Who is Count Nikolai von Bismarck?
Count Nikolai von Bismarck, a descendant of German statesman and Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, is a British-German photographer who is currently dating English supermodel Kate Moss. He has trained under Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino and has assisted American celebrity portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. He is known for his debut photoshoot 'Like a Virgin' for 'Tatler' and his first solo exhibition 'In Ethiopia' in London. He often shoots reportage, portraiture, and fashion photographs for magazines and newspapers. He shot the official 18th birthday portrait of his friend Princess Beatrice of York and, as per rumors, has given Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, an "abstract photography" lesson. He reportedly uses social media, particularly Facebook, under a pseudonym because he was once banned from the site after an altercation around a group, which was thought to be racist.
Rise to Stardom
Count Nikolai von Bismarck first became interested in taking pictures during his visit to the Maasai in Kenya when he was 13 years old. At 16, he assisted Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino in shooting New York strippers as part of a holiday job. His first photoshoot, 'Like a Virgin' for 'Tatler' magazine in 2006, was commission by Isabella Blow. His mother, who styled and choreographed the event, cast him as a model appearing alongside three female models wearing pure white. Since then, he has been seen at various photography and fashion events, as well as with his circle of aristocrats and elites, which includes Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and art dealer Blaise Patrick who is a friend of Prince Harry. However, he became a favorite of tabloids in late-2015 after he was spotted with supermodel Kate Moss soon after her separation from husband Jamie Hince.
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A close friend of Princess Beatrice of York, Count Nikolai von Bismarck was the photographer for her official 18th birthday portrait, for which he received a shout-out from his art teacher Testino in the Harrow newsletter. Soon after, he went to study at Parsons Paris School of Art & Design, and on his return, assisted renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz in New York for two years. Following his passion for photography, he travelled widely around Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, during which he photographed prostitutes in Mozambique, cockfights in Cuba, gypsy colonies and trash collectors in Romania, the Naga Tribe in Northern Burma, and more. He once lived in Ethiopia for some time, during which he "drank cow’s blood for breakfast and slept in a tent that was guarded by kids with AK-47s". This prompted some tabloids to sensationalize the news by calling him the "blood-drinking count".
In late December 2013, he organized his first solo exhibition, 'In Ethiopia', at the 12 Francis Street Gallery in London. It was visited by prominent people like Fatima Bhutto, Ronnie Wood, Jerry Hall and family friends Pixie and Bob Geldof. His reportage work has been featured in 'The Times' and 'The Daily Mirror', and his fashion and portraiture work has appeared in 'Vogue' and 'Harper’s Bazaar'.
Family & Personal Life
Count Nikolai von Bismarck was born as Nikolai Leopold Archibald Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen on December 29, 1986, in Central London, England. He is a member of the German noble family, House of Bismarck, and is a great-great grandson of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg). His family is currently headed by his uncle, Ferdinand, Prince of Bismarck. He is the oldest son of Count Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen and Countess Debonnaire 'Debbie' Jane Patterson, and has three brothers named Tassilo, Caspar, and Sascha. His siblings call him Nick Nock, and they often wear matching clothes. His father is the youngest child of Otto Christian Archibald, Prince of Bismarck and Ann-Mari Tengbom, the daughter of Ivar Tengbom. His mother is the granddaughter of John Roseberry Monson, 10th Baron Monson and the niece of John Monson, 11th Baron Monson.
Nikolai attended the elite all-boys boarding school, Harrow School, in Harrow, London, which boasts of alumnus like actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Count Nikolai von Bismarck and his friend Princess Beatrice had went hiking in the Inca Trail together on his gap year, which fuelled rumors of them dating. He later dated Theodora Richards, the daughter of Rolling Stone rocker Keith Richards. He has known 13 years older Kate Moss, a friend of his mother, since he was a kid. In fact, Debonnaire is reportedly Moss' mentor as well. In October 2015, news spread that he was living in the basement of Moss’s Highgate home. They made the relationship public in June 2016 when they attended, hand-in-hand, the launch of Kate's collection in collaboration with Equipment. The couple also attended the wedding of Princess Eugenie together in October 2018. Moss has a 16-year-old daughter named Lila Grace from her ex-boyfriend Jefferson Hack.