How to wear it: Léa Nielsen

Léa Nielsen’s beautiful images sit in a space she has created between art and fashion photography. Having created such a singular aesthetic, she is predictably in demand all over Europe with clients across the continent including La Repubblica, Le Figaro, GQ and The Times. She divides her time between Copenhagen, Paris and London, and we talked to her about where she goes and what she always packs.

What was your all-time greatest trip and what made it so special? 

The first that comes to mind is my first ever trip to New York, which is actually not that many years ago. I went on my own and stayed for two weeks in a small place in Brooklyn. I had nothing to lose, everything to gain… and I just took it all in. I ended up getting booked to shoot for T Magazine, so I was back in town again not long after.

Which is your favourite hotel and what makes it so great? 

To be honest, I rarely stay in hotels. When I travel, I’m very often staying in private homes, because I tend to do longer trips and not just a few nights. But I stayed at Il Sereno at Lake Como once, which was very beautiful. It’s quiet, elegant and with an amazing infinity pool.

Which is your favourite city to visit and what’s your secret insider tip there?

So many favourite cities. I love Venice and Paris, but Berlin also holds a special place in my heart, as I lived there several years ago. When I’m there I love to go to the Literaturhaus on Fasanenstraße in Charlottenburg. It was originally built in 1889 and it’s a terribly old-fashioned place. Apart from being a cultural centre that hosts literary events, it has a really nice café and restaurant with a very traditional menu. It’s like going back in time. I love it. 

If you had one style tip for travellers, what would it be? 

Always take a nice coat or jacket that you feel good and confident in. When you move around a city, meet with people, go to different social events around town, you often don’t get a chance to take it off and it becomes like a uniform, and almost more important than the outfit underneath.

What are your travel essentials?

A pair of Ray-Ban Meteors. Noir Pour Femme perfume by Tom Ford. AirPods. A pen and paper. My Max Mara coat in the winter. And a small Bialetti coffee maker when I go to Greece. 

By James Sleaford, style director of Secret Trips. James has worked in the fashion industry for 20 years and has held the post of fashion director of French GQ. You can find more of his work at jamessleaford.com

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