1955. Norman Parkinson discovers Nena von Schlebrugge when he’s working on an assignment in Stockholm.
…we needed one of just this kind of Swedish girl. “I have managed to find out,” I told the Fashion Editor, “the name and location of one of the smartest girls’ schools in Stockholm, and I’m going to wait outside when the senior girls leave this evening. It was my lucky day: a shapeless beanstalk blonde who stood head and shoulders above her raincoated friends stepped out from the school.
Nena von Schlebrugge was not particularly athletic, like Carmen or Plonya, but she was very cool, calm and ice-smouldering. I have a passion for tall gangling blondes, and as Maurice Chevalier reminded us, ducklings soon grow into elegant swans. Nena did just that. I watched her develop in my camera and long before she was twenty she had become a great star in New York.
These are the first test shots Parks takes of her.
After a glittering career as a model, at the behest of the Dalai Lama Nena will go on to found the Tibet House US together with composer Philip Glass, actor Richard Gere and her second husband, Robert Thurman, an Indo-Tibetan Buddhist scholar and ex-monk. The couple will have two children, the second being actress Uma Thurman.