Hanneli Mustaparta

LifestyleJuly 18, 2016
Hanneli Mustaparta

It’s interesting; the magazine business gives you access to all those people you would have loved to be friends with. Cue in: Hanneli Mustaparta. A talent that is not only an “it girl,” but someone who has roamed the streets to take good pictures of the de rigeur personas, while ironically getting photographed herself…

What urges you to take a picture?

I never know what might catch my eye. It’s all about when someone is dressing for themselves mainly. It may be a unique combination of garments, vintage or designer, high or low – doesn’t really matter at all as long as it’s genuine to that person. They shine through with who they are. They wear the clothing, not to the other way around.

Did taking pictures affect your interest in fashion?

I’ve always been interested in clothes, visuals, dreams and fantasies. Fashion enabled me to do what I love and what I’m good at.

What prompted the switch from in front of the camera to behind it?

As a model, I felt like I had learned what there was to learn. I needed to feel excited about what I am doing, and suddenly noticed I was on autopilot. That did it for me. Going through life, I always wanted to expand myself and my capacities, learn to be a better version of my self, jump into new things that excite me and feel natural – no matter how scary it might be. That’s when new doors open and I take news steps, cre- ating my own journey.

While writers try to overcome writers blocks, fashion personalities have to find a solution to “wardrobe-blocks.” What is your method?

It’s about not stressing about others’ perceptions of oneself. Be proud to wear things over and over, cause that shows style and capability to think ahead in a closet. There’s always a solution. Dig in there and pull out something and look at it with new eyes. Everything accumulated in a closet is one’s personal choices, and they are there for a reason. If that doesn’t work, buy a new item – nothing crazy. But something that will “open up” your closet and the possibilities with what you already own.

From the time you “entered” the sartorial universe to now, what do you think has changed in it?

So much has changed. When I started, most editors were uncomfortable with online influencers. Anna Wintour iconically changed that in 2009 when she decided to shoot a select few of us for their March Power issue. That was huge. I knew all along that we’d one day be taken serious as long as we put in hard work, showed what we were made of, and where we wanted to go with it. She foresaw that and she really changed how the industry treated us.

Change anywhere is exciting and should be welcomed. It can’t be changed no matter the resistance, it’s about shifting and changing ones perception and all will be good.

What has been your most memorable fashion memory?

I have so many! I feel incredible lucky. I really loved when Carine Roitfeld and Emmanulle Alt came over to me very early on as I had just started blogging. They kept commenting on how they loved my outfits and accessories during my very first fashion week in Paris. That was exciting and made me feel accepted, that I was on the right path.

“Change anywhere is exciting and should be welcomed. It can’t be changed no matter the resistance, it’s about shifting and changing ones perception and all will be good.”

You’re a model / photographer / contributor / editor / stylist / art director/ consultant… You’ve got a lot of “slash”es. Which identity feeds you the most?

All my slashes are all within being a visionary, which is what I do best. I love tiny details that no one else thinks about. I nerd out on things that is important to me. Whatever the project I am working on, I dive full in and exhaust myself because I love being creative and to put my vision together.

Has your mother’s closet play any part in your style and what you look for in clothing today?

I grew up never having seen a fashion magazine. My mom is elegant and stylish, but never cared about fashion. She used to sow her own clothes when she was a teenager, growing up in a tiny village on the east coast of Norway. Nothing was really available there. She kept some pieces that I loved play- ing around with my own style when I was 16 and older. As a kid, I remember sneaking into my big sister’s room as she left for school, and borrowing things she had gotten on her school trips to London. And then put it back before she came back home.

Where do you live now?

I live in New York, been here for 12 years. I do travel a lot, so I am happy I have a place in Oslo too for when I have lots of projects in Europe.

And your go-to locations in NYC for …

Brunch? When I’m jet-lagged from Europe, and wake up early, I always go to Clinton St. Bakery as soon as they open. Their lines get too long later on. They serve the best Eggs Benedict and Pancakes I have ever had.

Dinner? Blue Ribbon Sushi and EN Japanese Brassiere. Vintage shopping? I never go to one place, I pop in random places when I have time and see if I find a treasure. Inspiration? I love the view from a friends house on Ormøya in Oslo. It’s right on the water and so peaceful. Book-shopping? iTunes.

Relaxing? Weekapaug in Rhode Island is the most relaxed I’ve been in years. Also the Hamptons and a yoga/surf trip I did to Bali.

Get-away? My next trip I want to go to is Vietnam or Costa Rica.

Listening to good live music? I travel too much, and sadly don’t have the time. I have my iPhone which saves me through any airport stopovers. I play either Bach chello piec- es or Drake which makes me feel like I’m floating though airports.

Author: Alara Kap