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Helena Christensen

       

Model, photographer and philanthropist, there’s nothing Helena Christensen can’t do. When she invited us into her stunning home, we were floored with her collection of beautiful objects, unique as the Danish beauty herself. Like a true CAP woman, her love for wellness goes deep and we can’t get enough of her insightful take on self care.

With a career as a model and photographer, do you find yourself traveling often?

These days I group my jobs overseas together, so as not to travel as extensively and that way leave a way smaller footprint. I work on quite a few personal projects in NY and try to do most shoots around here as well. But I still really enjoy trips to exciting places. I went to the Colombian mountains with the UNHCR as a photographer recently and did portraits of displaced women and children. A very profound and interesting trip.

When you are traveling, where are your favorite places to go?

I just love exploring the world. It’s a magical place and there are so many areas I yet have to visit. But returning to a place with great memories is always good. Going back to my home country Denmark is something I always look forward to.

Your Mother is Peruvian and your Father is Danish. What do those two places mean to you?

I feel a great sense of belonging to both places. I spent a lot of my childhood holidays in Peru and also worked there over the years, both as a model and as a photographer, and the more I go the more I feel like staying. Denmark is very special to me. There is no place like Denmark. Copenhagen, where I’m from, is as wonderful as can be, that song line is definitely true ;-).

In your opinion, what makes a happy home?

A place you feel safe in, a place full of memories that makes you smile and reminisce. You want to feel calm and at peace when you’re home. Leave the world outside and just curl up inside your little nest.

What inspires you when it comes to the design of your home?

Life, nature, the ocean, history. I am hugely inspired by anything from the past. The craftsmanship, devotion and effort that was put into making objects, buildings and textiles. It will never be that way again, everything has changed with technology. Each design piece is special and full of love and I admire and respect small companies that still work that way today.

Your home is filled with beautiful objects. Are these things that you collected while traveling over the years? Or have you found them mostly in New York?

I am definitely a thing finder. When traveling is part of your life and work, then it is impossible to not be inspired by what you find on the way through the world. I would always make time to escape from work to a little antique market in the near vicinity to look for special little object that years later still brings back great memories from my past.

Aesthetic pieces always catch my eye, but I also really dig obscure and peculiar pieces. Finding a special piece and bringing it home is like owning a little piece of someone’s mind materialized.

Do you have any favorite pieces from your collection and what are your relationships to these objects?

Every piece is special, if they’re still with me. There are a lot of objects from the ocean and beaches. I am obsessed with the sea and want as much of it with me at home. I treasure my collection of antique frames and the photographs and paintings they frame. Old drawings and paintings of the ocean and nudes are some of my favorites.

Where are your favorites places in New York to find things to add to your collection?

I used to go to the antique market on 26th street every weekend almost. It was such a cool place and I was very sad when it closed. But I couldn’t have fit in any more things anyway so maybe it was a good thing.

The East Village has a lot of little curious stores and I like Adelaide in the west village, 1930/40/50’s furniture and objects, beautiful stuff.

Can you share anyone from your little black book of health and wellness practitioners?

CAP Beauty has wonderful products and treatments, for sure. I go to Joanna Vargas for great facials and I box and I just started doing yoga.

How do you stay grounded when life gets hectic?

I read and draw and go upstate to swim in rivers and just lie and look at the sky.

Do you have any daily practices? How do you incorporate these practices into your everyday life?

I like organizing my place and that becomes almost like a meditative daily engagement. Cooking feels the same way. I need to learn to meditate for real as I have a hard time stopping my mind from going 100 miles an hour. My personal projects keep me focused as well. I have a brand with a friend of mine, staerk&christensen. We design eyewear, jewelry, clothes and footwear. Plus we make little films and do very personal photo shoots to convey our little universe. I also am part of a small perfume company, strangelove. We create perfumes and oils with a renowned perfumer. It is very exciting and humbling at the same time being part of a creative collaboration and exploring ideas and thoughts.

Can you tell me a little bit about your daily self care rituals?

I use face wash daily and exfoliate now and then. I very much enjoy face masks, oils and serums and use them in abundance. I really just love products, they feel good to apply and they leave your skin feeling smooth and moist. I rarely use shampoo but I apply a lot of conditioner and hair masks. My hair soaks it right up.

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