By Eric Wilson
Updated Apr 24, 2018 @ 1:15 pm

“A swimsuit, high-heels, and sunglasses – that’s all you need for every day,” says Helena Christensen, describing an outfit that sounds easy to pull off -- if you’re Helena Christensen.

In fact, she looks terrific in said outfit in a photograph taken to introduce the latest designs created in a long-running collaboration between Christensen and designer Camilla Staerk. They have been friends for 18 years since Christensen photographed Staerk for Nylon magazine, where she was creative director. They discovered they had similar tastes in design and aesthetics, partly because they both grew up in Denmark under the same influences. And so they immediately began creating things.


Last week, they introduced their first sunglass range under the label Staerk & Christensen + Pared at a party attended by Julianne Moore, Michael Stipe, Salman Rushdie, and Sean Penn. The three styles, inspired by vintage sunglasses shapes, are slightly oversized and incorporate gold inlays in abstract shapes that are inspired by swallows – wings that extend across the temples or beaks that point away from the hinges. Each retails for $260.

“When you’re working with a small product, very little details can make a huge difference,” Christensen says. “There’s something so beautiful about the fluidity of a bird in motion. The organic shape symbolizes a freedom of spirit, soaring high in the sky and raising yourself up.”


Staerk, who started her own collection in 2000, said her designs with Christensen will also include fashion and interiors, but both share a desire to keep their business small and personal. Their shoes are produced by a family-owned company in Mexico and include sandals that also incorporate a swallow design and peep-toe heels. The swimsuits, coming soon, will include one design with a lightning bolt cutout across the cleavage.

“We both love to create all the time,” Staerk says.

And Christensen, who continues to model in addition to many other projects, says her years in front of and behind the camera have left her with a strong desire to continue to create.

“How could I not be constantly inspired, being surrounded every day by artists – hair, makeup, photographers, stylists – everyone around me had their own art they were performing every day,” Christensen says.

“And that’s where we meet,” Staerk adds. “We are so passionately creative, and I’m so grateful that I always feel this way.”

“You can be in some dark moment, and you turn around and see a beautiful moss green color, and you’re like, I know I’m really depressed right now but I should take a picture of that moss,” Christensen says. “It’s not even a choice. It’s a beautiful gift.”

The collection debuted at Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Week in March, and is now available for purchase on STÆRK&CHRISTENSEN and pared, and at retailers such as The Standard Hotels and Anthropologie. Retail prices range from $260-$310.