A supermodel of the 1990s, Helena Christensen may be best recognized as one of Victoria's Secret’s original angels, along with Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour, Daniela Pestova and Tyra Banks. She is also known for her appearance in the Chris Isaak hit music video “Wicked Game” (1991).
Stepping into the spotlight in 1986 by taking the title of Miss Denmark, Christensen built her modeling career appearing on magazine covers and in ads and commercials for Revlon, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Vera Moda and Pilgrim, to name a few. She also worked fashion runaways and was signed to several modeling agencies. Besides modeling, Christensen appeared in the films “Inferno” (1992, TV), “Prêt-à-Porter” (1994), “Allegro” (2005) and “Julefrokosten” (2009). She is also a businesswoman and photographer.
Christensen has worked with breast cancer organizations and other charities. Her second “Fashion Targets Breast Cancer” campaign included the sale of designer t-shirts to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society and Europa Donna Ireland.
On a more personal level, Christensen has been involved with several celebrities, including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Billy Corgan and writer and photographer Peter Makebisch. She once lived with musician Michael Hutchence of INXS fame and dated American actor Norman Reedus (born January 6, 1969). A year later, on October 13, 1999, the couple had a son they named Mingus Lucien Reedus. They broke up in 2003. Despite her hectic work schedule, she is a hands-on mother to her son.
Childhood and Family:
Helena Christensen was born on December 25, 1968, in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the daughter of a Danish typographer father and a Peruvian mother. She has a younger sister named Anita. She is the cousin of actress/singer Christine Buchart. As a child, Helena demonstrated a love for photography and music.
On October 13, 1999, Helena gave birth to her son, Mingus Lucien Reedus. Mingus' father is her former companion, actor Norman Reedus.
Helena currently lives in New York City. She also has homes in Monaco and France and an apartment in Copenhagen.
Despite an early interest in music, Helena Christensen landed her first modeling job at age 9. In 1986, she won the Miss Denmark title and subsequently represented her country in the 1986 Miss Universe pageant. Although she did not win, her participation in the contest served as a springboard to launch her international career. Christensen then moved to Paris to further pursue modeling and was discovered by photographer Friedemann Hauss in 1989. Following a shoot for the French magazine “Elle,” Christensen was featured on the cover of “Vogue,” with Peter Lindbergh serving as the photographer.
In 1991, Christensen appeared in the hit music video “Wicked Game,” by Chris Isaak. Playing the love interest of Isaak, she appeared topless for much of the video although her nakedness was relatively hid with artful camera angles. The video was later chosen as the “Sexiest Video of All-Time” by MTV. It also ranked No. 4 on the VH1 list of “50 Sexiest Video Moments” and No. 13 on VH1's “100 Greatest Videos.” Christensen also garnered media attention for her romance with INXS’ Michael Hutchence and other celebrities.
Throughout the 1990s, Christensen appeared in a number of print ads for such clients as Kenar (1993), Versace (1994), Cover Girl (1994-1996), Nine West (1997) and Ralph Lauren (1997, 1998). In 1997 she was chosen as a spokesmodel for Victoria's Secret. She first appeared in the lingerie catalogs and was later featured in the original advertising campaign in 1997, alongside fellow models Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour, Daniela Pestova and Tyra Banks. She went on to appear in several other advertising campaigns for them until her departure in 1997. She was replaced by American model Chandra North.
Christensen next appeared with Kate Moss in the British television film “Inferno” (1992), which was directed and co-written by Ellen Von Unwerth. Six years later, she costarred in “March of the Anal Sadistic Warrior” (1998), a short film helmed, written and starring Matthew Barney. Christensen also starred with Jerry Hall in Simon Aboud's short “Enchantment” (2004), played Andrea in the Danish movie “Allegro” (2005), opposite Ulrich Thomsen, and starred as Karen, opposite Thure Lindhardt and Kim Bodnia in “Julefrokosten” (2009), a comedy directed by Rasmus Heide. Christensen then made a cameo appearance in Robert Altman's “Prêt-à-Porter” (“Ready-to-Wear,” 1994).
In addition to acting, the supermodel ventured into business. In 1999, she started her tenure as a creative director for “Nylon” magazine. She is no longer involved with the magazine but has her own clothing line called Christensen & Sigersen, which she started with her friend Leif Sigersen. The pair also co-owns a shoe shop in New York called Butik. Some of her vintage clothes have been sold in her mother's store, the Yo-Yo Second Hand Shop, in Copenhagen.
Christensen has pursued a side career as a photographer. Her work has appeared in such publications as “Nylon,” “ELLE” and “Marie Claire.” She premiered her exhibition “A Quiet Story” at the Locus Gallery in Rotterdam in 2006 and HotelArena in Amsterdam in 2007. Her next exhibition, “Far From, Close,” appeared at the Dactyl Foundation in 2008 and 2009 to benefit the International Center of Photography educational programs and the Chernobyl Children's Project International.