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Henny Waalwijk (1948) lives in Antwerp. She was born in Rotterdam and lived together with her husband for many years in different places in the world. According to Henny, Antwerp is the most attractive city of Europe to live in.


Henny: “My mother was a beautiful, creative woman with guts, she dared to stand out. She dressed my sister and me with so much taste and feeling. But unlike the rest of my class. At that time girls were not supposed to wear trousers, but my mother ignored that strange rule. I was proud of her decision. In Holland, I worked as an executive secretary at a law firm. At that office, I felt always overdressed. My colleagues didn’t appreciate my way of clothing at all. But my mother taught me to make my own choices, so I did. That’s the way I developed my own style.

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Turning point

For some years we lived in Africa. We lived in a compound, I didn’t feel very connected with the other women. So I went every morning with my horse to the beach for a ride. I was always looking for great, bleached wood. Every day I saw something beautiful to take home. Photographer Jan Luijk, whom I met, was very impressed and suggested the idea to work together. Since that time we have done several projects, he photographing, styling was my part. We produced several articles for magazines like Elegance and Housing. Since we are living in Antwerp I work as a stylist for Sophie Dumont: producing cookbooks for children. And with Karen Winkel, I produced the book Sweet stuff.

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In Flanders, a handbag is called a chagoche. It’s a nice word, but I don’t like handbags at all. Once I had a leather pouch by Martin Margiela. Every time I needed my purse or keys I had to dig in that bag. So nowadays I only use paper bags I receive in shops.

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“I know, I’m getting older, it doesn’t bother me. I enjoy all the beautiful things in life. One day I’ll fly away. But ‘Birds of Paradise’ always come back”.


Hair: your hairdo is very important. If that isn’t good: forget it!

My perfume: Lazy Sunday by Margiela. It smells like fresh sheets!

Lips: it’s very important to use lipstick: let your lips shine!”

Tunique, trousers and scarf by Rundholz Brogues by Heschung Glasses: Philip Hoet

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