Tuesday 25 September 2018

Helena Christensen: I never felt male domination in fashion industry

The catwalk star said that if there are too many men, it is not their fault because they are talented.

Helena Christensen has enjoyed a successful career both in front of and behind the camera (Jeff Spicer/PA)
Helena Christensen has enjoyed a successful career both in front of and behind the camera (Jeff Spicer/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Supermodel Helena Christensen has said she never felt the fashion industry was heavily dominated by men in her younger years.

However, the Danish catwalk star does believe there needs to be a better balance of male and female photographers in the business.

Christensen, who has enjoyed a successful career both in front of and behind the camera, said that if there were more men working as photographers, it is because they were talented enough to be there.

She told the Press Association: “I never really, honestly, felt any kind of domination in any way because I was always surrounded by a bunch of really strong, confident, exciting and interesting, fun, smart girls.

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Huawei photography masterclass

“I had many more girls around me than men in the business.”

She added: “I never thought, ‘OK there’s too many men in this business or too few women.'”

However, 49-year-old Christensen, who was considered one of the leading supermodels of the 1990s along with the likes of Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, said that there is room for improvement in terms of gender balance among photographers.

She said: “If there are 80 great men and 20 great women, those 80 great men are there because they deserve to be there.

“Yes, maybe we need an equal balance and that’s why opportunities need to be there, but the 80 men… it’s not necessarily their fault, because they’re talented in their own right.”

Aside from her modelling career, Christensen is a renowned photographer and has had her work published in magazines including Marie Claire and Elle.

“That’s how my modelling career started,” she said.

“I really wanted to focus on being a photographer, but when I got the opportunity to work as a model I realised I could travel around the world and take pictures, I could combine both and it turned out to be a great advantage.”

Christensen said that “we are all photographers these days” due to the introduction of camera phones, but that sometimes technology can move “too fast”.

“It’s important to still pay tribute to and realise the value of actual expertise and craftsmanship of companies that have existed for a long time and have evolved slowly,” she said.

Christensen, who recently partnered with phone brand Huawei for her own collection of intimate gallery portraits called See More, said she is “very grateful” to have the passion for taking pictures, and that there is “always something to aspire to”.

She supported the launch of Huawei’s P20 Pro smartphone, where she surprised competition winners with a photography masterclass, which she said she wanted to be involved with because she is “fascinated by modern technology”.

Press Association

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