Helena Christensen has admitted not just once that being a model is not quite as romantic as everyone imagines. “Once, while we were shooting for Vogue, we were stranded for five days on a half-wrecked boat in the middle of the Indian Ocean, where it was swarming with sharks”, remembers the charming lady. “Eventually, we were forced to do most of the photo shoot the last day on our way to the airport.”

Helena was born on Christmas Day, 1968 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her father is Danish, and her mother – Peruvian. Her first steps as a model come at the age of 9. Aged 18, she wins the title Miss Denmark and the following international pageant Miss Universe paves her way to the big fashion industry. Some time ago the model revealed in front of Red magazine that she hadn’t always felt beautiful. “I was not a beauty in my teenage years. I had plump cheeks, I wore pink lipstick and my hair was frizzy as hell. I don’t know how Peter Lindbergh and Herb Ritts agreed to take my pictures at all. I don’t even know how I ended up in the fashion business.” Apart from doing covers for Elle and Vogue, she also becomes a Victoria’s Secret Angel and in 1991 Helena takes part in the video to Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game.

The Danish beauty is one of the emblematic models of the 80s, together with Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Eva Herzigova. Some time ago the golden girls of the fashion business joined forces for a new project. “I recently did a video for Duran Duran, together with Naomi, Jasmin, Cindy and Eva and everything was like in the good old times, we recalled a lot of funny moments from the past”, says Helena. “I still see Christy from time to time. She is a lot of fun and a very clever girl.”

In spite of the fact that the other supermodels from the 80s (like Crawford) took a dim view of silhouette changes of contemporary models, Christensen insists that the fashion industry hasn’t changed that much since the time when she started her career. “The search for something new, fresh and innovative, as well as the longing for elegance and beauty will always be present”, she gathers. “I had the luck to start working at a time when girls could just be themselves. No one asked us to change our appearance, each of us was unique in her own way. We were easily recognisable thanks to our uniqueness. I have always liked the style of Jean Seberg, Jane Birkin and Marilyn Monroe. To me, a beautiful lady is the one who stays true to herself, true to her character. Someone who is self-confident and is able to make you smile.”

Being the face for different lingerie brands, Helena has posed in bikini many times. She is the brand face and ambassador for Triumph, and also one of the greatest lingerie enthusiasts (she has been collecting it for years). During her professional career she has learned that there is much more to lingerie than just looking hot. Though, it certainly helps. “I learned how different women’s forms are, and how many small details you have to pay attention to when you create a particular design”, mentions Christensen. “You need to highlight the beautiful parts of your female body so that you can shape those which need some correction, and we are all different from each other. This is the most feminine garment which you can put on a woman in order to make her feel good.”

Christensen is also famous for her love of photography. Her works have taken part in different exhibitions for Oxfam and Nylon magazine. In front of her camera we can see stars like Orlando Bloom, Robbie Williams and Julianne Moore. “I realised early enough that I love photography”, she reveals. “At first I was a model, but then I became a photographer. Photography is what inspires me more than anything else!”

If you ask her, as a veteran model, which of the new faces in the fashion industry deserve special attention according to her, she will answer: “Every girl has her own way of shining – so many exquisite faces and wonderful silhouettes. I personally think that some of the Asian girls look incredible!”

“I really have the feeling that my whole career is one long unforgettable moment”, she admits. “An intensive, crazy, surreal journey, which is still going on. As long as I am inspired and I continue to feel great with the people I work with, I will never ever give up.”

Text: Fashion Inside

Photos: Press

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