In discussion with Veronika Heilbrunner
Veronika Heilbrunner is our #galvanizeyourworld series woman of the day. A renowned fashion figure with incredible personal style that has made her one of the most photographed faces on the street-style scene, Veronika talks to us about motherhood, starting her career as a model to becoming the fashion editor of German Harper's Bazaar to co-founding Hey Woman!.
How did you start your career?
Very early I started to work as a model but realised I was not very talented, but I was totally obsessed with fashion, so I found out about a job that was totally new to me: A Fashion Editor. This was the career I wanted to pursue so I started as an intern, became an assistant, then an editor, always at print magazines. Then eventually I started to work for online retailers and that was my first experience with the digital media and from there it all went very fast, it felt like a second!
How are you spending your time these days?
I think it’s very important these days to stay sane, to deal with your fear, to not go crazy - by stay sane I mean that I know I work with social media, but just don’t be all day long on social media because it just scares the shit out of you, I mean it scares me. There is so much happening, so many different opinions. You kind of have to find the path that you’re following and listen to that belief and not change your mind, because it just drives you crazy and you cannot be crazy because that means stress, that means you’re unwell, that means you get sick more easily and that’s what you don’t want.
So do the stuff that you like doing, enjoy the time with your loved ones, I mean when have you ever had so much time for them?! If you are not around your family, if you are by yourself enjoy the time by yourself: read books, do yoga, just enjoy. Remember the time when you were really busy with work and you were like “I wish I had time to myself”? Well, now you have it, enjoy it, please enjoy it, please try to make the best out of it. The more we stay sane, the better we survive all this and I think it’s the most important cause. What is another side effect of all this, which I’m a bit worried about, is that everything else that is going on in the world is not right, it seems to be totally forgotten. I think it’s very important that we all get our shit together, we stay home and we wash our hands, we follow the simple rules, concentrate on ourselves, get our anxiety sorted and then concentrate on the people that are in need, that need help, that are now in adverse situations because of all of this, I think that’s very very important.
What inspires your style ?
I like looking at people from the past. They inspire me greatly, to what I want to look like or what I define for myself as cool, beautiful and awesome. I think the most important thing is to not look like you are being worn by something, I’d rather want to wear something that makes me look amazing but still be the person that I am.
What are the three things you can’t live without?
That is pretty easy: my family; Walter obviously! The second thing: health, nature, that’s actually 3 already but I guess you wanted to hear more fashion related answers, so really awesome flat shoes.
Jumpsuit or dress?
Dress of course. I’m a dress girl, I love dresses, I love feminine, romantic, beautiful dresses and I love wearing them with something a bit rougher so you have a little contrast like flat sandals, boots, men’s shoes mainly, socks.
What has motherhood taught you?
Motherhood has basically taught me to work more effectively, so when I have a task I get it done the way I get it done: no time for doubting, no “is it good or not good?”, “Let’s repeat it”... The first thing you do, the first idea you have or the first takes are always the best one anyways. The problems start when you start doubting and I have to say I did it a lot before Walter and that is totally gone now just because I don’t have the time and I want to go back to Walter. Basically Walter has simplified my life, he has made me more effective which is amazing. I think that’s the main thing that motherhood has taught me.
What is your mantra ?
Have fun, be yourself, be natural, enjoy what you have, while you have it. Enjoy every minute, every second especially now, we don’t know where we are going, I’m sure it’s gonna be fine, I’m sure it’s gonna be very very different.