In Conversation with Hanneli Mustaparta
Hanneli Mustaparta is a 34-year-old Norwegian model-turned photographer, blogger, stylist, writer and creative director, who was discovered by the photographer Per Heimly in 1999. American Vogue once reported that she ‘sees more traffic than a SoHo sidewalk on a Saturday afternoon’. Not that she is one to brag, something she attributes to the Norwegian ‘Law of Jante’ (basically, not bigging yourself up). ‘It’s the way we were brought up,’ she says. ‘It makes you think about being humble and appreciative.’
Hanneli, who grew up in a small town in a suburb of Oslo, began modelling at 17 but, realising that she was ‘never going to be a supermodel’, she turned the lens on herself. ‘As a model, you are there to be a piece in someone’s creative puzzle,’ she says. ‘Once in a while you’re part of the ideas, bouncing ideas around on set, but mostly you’re not.’ Massimo Dutti signed her up as the face of their spring/summer ’12 campaign and she appeared on a series of T-shirts that Zara produced in 2011, but she is more likely to be found on the other side of the lens, art-directing and brand consulting. She is a regular on best-dressed lists, and co-hosts America’s Next Top Model with André Leon Talley for the CBS webcast Fashion’s Night Out. Recently, Calvin Klein snapped her up as a guest social-media curator, and she’s helped contribute to their digital success.