Vienna based-model Lena Hamm (Seeds/ Berlin is her motheragency, MP Management/Milan, Marylin Agency/Paris, fm/London) is one of those budding talents we can’t peel our eyes away from. The bold blonde beauty clientele list includes TODS, Akris, and Emporio Armani. Of course, we’re partial to her starring role in one of our own editorials in the current issue. We caught up with Lena to talk about her exciting life, traveling from one metropolis to the next.
How much do you travel for work, and where do your adventures take you?
I’m based in Vienna but as it is not a big fashion city, there are periods in which I’m not sleeping in my own bed for more than two months. Mostly I travel to the classic destinations like Paris, Milan, Berlin, London and New York. From time to time, I’m also flying to smaller towns, like this one time I flew to Vicenza, Italy to work at the headquarter of Diesel or at Hugo Boss in Metzingen, Germany.
Your most crazy fashion shoot?
Shooting editorials is often quite crazy. I remember one editorial where I had to wear six Gucci pants layered over one another. As each, in and of itself, is already quite tight you can imagine how hard it was to squeeze into the last pair! But I liked the shoot because that’s when you can feel all the creativity of the fashion scene. I also enjoy doing the weird poses; it’s just like discovering a new facet of yourself.
In one of your shoots, you were dressed up with a black toupée and colorful curly sideburns. How do you remain serious in these humorous circumstances?
It’s not that hard when you start to think about your body and face as mere tools to work with. Like mute acting, you get a certain role which you try to transfer in the best possible way. By the way, as the photo just captures one short moment, there is plenty of time in between for joking with the team about funny looks like that.
As a model you have to hatch into different roles for every shoot, in which character do you feel the most comfortable?
At the moment it’s quite trendy to put girls into the tough, boyish-like role. Edgy edgy edgy is the buzz word – so it’s also nice to get a more natural and sensual mood to work on, as this happens not too often.
How do you cover up a night of party and alcohol?
For a kick-ass morning start, I’ll drink some black tea with lemon. You can also use the cold teabags against puffy eyes. And then, to get my appointments done, the taxi driver is my best friend for the rest of the day – to save energy where needed (laughs). For some on-the-go freshness the thermal water mist from Avéne does the trick.
What do you like about the people you work with?
I love to see the process of how an idea develops until it is realized. It’s also great that most of the people are very open. Even though I travel a lot, I never feel lonely as you have friends in every city to catch up with. When it’s time for fashion week, a lot of people I know come to one city; it almost feels like a little class reunion.
For a model, is social media an important part of the work?
It could be hard to get “discovered” via social media, as there are just too many cool girls and boys out there. I think most of the scouting still happens on the street or even while attending the Oktoberfest, like in the case of Julia Stegner. But many models I know are using Instagram very successfully as a tool for self-marketing, which I find fascinating, because I’m super bad in doing selfies and stuff of that sort…
That’s okay, duckface is so 2013! What’s your most common facial expression?
That’s a hidden secret!! Of course I have a range of a million face expressions, which I create spontaneously on every job (laughs). Okay, seriously: chin down, lips slightly open and three-quarter profile is always a safe bet.
What would you like to change about the fashion business?
You could see fashion from many different angles. It’s a means self-expression, it’s an art, and it generates desire, especially in the luxury segment. But it is also simply a way to cover up your body against the cold. In my point of view, fashion should be fun, too. So I don’t like it when it is taken too seriously, from the casting directors to the models themselves. Nobody will die if you are not closing the Dior fashion show this season!
You study Journalism and Psychology concurrently at two different universities – amazing! How do you manage to get your studies, work and private life under one hat?
You have to stay focused. I’m asking myself almost every day who I want to be and in what things I want to invest my energy. Sure, sometimes I’m struggling to manage all the things properly, but I would not want to miss any part of my life. Right now it’s an exciting mixture.
Backstage at Emporio Armani
Tell me about your beauty routine…
In the morning I moisturize my face with a light day and eye cream from Avène and cleaning it in the evening with make-up remover from Bioderma. Once a week, I do a peel with a facial brush. Plus the basics: drinking lots of water (it’s a cliché, but it really helps) and running to stimulate the circulation for rosy cheeks.
Your favorite products?
Bioderma or Avène skincare and Kiehl’s Lip balm for the basics. Chance Chanel Eau Tendre is my everyday scent and Kérastase Resistance hair mask, which is great for bleached hair like mine
What do you think about the Berlin fashion scene, and where do you like to shop?
I love the Berlin fashion scene because, as I mentioned before, it’s not taking itself to serious. Especially in terms of street style. A cool vintage piece combined with a little cheesy detail is just the kind of style I like. I don’t really have a shopping hot spot, it happens just on the go!