Hartje Andresen Guides VIE

February 12, 2015

By Anne Hunter

Photo above by Julia Grossi.

Rock climber, nutritionist, and coffee shop owner, Trump Top Model Hartje Friederike Andresen is a woman of many talents. This German-born beauty isn’t afraid to take life by the ropes and climb them. Hartje will be joining the VIE team at New York Fashion Week’s Fall/Winter shows this season, taking our audience backstage and throughout the city for some of its top fashion events! Follow her on Instagram @iamhartje, as well as us @viemagazine, photographer Aranka Israni @aranka_israni, and writer Anne Hunter @annehunter_!

Here, Hartje talks to VIE Magazine about balancing a modeling career working with top photographers and magazines, along with her life’s passions.

VIE: Where did you grow up? 

Hartje: I grew up in the north of Germany, just outside of Hamburg.

What was your path to a modeling career?

I always wanted to study before I started modeling. I had graduated from high school as one of the best students in my year, and in the beginning I saw modeling as temporary until I figured out which university I wanted to go to.

Share your passion for art and modeling.

I am passionate about modeling partly because I love working with the designers and have tremendous respect for their art and craft and their passion for detail. My mother studied textile and design; she is a tailor and a teacher. I am fascinated by the powerful transformation effect that a garment can have on my body and personality. I love to bring that out in the pictures. I love modeling, but I also have a passion for the art and beauty of photography, graphic shapes, lighting, color, and composition. My sister and I built a black-and-white photo-developing lab in her bedroom when we were kids. Recently, I also had fun playing different roles in music videos.

How did you become a Trump top model?

When I first went to look for an agency in New York, I was fortunate that several agencies were interested in representing me. I didn’t know much about the business and the agencies here at that time and just went with my gut feeling to sign up with the people I liked best and felt most comfortable with. I started working as a FORD model, and after three years switched to TRUMP. I am also represented by HEFFNER management on the west coast.

What does it mean to be a top model?

There are many kinds of modeling. In terms of definition, a fashion model is referred to as a top model when she has worked with certain top photographers, been featured in and on the cover of specific magazines, and worked for a range of the world’s top brands and designers.

What does that title mean for you?

For me, being referred to as a top model means that I will do everything I can to meet my clients’ and my agencies’ expectations. That includes not only being on time for work and taking care of my physical appearance, but also generally being a nice, no-drama person to work with and a good team player. Every client has different opinions and ideas and different ways to communicate. Every job brings new challenges and new ways to explore the possibilities and limits of clothes, movement, light, locations, and photography. Being a top model also comes with responsibility, since it means being a role model for young and aspiring models and being conscious that wherever I go, I am not only representing myself, but also my trade, my agency, and my business.

Top models are some of the worlds most frequently booked and sought after models. How do you balance that with your life?

It has made me aware of my own limits. While it seems a good idea for your career and for your wallet to accept every single job offer, it may not be beneficial to your health. If you do not get enough time to sleep, take care of yourself, or exercise, and you end up looking exhausted, being tired on set, or feeling unhealthy, it will leave a bad impression with the client and affect your work negatively.

Tell us about your interest in nutrition.

My dad is a doctor. As a teenager, I did an internship in his hospital’s gym where they offered rehabilitation and physiotherapy. The sciences of massage, physiotherapy, health, and preventative fitness were all very intriguing to me. When I felt that I needed a break from modeling, I spent months in India and studied Ayurveda massage therapy. I later completed trainings in hot stone massage, shiatsu chair massage, aromatherapy, and Thai massage. When I was younger, I never had to diet or watch my weight; at some point (during fashion show season, actually) I became too thin and broke my ribs a few times in a row. My dad, the doctor, pointed out that I may be too thin, causing my body to draw calcium from its own bones and making them fragile. Surprised and fascinated by our bodies’ abilities to adapt and survive, I enrolled in a university where I could take online classes in addition to my modeling jobs. There, I focused on nutrition for athletes, models, nursing mothers, and children.

Where do your parents live? 

My parents just moved out of the house my siblings and I grew up in; they bought an old farmhouse in the countryside, which they are restoring and redoing as their current retirement project.

When did you move to New York City?

I first came to NYC around thirteen years ago for a photo shoot on Long Island for Abercrombie & Fitch with Bruce Weber. As I started to work in the states more often, I rented my first apartment in the East Village ten years ago, but I also still had a place in Hamburg. I commuted between Hamburg and New York for a few years, but when I started my own company in the city, I committed to being a full-time New Yorker.

Tell us about your coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

I have always had a passion for coffee—it kind of runs in the blood in my family. My great-grandfather started a coffee roasting company in the north of Germany ninety years ago. As a model, traveling around the world and drinking coffee that was roasted and prepared according to the taste of different people in different countries, and finding nice cozy cafes in the cities I lived in, became one of my favorite things to do. My fiancé, Ivan, a former professional rock climber and Red Bull athlete, discovered his love for espresso while living and climbing in France. Climbing together and drinking coffee together fast became an integral part of our lives. With the desire to share that passion with others, we started our own coffee company called PUDGE KNUCKLES. We started selling coffee online and in climbing gyms worldwide. A year later, we opened our first coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Jordan Staggs


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