German fashion editor Veronika Heilbrunner takes us into her home
‘REALLY, I DIDN’T KNOW WHERE TO MOVE TO IN BERLIN.
I just wanted a nice apartment,’ says Veronika Heilbrunner, the German fashion editor whose style has Instagram lit with likes and fashionable follows. So it comes as a surprise when she tells me: ‘I didn’t care whether my flat was in a cool area.’ Veronika and her partner, Justin O’Shea, previously the fashion director at e-commerce website My Theresa, settled on a 19th-century Art Nouveau building in the tree-lined neighbourhood of Charlottenburg. ‘It isn’t cool. You won’t find any vegan shops here. Either it’s really nice, or we’re getting old.’
Born and raised in Munich, Germany, Veronika has gone from model to editor to entrepreneur to co-founder of fashion website Hey Woman! When she’s not travelling, she enjoys a quiet life in her apartment, the decor of which, she says, is a reflection of who she and Justin are: stylish, but never too serious. ‘The apartment was so beautiful, I didn’t end up changing much in it. It’s a classic, old, pretty German house; it’s not too opulent or ornate, but there are great features, such as the multicoloured tiled fireplaces in each room.’ Her taste in interiors has come a long way since her youth in the suburbs, where she experimented with all manner of colours: ‘I once had a pink room with a brown bed, then I had a yellow room and wanted a black couch. I no longer like a concept room; I just like the idea of loving a room so much, you just want to spend time in it.’
Veronika’s favourite space is her office, which she has decorated exclusively in her own style (this is a Justinfree zone) with three treasured works of art: a mini Atsushi Kaga painting, a Wes Lang illustration, from his Chateau Marmont series, and a Nicole Wermers croissant photograph. Her desk, where she writes up show reviews and trend reports, is a striking green marble slab that Veronika says is her favourite piece (even though it’s always messy).
It’s a stark contrast from Justin’s unmistakably bold bravura. As two distinctly different fashion characters, you’d think there would be a clash of interiors styles and tastes, but they act in yin and yang-like harmony: ‘We actually have very similar taste. We’re both obsessed with marble and we managed to agree on a green velvet couch. Justin likes really big paintings and I prefer clear spaces, but we make it work. We recently moved our bedroom to a smaller room in the house so I could have the main room as my closet. I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that.’
When it comes to entertaining guests at home, the jet-set lifestyle of an in-demand street styler throws a spanner in the works. ‘I am a big fan of dinner parties, but we never do them because I am terrible at organising anything!’ With so much time spent travelling, Veronika prefers a low-key night in: ‘If I’m alone, I cook pasta in tomato sauce with loads of basil and cheese, have a glass of wine and watch Nashville. It’s lame, but I love it.’ Like the rest of the industry, Veronika values her time away from the hectic fashion schedule, choosing horse-riding in the German countryside as her preferred method of relaxation. ‘I miss riding when I’m travelling because it lets me feel free,’ she says. Like her quirky Berlin apartment, Veronika is refreshingly original in both style and substance.
‘I’m a big fan of dinner parties, but we never do them – I’m ba’d at organising!