Helena Christensen

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Helena Christensen
Helena Christensen 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Christensen at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival
Born (1968-12-25) December 25, 1968 (age 48)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Known for

Miss Universe Denmark 1986

Look of the Year Denmark 1987 (Top 7 at Look of the Year 1987).
Partner(s) Michael Hutchence (1991–1995)
Norman Reedus (1998–2003)
Paul Banks (2008–present)
Children Mingus Reedus
Modeling information
Height 1.77 m (5 ft 9 12 in)[1]
Hair color Brunette
Eye color Green
Manager Unsigned Management

Helena Christensen (born December 25, 1968) is a Danish fashion model and photographer. She is a former Victoria's Secret Angel and beauty queen. Christensen has also served as creative director for Nylon magazine, designed clothing, and supported funding for breast cancer organizations and other charities.

Early life[edit]

Christensen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her father is Danish, and her mother is Peruvian.[2][3] Christensen won the Miss Universe Denmark crown in 1986[4][5] and represented Denmark in Miss Universe 1986.[6] Then the next year participated at Look of the Year 1987 and became a finalist. She left her home soon afterwards to pursue modeling in Paris.[7]



Christensen appeared on many magazine covers (including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, W) and in fashion campaigns (including Revlon, Chanel, Versace, Lanvin, Prada, Sonia Rykiel, Hermes, Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld) during the 1990s. One noted campaign featured her in a 20 by 40 feet (6 by 12 m) billboard in Times Square, bare, "except for a strategically placed banana leaf."[8] She was in the Victoria's Secret catalog and in their television commercials as one of the signature Angels, along with Tyra Banks, Karen Mulder, Daniela Pestova, and Stephanie Seymour. She also became a spokesmodel for Revlon cosmetics in 1992.[9] In 1991, she starred in the music video for Chris Isaak's song "Wicked Game."[10] The video was later featured on MTV's "Sexiest Video of All-Time", voted #4 on VH1's "50 Sexiest Video Moments", and voted #13 on VH1's "100 Greatest Videos".

In 1996, Frank DeCaro of The New York Times cited Christensen, along with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer as "The Magnificent Seven". DeCaro reflected, "Known by their first names to legions of fans, they are the legends of the modern catwalk, the girl next door pretty underneath all the paint".[11]

Christensen continues modelling; recently[when?] she graced the covers of Spanish Vogue (2011), British Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE, and American Vs. magazine. She was also featured in the advertising campaigns of Ermanno Screvino, Reebok, Charactere and Triumph. Christensen is signed to ZZO Management in Paris, D Management in Milan, Unsigned Management in London and 1/One Management in New York City.[10]

At a 2007 Sustainable/Green Home opening party


Christensen was creative director of Nylon magazine at its 1999 founding by publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett.[12][13][14][15] She launched her own clothing line, Christensen & Sigersen, with lifelong friend Leif Sigersen. The pair previously ran Butik, a shop in New York's West Village.[16][17] Christensen created a vintage clothing line, sold in her mother's store, the Yo-Yo Second Hand Shop, in Christianshavn, Copenhagen, Denmark.[18][19] In 2012, she created a lingerie collection, Helena Christensen for Triumph, for the UK-based lingerie brand.[20] Christensen, whose collaboration with Triumph started in 2008 as the face of the Triumph brand.

Christensen is a photographer whose work has appeared in Nylon,[13] Marie Claire, and ELLE.[10] Her exhibition "A Quiet Story", curated by Jim Cook, premiered at the Locus Gallery in Rotterdam, 2006,[21] and HotelArena in Amsterdam, 2007.[22] Her exhibition "Far From, Close" appeared at Dactyl Foundation in 2008–09, to benefit International Center of Photography educational programs and Chernobyl Children's Project International.[23][24]

Humanitarian work[edit]

Christensen partnered with Oxfam in 2009 to document the impact of climate change in Peru, where her mother was born. "Climate chance in Peru is already devastating and we welcome Helena’s commitment to show this to the rest of the world. Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem.” Said Frank Boeren, Oxfam’s coordinator in Peru.[25]

Breast cancer fundraising[edit]

Christensen launched the second Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign which involves the sale of exclusive designer t-shirts to raise millions for Ireland's Action Breast Cancer (Irish Cancer Society) and Europa Donna Ireland to help younger women with breast cancer.[26][27]

Personal life[edit]

Christensen dated and lived with INXS frontman Michael Hutchence on and off in France and Denmark for a period of five years in the early 1990s.[28] She was in a relationship with actor Norman Reedus for five years; together they have a son, Mingus Lucien Reedus (born October 13, 1999).[29] Reedus and Christensen separated in 2003.[30][31] She has dated Interpol singer Paul Banks since 2008.[32]

Christensen has an apartment in Copenhagen and lives in Manhattan, where she drives "the only type of car I've ever had", a Morris Minor.[33][34] She reported in 2007 that she would be giving up her place in Monaco.[35]


  1. ^ Helena Christensen at the Fashion Model Directory
  2. ^ "Portraits of Peru: Why supermodel Helena Christensen returned to her roots". independent.co.uk. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Nome, Valerie. (May 7th, 2008)."Helena Christensen: Model Mom". OK Magazine.
  4. ^ Mueller, Andrew (August 31, 2003). "Reversing the lens: Helena Christensen". Sunday Tribune. Ireland: Tribune.ie. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  5. ^ Mottram, James (June 10, 2006). "Helena Christensen: Role Model". The Independent. London: independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  6. ^ Miss Universe, 1986 Pageantopolis.com. Retrieved 2010-09-12. Lists contestants, w/photo of Christensen & contestants.
  7. ^ "The Helena Christensen Picture Pages". Superiorpics.com.
  8. ^ Wechsler, Pat; Feld, David (December 20–27, 1993). Times Square bananas over billboard. Intelligencer. New York Magazine. p. 19. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  9. ^ Bjorkman, James. "Helena Christensen, Danish Delight". Filminspector.com. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 
  10. ^ a b c "Helena Christensen Profile". Fashion Model Directory database. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  11. ^ DeCaro, Frank (21 April 1996). "Supermodels Hot As Ever Or On Ice?; No Stars Means No Sizzle". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  12. ^ Powers, Bill (October 11, 1998). "PULSE; A Model Will Call The Shots". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-22. Mr. Jarrett offered the top editorial position to Ms. Christensen 
  13. ^ a b Colford, Paul D. (March 3, 1999). "Nylon Not a Stretch for the Man Behind Ray Gun". latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-21. [Jarrett's] partners in the new venture include supermodel Helena Christensen, who acts as creative director. 
  14. ^ Wells, Melanie (November 1, 1999). "Entrepreneur as Stunt Man". Forbes.com Magazine. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2000-09-01. Retrieved 2010-08-21. Upstart style magazine Nylon has gotten ink for making supermodel Helena Christensen its creative director. 
  15. ^ Note: Nylon' s masthead credits her as follows: "founders mark blackwell, helena christensen, marvin scott jarrett, jaclynn b. jarrett".
  16. ^ Vine, Sarah (March 24, 2007). "Model's own - Helena Christensen is the latest model to turn fashion designer". London: The Times. 
  17. ^ "Butik.com website, circa 2008". Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  18. ^ Bahnsen, Lea Kathrine (May 11, 2008). "Helena Christensen er vintage-dronning ("a vintage Queen")" (in Danish). Oestrogen.dk. Retrieved 2010-08-21. (English tr.)
  19. ^ "Yo-Yo Second Hand Shop". 
  20. ^ Karmali, Sarah (September 18, 2012). "Helena Christensen Talks Lingerie". Vogue.co.uk. 
  21. ^ "Helena Christensen, A Quiet Story". Locus Gallery. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. 
  22. ^ "Helena Christensen - Selections from A Quiet Story". FashionCapital.co.uk. HotelArena. Retrieved 2010-08-22.  Press release.
  23. ^ Nelson, Karin (December 14, 2008). "The Imperfectionist". Style. New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.  Slideshow
  24. ^ "Helena Christensen, Far From, Close, photography exhibition - December 15th 2008 – January 18, 2009" (includes Flash gallery). Dactyl Foundation. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  25. ^ "Helena Christensen witnesses impacts of climate change in Peru". Oxfam America. September 8, 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2016. 
  26. ^ O'Brian, Jason (June 8, 2007). "Erin-go-bra - Fashion targets breast cancer". Independent. IE. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  27. ^ "Tommy Hilfiger Teams Up With Helena Christensen For Limited Edition Bags". The Daily. PapierDoll.net. AHN. March 6, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  28. ^ INXS; Bozza, Anthony (2006). Inxs: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7432-8404-2. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  29. ^ "Helena Christensen profile". Hello! magazine. 2006.
  30. ^ "Helena Christensen profile". Marie Claire. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Helena Christensen's son Mingus is a chess prodigy". People.com. September 2, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2011. 
  32. ^ David Kaufman (19 October 2012). "Queen of the Runway". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  33. ^ Gerard, Jasper (November 27, 2005). "Me and My Motors: Helena Christensen". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  34. ^ Philby, Charlotte (November 21, 2009) "My Secret Life: Helena Christensen, Supermodel, 40". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  35. ^ Crichton, Torcuil (July 21, 2007). "Helena Christensen Interview". Herald-Scotland. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 

External links[edit]