Fifty+, Portraits

Life & Style after Fifty portrait: Hilmar Mulder

Hilmar Mulder

Blond, beauty and brains: Hilmar Mulder (August, 1968) shares her life and style with us in our Portraits series. Born all the way in Seoul but raised in a village close to Hollands other big city, Rotterdam.
Both her father, doctor, and her mother, nurse, were medical development workers in Asia but decided to return to Holland with their four kids to grant them not only a Dutch upbringing but also a Dutch education. After a happy childhood Hilmar wanted only one thing after she finished VWO highschool, go to Rotterdam… She had her eyes set on the Willem de Kooning art academy to study fashion and fashion illustration. In those student years, close to her graduation while working in a bar, she met her now husband journalist Wim Spijkers.

Soon they both left for Amsterdam where Hilmar started to work as freelance designer for different lingerie brands. After an illustration job for teenage magazine Yes, she was asked to join the team as fashion editor. Well, you can say she found her calling!
This was the start of an exciting career in women’s fashion and lifestyle magazines. From Yes to Viva and onto Dutch Marie-Claire where Hilmar moved from fashion editor to director of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. A stepping stone to editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Grazia and Elle. Since october 2015 she is editor-in-chief of Dutch Libelle Magazine. Not only the oldest – founded in 1934! – but also the biggest women’s media brand in Holland by international publishing house Sanoma. In the recent years Hilmar succesfully guided Libelle Magazine through the digital transformation.
Hilmar and Wim – married for 14 years now – have two sons of 20 and 17 years old. They all live together with black labradoodle Jimi in Amsterdam. Last year Hilmar picked up life class drawing again, back to her art academy roots. And this Summer was her and Wim’s very first ’empty nest holiday’. Together they enjoyed a road trip through the South of Italy.

Hilmar Mulder Wim Spijkers

How do you feel about being over fifty?
So far so good! I received a huge bouquet of flowers on my birthday last month with the card saying “the first fifty years are the hardest”. That really cracked me up. Now that I know the worst part is behind me, bring it on. But seriously, you know life is a one-way street and turning fifty is definitely not the final destination. Above all, I try to enjoy every mile as much as I can. And that feels good.
I didn’t make a fuss about the big 5 0. I gave a big party to celebrate life with friends, family and colleagues. So yes, I am freshly fifty but I already have some great memories to look back to.

Hilmar Mulder Libelle

Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
Well, my mindset is still that I am 35. Or 37. Or sometimes 42. Depending on the day, so I don’t need to go back in time. I really enjoyed each phase, but am actually more curious about everything that’s yet to come…

Hilmar Mulder Puglia Segunda beach

What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions in time, money, people or whatever.
We wake up in New York and start the day – coffee to go in hand – with a walk through Central Park with Jimi the Labradoodle. Of course he joins us today. Our first stop is breakfast light (I know what’s ahead today, culinary wise) at the Butchers Daughter in New York. Think smashed avocado and a little egg, sunny side up.
Our second stroll of the morning is in one of the picturesque villages in the South Italian region of Puglia. A long and late lunch awaits us at Masseria Torre Coccaro, the luxury white boutique hotel along the sea. All the guests of my fiftieth birthday party are there and we sit along the many outside tables. Lunch feast!
In the afternoon we spend our time on a truly impressive catamaran sailing trip around the island of Tinharé in Brasil. We’ve seen so many turtles, dolphins while swimming around tropical fishes in the almost lukewarm crystal clear sea.
My ideal day definitely ends along the beach, preferably a Caipirinha close at hand around golden hour. The location will be Segunda beach of Morro de Sao Paulo. This is a laid back tropical village without any cars or worries. While sipping our drinks we watch our boys play football with the locals.
Making plans where we, just the four of us, will go for dinner. Everybody has a say and most votes count. We all love Indonesian food and decide to go for the best rendang of Indonesia. Where that will be? We don’t know yet, despite the fact that my mother in born in Indonesia, I’ve never been there my self. This will be the start of my next ideal day!

Life and style Hilmar Mulder Libelle

From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
Does experience makes you stronger or do you find out how strong you are when you experience life? For me, the death of my dear mother when I was 35 made a huge impact. Being a young mother myself with just a new job: my first editor-in-chief position. It definitely was rush hour in my life while being in an emotional rollercoaster. I decided first and foremost to look at all the good things I shared with my mother, what we’ve been through together. Cherish memories instead of reminiscing about what I’ve missed or will never experience with her. Being a mother myself taught me a lot about motherhood, me, my mother and our relationship.

Hilmar Mulder Jimi labradoodle

What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
Go overboard with two things: laugh and sleep a lot. Especially we women tend not to do this often enough while it really works for you. And we should keep on moving. Whenever possible I take my bike and I start each day with walking our dog. Love that.
What also helps is a good foundation, like the tinted moisturizer of Laura Mercier. Both my day and night start with hydrating cream by Biotherm. Oh, and I will never leave the house without mascara.

Hilmar Mulder David Bowie

Which book and/or film and/or music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
Bowie’s music… No explanation needed, right?
My book tip revolves around the small management type books of Paul Arden. The one I love most is ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be’ but also his second book ‘What ever you think, think the opposite’ is a fun and easy read. In just about fifteen minutes you’ll find yourself mentally refreshed. Catchy quotes, one-liners and eye-openers make an appearance in your head during the day. Gives you something to think about and a little insight now and then won’t hurt us. I love to give these books as a present as well.Hilmar Mulder Libelle Alphafoodie


Who should we follow on Instagram?

    • @bat_gio Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert is creative fashion director with a funny, colorful timeline. Outfit inspo!
    • @kimvankootenista because writes the best and funniest captions on Instagram. Dutch required, though
    • @alphafoodie ridiculously beautiful photos of veggies and fruit. Makes you wanna turn into an organic vegan
    • @moderntarzan calls himself a movement artist. He shows that there are no limits to what the human body can achieve with the right training. With intriguing photos as result
    • @libelle your Dutch daily doses of feel good

Hilmar Mulder getty museum LA Svaoy Madeira

What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?

    • Destination     :   New York never a dull moment in the city that never sleeps
    • Museum           :   Getty Museum in LA (where you get a spf50 umbrella while waiting) & Museo del Prado in Madrid
    • Destination      :   La Granja on Ibiza

Hilmar Mulder Bulgogi dish

What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table.

Ossobuco Milanese! Made my first one during the Summer my youngest son was born, 17 years ago. We were in my ancestral home in  Zeeland, in the South West of Holland. I discovered this recipe in an old ’70’s cookbook, which is my guide up to today. With numerous variations since then, of course. For dessert my chocolate cake is always high in demand.
My favourite childhood dish is my mothers Bulgogi, a Korean grilled beef dish. She was a unpredictable cook, but when she cooked Korean she couldn’t go wrong. Especially her variation with seaweed and kimchee Bulgogi was a feast. Still trying to get this specific taste.

Life and style Hilmar Mulder Libelle

Trivia time, make a choice and share your favourite brand

  • Nailpolish or Lipstick? Sorry, both… Gellack Royal Red and Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Two Ton Tomato
  • Heels or Flats? Heels at work and sneakers or slippers at home
  • Dress or Trousers Dresses (or skirts), love them. And they mean quick dressing!
  • Coffee or Tea? I start the day with one green tea and then after 09.00 max. 3 black coffees
  • Swimsuit or Bikini? Bikini! The fav of the moment is my polka dot number from French Connection

Follow Hilmar Mulder on Instagram

For more interviews of inspiring fifty somethings, see our Portraits series.

Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend an inspiring friend in her fifties? We love to hear from you. Please send us an email.

Hilmar Mulder art class

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