Filippa Hamilton takes a few steps towards the camera and her long brown hair flutters over a transparent John Galliano dress. The FrenchSwedish supermodel is on a quick visit to Paris to star in the cover shoot for Maxim’s March/ April issue. For her, it is a happy reunion with photographer Gilles Bensimon, with whom she has worked several times during her 20-year-long career.
“When [the magazine’s European Fashion Director] Caroline Christiansson asked me if I wanted to be on the cover of Maxim, I felt incredibly honored,” Filippa tells me after the shoot. “I associate the magazine with Gilles’ many iconic covers, like the one of Sara Sampaio in the swimming pool—it’s sublime.”
The next day, she has already returned to her apartment in Hossegor, just north of the exclusive seaside city Biarritz on the French Atlantic coast. She has posted a selfie from the photo shoot on Instagram. Her account gives a glimpse of her everyday life with her son Kyan and her husband Mikaël “Miky” Picon, who is a professional surfer. They met at Biarritz Airport when she was 17 and have been a couple ever since.
“I have a pretty quiet family life nowadays,” she says. “It’s a conscious choice on my part. Ten years ago, I had my career in focus and needed to live in New York to be close to the jobs and the clients. Moving away from there was about me wanting to start a family and have an increased quality of life. It is a luxury to be close to the beach and live in a small town where everyone knows everyone.” And when an important job comes along, the airport is a short drive away.
Filippa was born in Paris where her mother, who is French, worked in design for the legendary French-Italian fashion designer Pierre Cardin (who passed away in December), and her father, who is a Swedish former professional squash player, ran a squash club. When Filippa was six years old, she moved with her parents and her big brother to Stockholm. They stayed for two years, but since she went to a French school, she never learned Swedish.
When the family returned to France they settled in warmer latitudes, in Biarritz, where her parents and brother still live. As a child, Filippa was “much like she is now”: “I talked a lot and liked to dance and sing when my parents had friends over for dinner. Therefore, I think modeling suited me well; I wasn’t shy and I liked to be in front of the camera.”
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