Capturing and being captured Also, you start being more playful and open for perspectives, angles. Also shooting each other has given a new language to our siblings relationship.
You can follow them on instagram: @louschoof & @nilsschoof