Petra van Bremen shares her life and style with us in Portraits no. 16. This German (mother) Dutchie (father) is born in 1959 and grew up in the south-west of Holland. Petra started a modelling career when she was 17 which led her to the catwalk of famous designers in Belgium, France, Germany and Holland. A continuous modelling career when growing older was not a realistic option at that time, so at 24 she career-swapped to human resource manager.
At the age of 46 Petra moved to Hamburg, Germany to live with the love of her live. Leaving her Dutch career behind but not her thoughts about becoming a model again. The encouragement of her husband to fulfill her dream was just the little push she needed to register with her forming agency again. Petra van Bremen, a classic model this time. Proof that age is just a number.
Fitness is an important part of Petra’s life. Think a workout four times a week and once a week with a personal trainer. To keep body and mind in shape. Recently she embraced her grey hair and started a blog about it.
Petra is devoted to two charity projects in Germany. As an ambassador for the Ronald Macdonald House in Hamburg and as volunteer for DKMS Life where she participates in beauty workshops for women who have been diagnosed with cancer.
How do you feel about being over fifty?
I actually feel very comfortable being over fifty. I feel more confident now than in my younger days. I do not feel the need to prove myself anymore. I call it my inner strength which gives me a lot of power to embrace my age. I strongly believe in my natural self and welcome growing older. I think this is to my advantage. I am looking forward to many new experiences and adventures, challenging boundaries along the way
Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
That is difficult to answer, I have so many wonderful memories from my younger years I that picking one favourite time is almost impossible to do. To be honest, I really love the time and the life I am living right here, right now. I would not change it to go back. No, thank you.
What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions.
I would like to differ between a work day and a private day. So in the morning my ideal work day would be a photo shoot for L’Oréal with photographer Patrick Demarchelier somewhere exotic in India. Like the Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur. So far the work hard.
The play hard in the afternoon involves some working in our garden, with my husband. Only for a short time since a large table with a healthy lunch is set up outside. We talk, we eat, we read newspapers. After lunch we go out for a walk around beautiful Alster, simply enjoy each other’s company.
Then a powernap before we enjoy drinks on board of a yacht in Capri. We sit back and relax to see the sun sink in the sea. The tender delivers us ashore at luxury boutique hotel Villa Caesar Augustus for dinner el fresco. Guess where we spend the night. Right.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
That you cannot and must not please everyone. At some point in your life you are forced to take a good look at the people around you and sometimes you have let people go and move on. Walk different paths. New people will also come your way.
What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
My beauty trick is are my daily products from Murad SkinCare. I am a firm believer of Vitamin C and Retinol product for your skin. The one serum I can’t do without is the Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex.
Which book/film/music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
I love to read and especially books that give me an inside look in worlds outside my own.
The historical novel by American author Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of them. The novel tells the wonderful and fascinating story of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, before and after World War II. When we visited Japan I saw several Geisha’s walking the streets and I could immediately see the difference between a young aspiring Geisha and a full-grown Geisha.
I love listing to music and I am a big fan of soul music. And a major fan of George Michael, Barbara Streisand and Adele. They have such pure voices, is was a real treat to visit their concerts.
And the documentary about Iris Apfel is my favorite, can’t see it often enough. An inspiration for women of all ages.
Who should we follow on Instagram?
- @abandon Pictures of intriguing abandoned places around the world
- @iris.apfel A true ageless fashion icon supported with great pictures
- @beautifuldestinations The world’s best places for travel inspiration
- @The_fashion-elder Next phase… how to be fashionable in your sixties & seventies…
- @carmendellorefice still waiting for more pics of this legendary beauty
What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?
- Destination : Amalfi Coast in South of Italy. The rocks, the views and the sea. And a infinity pool. All I need.
- Hotel : Hotel Monastero Santa Rosa is the perfect, romantic hideaway in a former convent.
- Museum : Nothing beats our Dutch Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Time and time again, both building, collection and intriguing exhibitions.
- Restaurant : Harry’s Bar, an institue in Venice since 1931.
What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table. Which childhood dish best represents the time and place of your youth?
To be honest, I am not such a good cook and my friends know that. So before I even try to cook they rather take me out to dinner. My husband is on the other hand an excellent cook!
My mother and grandmother make the best and typical German Streusselkuchen. A sweet crumb cake made of yeasted dough. Uh, and with flower, butter, sugar and cinnamon…
Trivia time, make a choice and share your favourite brand:
- Nail polish or Lipstick?
Lipstick, never leave home without it. My favourite is from Smashbox. Be Legendary Fireball, the perfect bright red.
- Heels or Flats?
Heels. They give me that extra inch and I like the way your body straightens when wearing heels. The rockstud ankle strap heels by Valentino Garavani, for instance.
- Dress or Trousers
Dress. Long, medium or short. I like dresses. Most of all by Viktoria Beckham
- Coffee or Tea?
Tea. Darjeeling first Flush
- Swimsuit or Bikini?
Bikini. Love retro style. Love Parah Swimwear.
More inspiring interviews in our Portraits series.
Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend an inspiring friend between 50-60? We love to hear from you. Please send us an email.