Bronchitis and severe jetlag may be enough to keep most people in bed, but not photographer/blogger/model Hanneli Mustaparta. On a blustery October day, we caught up with the 30-year-old Norwegian beauty for a New York City photo shoot following her return from fashion month, where she was hard at work capturing inspiring street style (her own included) in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Mustaparta’s star has certainly skyrocketed over the past few years—in many ways, she’s the poster child for the power of street style when it comes to personal branding. Thanks to her knack for photography and her enviable taste (not to mention her killer looks), Mustaparta has gone from blogger to street style star and Vogue contributor—all the while maintaining a genuinely kind and friendly disposition.
As such, it’s not surprising that a number of brands have been eager to work with her, most notably Calvin Klein, which tapped the blogger and photographer to guest curate its Twitter and Tumblr accounts—a job that entails Mustaparta regularly tracking her inspirations, outfits, and travels. When we met up with Mustaparta, she came prepared with a large suitcase in tow, filled with a mix of pieces from Calvin Klein’s current collections, as well as items from her own closet that she’s especially fond of for fall. “I love wearing and creating different looks, but some clothes bring out that extra magic and some clothes have normal magic,” she said.
Throughout the day’s shoot—in which Mustaparta bounded through a series of idyllic locations in New York’s Upper East Side and Central Park—the blogger modeled looks she’d styled herself that included everything from bright jumpers to vintage pieces and even evening dresses. True to form, she wasn’t interested in wearing anything that would be considered a ho-hum wardrobe essential.”I always stay away from staple pieces,” she said. “I hate suggesting the little black dress because then everyone has a little black dress, even if it’s not the same. There’s so many fun options, you can have a colorful thing that would work every time.”
Here, we hope you find a little inspiration to spice up your own wardrobe, courtesy of one of the fashion world’s most influential street style stars.
Photographer: Zachary Chick
Fashion Editor: Liz Doupnik
Stylist/Model: Hanneli Mustaparta
"I feel very lucky because I get to do things that make me really
happy, my work makes me really happy. I thought it would be impossible
to make taking pictures and being creative with clothes a career when I
Calvin Klein Collection Onyx Pebbled Plongee Collarless Jacket, $4,450; Calvin Klein Collection Navy Blue Cotton Top, $395
Every September and February, Hanneli joins fashion's elite as they
globetrot from city to city, taking in the latest collections during
fashion month. "There not one normal day, all the days are abnormal. You
have to take it as it comes, everything changes as you come to a new
city. But by Paris [the last city to show during fashion month] you've
had a month to perfect your timing [to attend shows]."
Klein Collection Onyx Pebbled Plongee Collarless Jacket, $4,450; Calvin
Klein Collection Navy Blue Cotton Top, $395; Calvin Klein Collection
Onyx Technical Wool Crepe Contoured Pant, $975; The Row Blue Bag,
Hanneli's own; Siegerson Morrison Brogues, Hanneli's own
When it comes to choosing her own looks during fashion month, it all depends on the city. "In New York, it's about the weather, how close you are to people during the day," Hanneli said. "But in Paris, it's a different vibe, it's hard to put your finger on it — there aren't any rules. I think I play a bit more in Paris."
"I know how far away it can feel to be away from where things are
happening," Hanneli said, referencing her Norwegian upbringing. "With my
blog I'm able to inspire people who are in small, rural places. With my
imagery, I can capture a moment in NYC during fashion week for people
who don't have the ability to go to see these people [in real life]."
vintage vest, Hanneli's own; Calvin Klein Collection White Sleeveless
Blouse, $595; Calvin Klein Collection, $895; Acne nude wedges, Hanneli's
own; Calvin Klein 'On My Own' Small Saffiano Leather Satchel, $228; at Macy's
"I love photography books. Whenever I'm in Paris — or [when] I have the
time — I like to go to bookstores and exhibits," she said, when asked
about things that inspire her.
"I love playing with clothes and using them to express myself. It can
be any piece from a vintage store or I have a Miu Miu dress from 2008
that continues to give me inspiration," Hanneli said.
Klein Collection Clear-Framed Sunglasses, $358; Vintage pink shirt,
Hanneli's own; Calvin Klein Mauri Tweed Dress, $2,375; at Net-A-Porter; Acne clear bag, Hanneli's own
When it comes to travel, checking out vintage and thrift stores tops Hanneli's to-do list. "I have this thing wherever I travel, I want to go to vintage stores — it's so nice to go into vintage stores and feel like you're visiting the town properly."
Hanneli has some wise words when it comes to finding success in the
highly competitive world on style blogs. "I think the main thing isn't
to comment on every other blog just to have people visit yours. I think
it's about creating content that will be something that people want to
look at," she said. "It's good to be selective — there's so much
information, it all gets a little tiring on the internet. I think always
quality over quantity."
Calvin Klein Collection
Onyx Knotted Silk Embroidery Open Back Dress, price upon request; ck
Calvin Klein Born PVD Silver Stainless Steel Choker, $165; available at
Italics & Co. (718-287-4715); Acne silver clutch, Hanneli's own;
Tibi maroon heels, Hanneli's own
Authenticity is a key factor when looking to capture this photographer's eye. "I never go in search [of finding subjects]. I just keep my eyes open. It's not a person who's wearing something they know they can be photographed wearing, that doesn't excite me at all when people deliberately dress to be photographed," Hanneli said."Everyone who is unique who doesn't really care, it has to be contemporary and works for not but it comes from a personal point of view. I think that it comes across when a person is true to themselves."
This Norwegian beauty doesn't take her success for granted — and has big
plans for the future. "It started one place and it escalated to what it
is today. I just did what I was interested in. I have developed what it
is today because I love it," she said. "There's always so many doors
opening, you never know with fashion, which is the awesome thing. You
never know where doors are going to open. One day I would like to design
something, but I have so many fun things I'm doing now."
All Calvin Klein Collection Items Available at:
654 Madison Avenue
New York, NY, 10065