“Living on the Edge” Maiken Lorentz photographed in Paris by Beair

We met with Maiken Lorentz in Paris.

We’d initially planned a ‘formal’ photo shoot but as she walked into the cafe’ we were stunned by her natural beautyshe turned up without a shred of make-up – and her boundless energy and we asked her if she’d allow us to shoot the photos of her without the aid of our make-up artist and stylist as the photographer Beair  (photographer at David Lynch’s club SILENCIO) wanted to capture the “true Maiken”.  Gracefully she accepts.

The outcome is in our opinion a perfect complement to what Maiken described as the most in-depth interview she has given to date.

Natural Beauty Maiken Lorentz photographed in Paris by Beair

Born in northern Norway to a Norwegian father and an Indonesian mother who travelled extensively, travelling is in your blood, but what was it that brought you specifically to Paris where you set up your own production company CRYSTAL SNOW?

Moving to Paris came naturally to me. I had already lived in five different countries, and when I was a kid I told my mother that I would live in Hollywood and in Paris. I had already lived in Hollywood, so I found a time that was right to move to Paris as well to study cinema. 

While I was studying, I started up my own company. I knew I wanted to produce content for television within fashion,so I started researching that. I couldn’t find any information on how to do that on the internet, so in the end I made my own way into the fashion world. The first fashion week, I asked friends for invitations and in the end I got a whole bunch from a well known paparazzi photographer. That was mostly research to see how it all worked. After, I put on big sunglasses and dressed up and snuck into the shows. After that first fashion week, it all got much easier, I figured out how to get invitations the normal way and started working for clients.

You trained at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in LA which you joined upon graduating from High School, can you tell us a bit about your experience there?

My time in LA was very valuable as it is a city where it is very important to be super focused. There are many distractions and people promising gold while in reality it was just glitter. It was my first encounter with a scene that asks you what you do and your star sign as the first questions. My experiences there were quite surreal and I believe I learned more about life there than about acting. Because acting when it all comes down to it is just a complete surrender and commitment to your character.

After LA you moved to the Aeolian Islands just off Sicily (Italy) what inspired you to go there?

Normally in life, I just go with the flow and my gut feeling. I had never heard about the Aeolian Islands before, but I was drawn there. My visa had expired in LA so I figured that going there to plan my next step was a good idea. I lived on a yacht and after in an apartment in a beautiful location on Lipari. And it did lead to my next step in life.

You were there for just over 3 months and you were called up by a Norwegian producer to present a travel documentary which was quite out of the ordinary, which was the beginning of your presenting career  – can you tell us more?

At that point I didn’t really know too much about the TV business and as I always followed my heart. Instead of going for my first interview with the producer, I just moved to the town the production company was in. I was so confident I would work there. When the producer gave me the job after the interview, he said that it might be time for me to move to the town. When I told him I already moved there, he was quite surprised and shocked. 

We did some great travels around Norway, and my job entailed that I could research and choose our destinations as well. But in the beginning, I was pretty terrible at presenting, I was too much of a perfectionist and wanted to have everything scripted all the time. While today, I mostly take the important information and improvise, it’s more natural.

When did you start working with Fashion One? How did the relationship all begin?

At some point the editor-in-chief of Fashion One, Thibault Briere, called me up. He said he had seen and loved my work and wanted to get me on board to create edgy material. I like the way Fashion One works, so I went for it and started producing content for them. 

They have a great team and are growing and adapting quicker than any other station I have seen. Also growing to 135 countries and 100 million viewers since 2010 is an incredible achievement.

Most people assume that your job is super glamorous, yet behind the scenes there is a tremendous amount of work – what has been your biggest challenge to date?

It probably seems glamorous and it definitely is, but when I work I work. And having several roles, I always have to think in a producer mind, what content we are getting, directing it, thinking about the angle to take for the presenting, thinking about the shots we have for editing. 

Fashion shows only happen once, so there is no room for mistakes. During the fashion weeks I hardly ever go to the parties, I wake up at 5 am and can be home around 10 pm. If we do 33 shows during a week and I have to run between two teams, being backstage, seeing the shows and doing interviews, it’s pretty hectic. When I’m working I hardly take advantage of the glamorous parts.

What do you love most about your job and what do you like the least and why?

I love the adrenaline, knowing that I can’t make any mistakes, and that every show is different. I love fashion and seeing the different designers. Most of all I like talking to different people. There is really nothing I despise about my job, but I prefer when we are shooting, and not in pre or post production. 

What has been the most exciting trip to date and why?

Well I guess The Mediterranean Dreams Fashion Show on the Island of Elba, because your team in Green Pebbles was so accommodating and cool. Normally I have to think about 1000 things more, but you took the pressure away, so I could concentrate only on the shooting and not too much on the practical production aspects. It was also an incredible location, and being able to work on the beach all day.

What has been the most challenging country and why?

I haven’t had a very challenging country so far. I’m pretty routined at this point in my work. But I know which was the most disastrous fashion week I ever went to. I don’t want to mention which one, but I really hope that fashion weeks can create the platforms to serve the talented designers that are there to show their work and that pay money to be shown.

Full of Life – Maiken is still bursting with energy after a busy day of Fashion!
Image courtesy of Matt Larson 
Do you ever get tired of travelling and wish you could put your feet up at home and relax?

No, I feel at home wherever I am. I have travelled all my life and I love it. When I am not travelling I feel a bit restless. And on that note, I don’t have a proper home, my home is the world.

You’ve interviewed some of the most well known designers in the fashion world – what has been your favorite interview to date and why?

That’s very hard to say as I have met so many great designers. If I have to choose I would say our interview with Rick Owens, but it’s my favorite since I was just starting out and it was exciting.  And I presume it is the longest one he did to this date. It was right as I was starting out and he invited us to his incredible showroom, and he is such a great person and his designs fit my personality perfectly.

Is there any one in particular you would like to interview from the past or the present and why?

I would have loved to interview Alexander McQueen before his passing. He was such a great artist, soul, person and his work so ethereal and unique.

You recently produced a feature on the Mediterranean Dreams Fashion Show organized by the Unconventional Fashion District (to be shown on Fashion One) aimed at bringing international emerging designers to the forefront whilst also combining a resort and travelling aspect – what is your relationship with emerging designers?

I always want to promote emerging designers, it’s a passion of mine to spot talent. I love promoting talent both in life and in my work. It is probably one of the things I do naturally that is completely selfless. I absolutely love seeing people succeed and live their dreams. So when I spot talent, I am there with heart and soul to promote it no matter which arena.

Maiken Interviews CEO and Founder of Intimates.CH Susanna Kley on the Island of Elba
Image courtesy of Matt Larson

Were you impressed by anyone in particular at the show?

There is no way I can pick a favourite, because they were all incredible. If I speak about them it is as in order of appearance in my life. 

I first met Rodolphe Ayer and Cédric Vernon Fahey (Maison CVF) and I loved their concept. I think all girls want a custom made dress and the care, time and attention into their beautiful work was impressive to me. And their service that they will come and create this for a busy girl is incredible. What girl wouldn’t want two ex-models turned designers come and custom make their dress!

After I met the team of Tex Tures. As a contrast their concept was creating affordable clothes, but with a very high quality. Now what girl wouldn’t want that as well. They specialise in creating clothes in the highest quality with a great design, but for a price that most people can afford and even lower than the normal high street brands.

After I talked to Heather Jones, and it was such a pleasure. She is such a warm, gracious human being and her clothes portray that. They exude the warmth, essence and colours of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago .

The last designer I talked to was Vittorio Martire who designs shoes. And I felt like a kid in  a candy store trying them on. He provided the shoes for most of the designers showing on the catwalk and the shoes are incredible. Italian leather, the best in the world, what more can I say.

Your career has evolved over the years from acting to a now well know TV presenter and producer.  You founded your own production company Crystal Snow and you are well know in the fashion industry – how did this transformation come about?

Everything has come to me very naturally. I followed my instinct and I had goals as steps on the way and that is what I am still doing. I believe my career is transient and ever changing, as I take on many roles in my life, I don’t like to post myself in any box or stereotype myself. 

In one week I can do everything from production, directing, presenting, acting, photography, editing, camera work etc. And it is probably doing all these tasks at the same time that let’s me work as I do at the moment.

Did your career as an actress serve you well in your career as a presenter and producer?  If so, how?

I believe my studies in acting served me in all aspects of life. I’ve always been interested in people and being an actress let me dive into different characters and different ways of thinking. It’s about empathy and being able to understand people. My job now is all about understanding people and talking to different people. That is the main part of my job. And being a good listener. 

On the technical side, training in camera work really helped to be aware of the camera. To be able to speak in front of the camera, but at the same time have a notion of the angles, and seeing in my mind the images taken at the same time. 

For producing acting helped in a way that being an actress is like running a business. You sell a product, except the product is yourself.

Getting to know the Designers  – Maiken with Cédric Vernon Fahey and Rodolphe Ayer (Maison CVF)
Image courtesy of Matt Larson
If there was one piece of advice you could give someone wishing to have a career like yours what would it be and why?

Perserverance is key. Make a choice and stick to it, don’t let anything or anyone get in the way. There might not be a lot of money in the start, but practice your craft, educate yourself, research, network and stick in there. Success is in not giving up on a dream or a goal. If it fails, try a different angle and be adaptable. Like in acting, there will be may no’s, but if you don’t give up, you will succeed.

Now that you are a well known presenter, would you ever go back to acting? 

I will always be acting no matter what other professions I will be in. I believe that in our generation people have several talents and are more likely to include all of them into our lives and work.

What is fashion for you?

Fashion is the extension of a person’s personality. It’s a second skin, and our clothes cover 90% of our bodies normally except for on hot summer days like this. Fashion designers are artists and they create a channel to express ourselves.

Have you ever contemplated having your own fashion label?

Contemplated yes, but it is not a goal of mine at the moment. I have other goals within fashion film making and feature films.

If you could create your own fashion label what would it be?

The times that I contemplate creating clothes are the times that I dream about something I want to wear, but I can’t find it or know it doesn’t exist. But if I really was in a space where I wanted to create a label, I would go for something futuristic incorporating fabrics with design and technology.

Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

In five years from now I hope to have also gotten into a more creative arena, creating fashion films and a couple of features that I have written.

Enjoying Life in the Fast Lane – Maiken Lorentz at the helm
Image courtesy of Matt Larson
Elba Island is tucked away in the Mediterranean Sea between Sardinia and Corsica. Not well known by mass tourism, it is still has family run hotels, restaurants and beaches! What memories have you taken home with you of the island and its inhabitants?

I found the people on the Island of Elba extremely warm and welcoming. It was a great experience from the first second. We were working from morning until evening, but even if we arrived very late back at the Hotel Montecristo, we could enjoy a glass of wine and jump in the pool. The inhabitants were happy and relaxed, it was a pleasure meeting people along the beaches or streets. 

On our last day we were searching for a boat to get some nice images of the coast line, beach and the main location for the Mediterranean Dreams event. The boat service was closed, but I met two nice men on the marina that let me rent their boat. They even let me drive the boat. But that said, I did warn them that they had better hold on for dear life if I drive. They didn’t and nearly flew off when I accelerated too quickly. It was a fun ride though.