Helena Christensen is a Danish born supermodel who got her first big break as an original ‘Victoria’s Secret Angel’. Professionals in the industry became aware of her because of the success she had achieved as a beauty queen. She was awarded ‘Miss Denmark’ in 1986 and went on to compete in ‘Miss Universe’ that same year. She met several representatives and eventually moved to Paris, to further explore the modeling industry. Before and after the iconic Victoria’s Secret campaign, Christensen appeared on many magazine covers and in billboards all over the world and in ‘Times Square’. She became a spokeswoman for ‘Revlon’ and made an appearance in Chris Isaak’s music video for his song ‘Wicked Game’, which was voted number 13 on VH1’s countdown of best music videos in 1990. In 1999, she was named creative director of ‘Nylon’, a magazine that focuses on pop culture and fashion. She has photographed for this magazine as well as ‘ELLE’ and ‘Marie Claire’. Photography has been a hobby for her since she was a young child, and she has achieved much success with it, opening galleries such as ‘A Quiet Story’ and ‘Far From, Close’. She has since launched a fashion line that sells vintage style clothing and has championed fundraisers for the fight against breast cancer.
Childhood & Early Life
In 1968, Helena was born to a Danish father and a Peruvian mother. She has said that living in Denmark with a South American mother was a strong character-building experience.
She is multilingual, speaking Danish, Spanish, and English from a young age. Although she was bullied for this in school, she is happy the opportunity these skills have brought to her now.
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In 1983, she accidentally entered a beauty pageant, believing it was a fashion show for charity. She won it at the age of 16.
At the age of 18, she won the ‘Miss Denmark crown in 1986. This compelled her to compete in the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant, held in Panama, which she competed in the same year.
In March of 1990, she was on the cover of the British edition of ‘Vogue’ magazine. This would be the first of six appearances on the cover.
She became one of the original ‘Victoria’s Secret Angels’ alongside top supermodels such as Tyra Banks, Stephanie Seymour, Karen Mulder, and Daniela Pestova. She worked with this company in print, in commercials, and on the catwalk throughout the 1990s.
In 1991, she starred alongside Chris Isaak in his music video for “Wicked Game.” The video was a hit, ranking number 4 on MTV’s ‘Sexiest Video of All-Time’ and number 13 on VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Videos’.
A year later, in 1992, she became the spokesmodel for ‘Revlon’ and their brand of makeup. During the same time period of the early to mid-90s, she worked with campaigns for Prada, Hermes, Versace, Chanel, and other high fashion labels.
Marvin Scott Jarrett founded ‘Nylon’ magazine in 1999 and asked Christensen to serve as creative director. Her works of photography appeared in the magazine.
She launched the second campaign of ‘Fashion Target Breast Cancer’ in 2005 to promote breast cancer awareness. The amount collected from the sales of T-shirt is utilized to help breast cancer victims.
In 2006, she took a brief hiatus from modeling to take her position behind the camera. Her first photography gallery, curated by Jim Cook, opened in Rotterdam and Amsterdam and was named ‘A Quiet Story’.
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‘Christensen &Sigersen’ was established by Christensen and her longtime friend Leif Sigersen, in 2008. They had previously run a store in the West Village called ‘Butik’, and were cooperative business partners, that experienced a lot of success. They began to design clothes with a vintage flair for the new label, selling them in Denmark.
From 2008-2009, she opened her second photography gallery called ‘Far From, Close’ to benefit the ‘Chernobyl Children's Project International’ educational program
In a statement to ‘The Sunday Times’ in 2009, she said she would continue to split her time equally between modeling and photography.
She was crowned Miss Denmark in 1986 and went on to compete in the Miss University pageant.
In the early 1990s, she became a Victoria’s Secret Angel, making her a household name and solidifying her modeling career.
Awards & Achievements
She won Miss Denmark in 1986, a competitive and prestigious beauty competition. Winning the pageant helped her establish a strong foothold in the modelling industry.
In 2005, she was awarded the ‘ELLE Style Icon’ award, a category in the ‘Elle Style Awards’.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1991, she moved to Paris and entered into a relationship with Michael Hutchence, the lead singer of ‘INSX’, an Australian rock band. They dated on and off for a period of five years.
In 1998, she began dating Norman Reedus, an American actor and model. They had a son together a year later, named Mingus Lucien Reedus. The couple separated four years later.
In 2002, she launched the second campaign of ‘Fashion Targets Breast Cancer’, a company that sells designer T-shirts to benefit young women with breast cancer.
She has been in a relationship with Paul Banks, the front man of the American rock band ‘Interpol’, since 2008.
As of February 2015, Helena Christensen has a net worth of $8 million. She earned most of her financial success as an original Victoria’s Secret Angel and other super modeling gigs.
This supermodel was allegedly named after Helen of Troy and said that being named after the most beautiful woman in the world has given her lots to live up to.
When applying her own makeup for her day-to-day life, this famous personality does not use brushes and prefers her pinky finger as an applicator.
This famous model has gone on record saying that modeling does not require the use of her brain, which is why she has pursued other interests such as photography and boxing.