There tends to be a stark difference between the models today and the ones you think of as the ‘classic models’. When I think of a ‘classic model’, the individual who mostly struts into my mind is none other than Helena Christensen.
The Danish/Peruvian beauty was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 25th 1968, and as a child had various interests including that of music and photography. It was at the age of 9 that Helena began modelling and continued to do so until she was 16 and entered the Miss Copenhagen competition (1986) by accident having thought it was only a charity fashion show – which she won!
As a result of winning this contest, she was indeed contractually obliged to enter the Miss Universe competition the same year which was to take place in Panama and represent her country. From then on, she hasn’t looked back since.
In 1991, Helena made a move to Paris to really concentrate on her modelling career and it was then that she was asked to appear in the Chris Isaak’s video Wicked Games, which has been featured on MTV’s Sexiest Video of All-Time .
The following year she became even more high-profile when she and Michael Hutchence (of INXS) began dating, their relationship lasting 3 years.
In 1994, she featured in the Versace campaign and after she finished working for the company Gianni Versace said, ‘”the most beautiful body in the world”.
With Marvin Scott Jarrett in 1999 at the opening of Nylon magazine, she worked at Creative Director, this position adding to her other business credits. She has created several clothing lines such as Christensen & Sigersen (with friend Leif Sigersen) and also a vintage clothing line called Butik in Copenhagen. Most recently in 2012, she designed a lingerie collection named Helena Christensen for Triumph which was UK-based. When asked about her intentions for these designs, she is famously quoted to have said, “I don’t care. I have no clue. I don’t think about anyone but me.”
Throughout her very successful career so far, she has appeared on the covers of ELLE , Harpers’ Bazaar, and Vogue.
Now 45 years old, Helena is busy focusing on her modelling career, photography and motherhood. Her 14 year old son Mingus Reedus ,from her relationship of 5 years (1998-2003) with actor Norman Reedus, is her main priority saying ”he’s all that matters”, spending as much time as she can when at home in New York.
Photography is something that Helena has always expressed an interest in, and she enjoys working on the other side of the lense too. Her work has been published in magazines including Marie Claire , ELLE and Nylon as well as having her own display A Quiet Story in galleries in places such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In interviews, she has pointed out that the advantage of travelling around the world with her modelling work means that she can go around armed with her camera, snapping away!
I don’t think I need to state anymore reasons why I think Helena Christensen is a fantastic role model and with her impressive career going from strength to strength, I look forward to seeing what she does next! There’s no stopping her.
Check out her tumblr blog:
Helena discussing her photography:
Her visit to Northern Kenya as the Ambassador for Oxfam:
On the catwalk: