Makeup artist Tyron Machhausen on a life-changing move to New York City.

Machhausen on the streets of New York City’s Soho neighborhood, photographed by Sania Tharani

In October 2002, I moved to New York City — the epicenter of fashion — from Berlin. I’d done everything I could possibly do in Europe career-wise, and wanted a new challenge.

I had visited New York a few times, and on my last trip [prior to moving] there, I signed with an agency and found out that I had dual citizenship.

It was destiny! So, I booked a one-way ticket.

At the time — one year after 9/11 — New York was in the process of reinventing and rediscovering itself. It was so beautiful, and the energy was amazing, as I, too, was reinventing myself.

I felt like a child uncovering different things. The people were so friendly — Germans tend to mind their own business — and I loved the small, daily interactions I’d have with strangers.

But the thing that intrigued me the most was the abundance of diversity. I was surprised to see so many different nationalities and ethnicities in one place.

I spent a lot of time riding the subway and sitting at cafés just obsessively watching people, and taking everything in. It served as a huge source of inspiration for my work.

Moving to New York changed everything, and provided me with new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in Europe. I couldn’t be happier, or more thankful, to call the City home.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? How hairstylist Eric Gabriel got his start in New York City, photographer and makeup artist, Sonia Kashuk & Arthur Elgort, talk getting the shot and their friendship on and off set.