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Helena Christensen

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Helena Christensen
Christensen in 2012
Born (1968-12-25) 25 December 1968 (age 55)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Modeling information
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorGreen
  • Unsigned Group (London)
  • Women Management (New York)
  • ZZO (Paris)
  • d'management group (Milan)
  • R1 Mgmt (Barcelona)[1]

Helena Christensen (born 25 December 1968) is a Danish fashion model. She is a former Victoria's Secret Angel, co-founder and original creative director for Nylon magazine, and she is a supporter of funding for breast cancer organizations and other philanthropic charities.

Early life[edit]

Christensen was born on 25 December 1968 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her father, Fleming, is Danish and her mother, Elsa,[citation needed] is Peruvian.[2][3] She is the elder of two daughters.[citation needed] Christensen is fluent in Danish, English, French and German.[4] Winning the Miss Universe Denmark crown in 1986,[5][6] she subsequently represented Denmark in the Miss Universe 1986 pageant held in Panama.[7] The following year, Christensen participated in the Look of the Year 1987 competition, where she was a finalist. She left home soon after to pursue modelling in Paris.[8]



Christensen rose to prominence in the 1990s, becoming one of the most popular models of her time. In 1990, she starred in the music video for Chris Isaak's song "Wicked Game".[9] 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". She became a spokesmodel for Revlon cosmetics in 1992.[citation needed] She appeared on magazine covers including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and W, and in fashion campaigns including Revlon, Chanel, Versace, Lanvin, Prada, Sonia Rykiel, Hermès, Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld. One noted campaign featured her in a 20 by 40 feet (6 by 12 m) billboard in Times Square, naked, "except for a strategically placed banana leaf."[10] She was in the Victoria's Secret catalog and in their television commercials as one of the original "Angels", along with Tyra Banks, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, and Stephanie Seymour.

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 supermodel legends of the modern catwalk, the girl next door pretty underneath all the paint".[11]

Christensen has continued to model. She graced the covers of Vogue Italia (2016), Portuguese Vogue (2016), British Tatler (2018), French Elle (2018). In September 2017, Christensen, along with Schiffer, Campbell, Crawford, and Carla Bruni, closed the Versace spring/summer 2018 fashion show, which was an homage to the late Gianni Versace and supermodel history.[12] She walked the runway for Dolce & Gabbana and appeared in their spring/summer 2019 advertisement campaign with Carla Bruni, Eva Herzigová and Marpessa Hennink. Christensen is signed to ZZO Management in Paris, D Management in Milan, Unsigned Group in London and 1/One Management in New York City.[9]

At a 2007 Sustainable/Green Home opening party

Business and photography[edit]

Christensen was co-founder and creative director of Nylon magazine in 1999[13] with Ray Gun magazine publisher Marvin Scott Jarrett,[14] and Kung Faux creator Mic Neumann.[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's collaboration with Triumph started in 2008 as the face of the Triumph brand.

Aside from her modeling work, Christensen is an accomplished photographer herself, whose work has appeared in Nylon,[13] Marie Claire, and ELLE.[9] 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]

In 2014, Christensen worked on a photography series: Liberty Ross, Liv Tyler, and The Pursuit of Grace. "I like doing personal, very intimate projects that don't require a lot of pre-meetings".[25]

Christensen has traveled extensively and often finds herself on both sides of the camera. In 2016, she was announced as the "Global Explorer" for the Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts. Her major project for the company was documenting a trip from the seaside town of Paracas to the colonial city of Cusco and the nearby Urubamba Valley.

Climate change awareness[edit]

Christensen partnered with Oxfam in 2009 to document the impact of climate change in Peru, where her mother was born. "Climate change in Peru is already devastating and we welcome Helena's commitment to show this to the rest of the world," said Frank Boeren, Oxfam's coordinator in Peru. "Peru is on the frontline of climate change, along with other developing countries, which have played little part in causing the problem".[26]

Breast cancer fundraising[edit]

Christensen launched the second Fashion Targets Breast Cancer campaign, which involves the sale of designer t-shirts to raise money for Ireland's Action Breast Cancer (Irish Cancer Society) and Europa Donna Ireland to help younger women with breast cancer.[27][28]

Personal life[edit]

Christensen dated and lived with INXS frontman Michael Hutchence on and off in France and Denmark for five years in the early 1990s.[29] She was in a relationship with actor Norman Reedus for five years; together they have a son born October 1999.[30] Reedus and Christensen separated in 2003.[31][32] Later, she dated Interpol singer Paul Banks from 2011 to 2015.[33]

Christensen has an apartment in Copenhagen, a house in Catskill, NY, and lives in Manhattan, where she drives "the only type of car I've ever had", a Morris Minor.[34][35] She reported in 2007 that she had been residing in Monaco.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Helena Christensen models.com
  2. ^ Nome, Valerie (7 May 2008). "Helena Christensen: Model Mom". OK!. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Portraits of Peru: Why supermodel Helena Christensen returned to her roots". The Independent. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  4. ^ Mulkerrins, Jane (3 May 2015). "Helena Christensen on modelling at 46, surgery and her new perfume". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  5. ^ Mueller, Andrew (31 August 2003). "Reversing the lens: Helena Christensen". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 22 February 2024 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ Mottram, James (10 June 2006). "Helena Christensen: Role Model". The Independent. Retrieved 22 February 2024.
  7. ^ "Miss Universe, 1986". Pageantopolis.com. Archived from the original on 30 March 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "The Helena Christensen Picture Pages". Superiorpics.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  9. ^ a b c "Helena Christensen Profile". Fashion Model Directory database. Retrieved 11 July 2008.
  10. ^ Wechsler, Pat; Feld, David (20–27 December 1993). "Times Square bananas over billboard". New York Magazine. p. 19. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  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. ^ Singer, Sally (22 September 2017). "Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear: Versace". Vogue.
  13. ^ a b Colford, Paul D. (3 March 1999). "Nylon Not a Stretch for the Man Behind Ray Gun". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2010. [Jarrett's] partners in the new venture include supermodel Helena Christensen, who acts as creative director.
  14. ^ Wells, Melanie (1 November 1999). "Entrepreneur as Stunt Man". Forbes.com Magazine. p. 2. Archived from the original on 1 September 2000. Retrieved 21 August 2010. Upstart style magazine Nylon has gotten ink for making supermodel Helena Christensen its creative director.
  15. ^ Nylon Magazine Co-Founders by Helen Lee, Sassy Bella Magazine, November 7, 2007.
  16. ^ Vine, Sarah (24 March 2007). "Model's own - Helena Christensen is the latest model to turn fashion designer". The Times. London.
  17. ^ "Butik.com website, circa 2008". Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  18. ^ Bahnsen, Lea Kathrine (11 May 2008). "Helena Christensen er vintage-dronning ("a vintage Queen")" (in Danish). Oestrogen.dk. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2010.(English tr.)
  19. ^ "Yo-Yo Second Hand Shop".
  20. ^ Karmali, Sarah (18 September 2012). "Helena Christensen Talks Lingerie". Vogue.co.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Helena Christensen, A Quiet Story". Locus Gallery. Archived from the original on 15 May 2007.
  22. ^ "Helena Christensen - Selections from A Quiet Story". FashionCapital.co.uk. HotelArena. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2010. Press release.
  23. ^ Nelson, Karin (14 December 2008). "The Imperfectionist". Style. New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2010. Slideshow
  24. ^ "Helena Christensen, Far From, Close, photography exhibition - December 15th 2008 – January 18, 2009" (includes Flash gallery). Dactyl Foundation. 15 December 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  25. ^ Codinha, Alessandra. "Helena Christensen on her latest photography series: Liberty Ross, Liv Tyler, and the pursuit of grace". Vogue.[dead link]
  26. ^ "Helena Christensen witnesses impacts of climate change in Peru". Oxfam America. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  27. ^ O'Brian, Jason (8 June 2007). "Erin-go-bra - Fashion targets breast cancer". Independent. IE. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  28. ^ "Tommy Hilfiger Teams Up With Helena Christensen For Limited Edition Bags". The Daily. PapierDoll.net. AHN. 6 March 2009. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  29. ^ INXS; Bozza, Anthony (2006). Inxs: Story to Story: The Official Autobiography. Atria. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7432-8404-2. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  30. ^ "Helena Christensen profile". Hello! magazine. 2006.
  31. ^ "Helena Christensen profile". Marie Claire. Archived from the original on 8 January 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  32. ^ "Helena Christensen's son Mingus is a chess prodigy". People.com. 2 September 2007. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  33. ^ David Kaufman (19 October 2012). "Queen of the Runway". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  34. ^ Gerard, Jasper (27 November 2005). "Me and My Motors: Helena Christensen". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  35. ^ Philby, Charlotte (21 November 2009) "My Secret Life: Helena Christensen, Supermodel, 40". The Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
  36. ^ Crichton, Torcuil (21 July 2007). "Helena Christensen Interview". Herald-Scotland. Retrieved 21 August 2010.

External links[edit]