In July the Ford Models Blog had an opportunity to interview Hannelore Knuts in her Brooklyn loft. A lot has happened between then and what is now October, not least of which was a dizzying show season, and today we are happy to give this iconic Belgian model the proper introduction we promised in June. Hannelore’s career began in earnest with the Yohji Yamamoto S/S 1999 campaign and flourished throughout the noughties during which she worked closely with designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Azzedine Alaïa, and Haider Ackermann and with photographers Juergen Teller, Inez & Vinoodh, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia. And, we hasten to add, so many more that she curated in Belgium this spring an epic exhibit called ULTRAMEGALORE spanning a decade of her career in fashion and modeling. The massive show took the better part of two years to organize with favors being generously paid in the form of loaned clothing and prints by designers and photographers alike to the model who has been their muse.
Hannelore’s Brooklyn loft is not unlike her storied career — a vast expanse richly populated with pockets of color and flourishing centers of activity. A select wardrobe hangs in the open — the rest we are told is in her home back in Belgium. A snake taxidermy, antler, brass bird statuette, and candles gather along the baseboard loosely suggesting ritual, memory, or perhaps flea market bounty. An inspiration board collage creeps along the wall of the breakfast nook. Art albums, ULTRAMEGALORE exhibit catalogs, and music fill a bookcase. Piñatas dangle tantalizingly from ceiling. A single stem yellow (Hannelore’s favorite color) rose rests atop a coffee table. The parallels to her career are not limited to the space alone, but also extend into a warmly inviting personality that bubbles with story after entertaining story. Ever the gracious hostess Hannelore served chilled mineral water with freshly squeezed lemon and a drop of mint oil — the perfect salve for a hot July afternoon.
Hannelore Knuts is clearly no passenger and after all these years of modeling she boasts experience, wisdom, and passion that belie her occupation as a model — we wouldn’t be talking about her if the opposite was true. Curator, artist, designer, she’s been all of them, but she is most comfortable in her role as a model. With handful of runway appearances this season for Kenzo, John Galliano, Emanuel Ungaro, Zero + Maria Cornejo, VPL, and editorials in Vogue Italia, Dazed & Confused, and Harper’s Bazaar UK, Hannelore looks to be laying the foundation for a follow-up in all but name to ULTRAMEGALORE. In the meantime, watch the short interview in which Hannelore speaks with Damien Neva of the Ford Models Blog about her exhibition from this spring and her first encounter with photographer Juergen Teller.
Credits include: Publication, Ford Models Blog; Title, “Hannelore Knuts Interview Special”; Model, Hannelore Knuts; Interview/text, Damien Neva; Video, Damien Neva; Photography, Damien Neva; Music, POPO c/o Mad Decent.