Renée Toft Simonsen - 1991 - Renée Toft Simonsen

ital. KING - March 1991 - Leif Nygaard danish Ekstra Bladet
3. March 1991
ital. King Mar. 1991 - faceclose-up, short hair ital. King Mar. 1991 - studying, short hair ital. King Mar. 1991- reading book with cat, short hair ital. KING Mar. 1991 - outside on car, short hair danish Ekstra Bladet 3. Mar. 1991 - b/w short hair, face close-up

danish Eksta Bladet
13. April 1991
danish book Spotlight 1993
danish B.T.
29. December 1991
danish B.T.
13. September 1993
danish Ekstra Bladet
22. December 1991
danish Ekstra Bladet Apr. 1991 - model contest with winner, short hair danish book Spotlight - b/w 1991 with short hair in her house danish B.T. 29. Dec. 1991 - b/w, short hair at interview interview - danish B.T. 29.12.91 danish B.T. 13. Sep. 1993 - 1991 b/w with short hair, profile at interview danish Ekstra Bladet 22. Dec. 1991 - 1991 with cat face side-by-side

danish Ekstra Bladet - 26. June 1991
Leif Nygaard
danish SE OG HOR - 1991 - Henrik Bjerg
danish B.T. 26.06.91 1 by Leif Nygaard danish B.T. 26.06.91 2 by Leif Nygaard
danish SE OG HOR 1991 - 1991 b/w sports gym sitting
danish SE OG HOR 1991 - 1991 b/w sports gym running on field
danish SE OG HOR 1991 - 1991 b/w sports gym with fattige

INTERVIEW she gave to danish Ekstra Bladet 3. March 1991:


The 80s leading model is back in Århus on adult upper-secondary level course, with a weekend boyfriend, a Persian cat, family life - and short hair.
"I am a bit of a security addict. I like new things, but I also like having a base. Just having one place, to be around the same people, having close contact with them. That makes life a bit safer. I feel that seven years have "disappeared" out of my life. I am trying to catch up on those now - sometimes by almost becoming a child again..."
Leading model of the 80s, Renee Simonsen, aged 25, has come home. Two years ago she exchanged the famous addresses in New York, Paris and London for a side street in Århus.
Renée greets us after school dressed in a cream-colored cable knit sweater and huge flax pants, with shockingly short hair and no make up at all. She runs her hand through the hair and says with a wry smile, "Whenever I want something to happen, it is always my hair that pays. I had a flip and wanted to cut it off. I had never tried that before and it actually looked very good right after, but now I want to long again. People do not notice me so much then, especially not when I wear my small, round glasses. And I like that."
The water for tea is boiling, the washing machine is making noises and the Persian cat with eyes of the same blue as Renées runs meowing around the models legs while she puts mugs on the table. Nothing shows that this is the home of an ex-international model. Renées cozy bohemian place that she has bought for some of the money she earned modelling is full of photo memories, but not the kind from international magazine covers. This is snapshots of family and friends side by side with Walasse Ting, Russian posters and pictures of Einstein and Barbara Cartland. "I like both of them. I used to call them grandfather and grandmother", Renée laughs. She tells us how she worked her way through all of Cartlands novels when she was 14 and still has them somewhere in the basement. And Einstein is there because is a wise man.
Her picture is probably still on some teenage girls walls even though it is been several years since she was active as a model.
"I am amazed that people remember me, but I do not think about it. I try desperately to be normal, to be myself, but I think it is unfair that I can not meet a person and be a "clean sheet of paper". People always have an opinion about me because I am famous.
At some point I found it difficult that when I was walking around in Copenhagen, people turned around and said "look how ugly she really is". Having attention all the time is a pressure, being looked at and having to live up to peoples expectations even if you are only grocery shopping. But I take that easier now."
- Was it all of that that made you end your modelling career?
"I do not know, but I do know that I have had enough. I could not stand the constant touching me, the questions, all the attention. I felt people were starting to look at me as an object. I was not a person anymore, I was the model. I felt pressured and in the end, the modelling jobs were only something that had to be done so that I could go home and be alone. That is why there was no reason to go on. At first, my plan was to take a year off and then return, but at the same time I wanted more and more to study."
- Was it an escape from it all when you went to Israel and spent three months in a kibbutz?
"Yes, in a way. I just wanted to get away from everything, but it was also to see how such a kind of society works. It turned my life upside down. I found out that I could do other things, too. Because I am a really good fruit picker!
I spent three months there calming down. Worked six days a week, had one day off, and when the Sabbath started on Friday night, we got drunk and danced all night, and then we started over with six days work. Afterwards, I started changing my life. I stopped dating John", Renée tells about her pop music boyfriend for four years, the Duran Duran bassist.
"Suddenly I could see that we wanted different things, and the break-up was unfortunately inevitable. We were in love and if we had been older, we might have been able to save it, but I need to be myself entirely, start a stabile life with family and friends", says Renée, who is still in contact with John Taylor. Mostly he calls her to tell about new records and new girls.
"And it is so typical me to find a boyfriend in Copenhagen when I finally come home!", says Renée about Kristian Sandvad, manager of a tinned fish company and from Klampenborg, whom she has known for a year and a half.
They get together in holidays and weekends because she is determined to finish the adult upper-secondary level course that she began in Århus in the summer of 1989 after having failed the entrance examination to the College of Journalism.
"I need to prove to myself that I can use my brain. I want to kill the rumor that you are stupid if you are a model", says Renée, who is not the only book-worm in the family.
Little sister Iben is finishing 10. grade to start Higher Preparatory Course, older sister Heidi studies French at university and mother Ingrid, who is a nurse, studies Psychology.
"So that marks the conversation around the dinner table," says Renée, who loves having the family near again. Her mothers sister lives in the same staircase with her husband, her mother lives next door and the sisters are not far away either.
"It is one of the hardest things I have ever done", says Renée about her adult upper-secondary level course which she hopes to finish this summer. "I still dream about becoming a journalist, but it is not imperative. Maybe I am not talented enough. In that case, I will try to enter the Psychology study, if I can meet the admission requirements. Or I will have to try to prove my worth by points. I just do not know how much modelling work counts. Even though I do have a lot of experience with people!"
The phone is never silent from her French and English agents. Renée is still wanted by radio, TV, magazines and papers, but most of the times she says no.
"But of course they can call me. I have been offered a part in a italian movie which is flattering. It just can not be right now, but I am not burning all bridges...
After my exam, I would like another sabbatical year. Then I would travel in South America, but now I have a boyfriend and he can not come with me.
I also think about the future which is easier now than when I was 16. Back then, when I signed the contract with Fords, I did not think any further than earning the 100.000 dollars. In ten years? You never know. Maybe five kids and a dog in the back yard?!"
MANY thanks to Maria for the translation!