Despite being just 25 years old, Karl Kugelmann is leaving an indelible mark on the South African entertainment industry, having garnered over 5.9 million followers on TikTok in just over two years.

Growing up in Melkbos’ surf culture, Karl always leaned toward a healthy lifestyle.

His love of high adrenaline sports began at an early age. When he was just five years old, his dad, Roland, introduced him to surfing and many other watersports.

Although he has participated in numerous sports over the years, he is still a water baby at heart and loves a good surf sesh.

Karl’s modeling career began after high school, when he decided to take a chance and travel 11 867 km to Hong Kong. 

“My first modeling trip to Hong Kong changed my life significantly…traveling alone taught me a lot, it taught me to be adaptable, forward thinking and independent. I grew up fast.”

The modeling gene is definitely in his blood as his mom, Marcine, was also a model when she was in her 20s.

Following his modeling trip to Hong Kong, Karl spent some time traveling around Asia before landing in Australia.

“In the beginning, I never did that well as a model but I always had a passion and desire to travel the world,” he explains “so although I wasn’t doing that well, I was seeing the world and that was good enough for me.”

That all changed in 2019 when Karl started making TikTok videos.

“I started Tik Tok when I got back from Hong Kong in August 2019,” he says, “I could see the platform’s potential for exposure very early on and I knew that if I started posting frequently, that I’d be able to build up a following which would lead to more modeling jobs.”

“In all honesty, without Tik Tok, I would not be where I am today.”

With the pressure to maintain and grow his TikTok following demanding a lot of attention, Karl needs a release. And what a better way to do that than by spending some quality time with friends. 

Of his circle, Ethan Nel has been a failsafe friend through extraordinary changes in his life.

“We’ve been friends for 13 years now and it’s been quite an odd journey going through his social media career with him,” explains Ethan, “being his best mate, I’ve gotten so used to it.”

And what’s next on the agenda for Karl Kugelmann?

“Currently, I’m focusing on my love for music while working full time as a model. I love the energy that music can bring and I’d like to be able to share the music that brings me energy with other people.”

Karl’s mission is to incorporate music festivals into his everyday life by DJing. Currently, he is a member of the dynamic DJ duo Hetrochromia with his roommate, Kayden Hesketh.

Whether in front of the camera or behind the dj desk, we are sure that Karl will be leaving a legacy.



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