Though our meeting was brief, chatting with a tranquil Josephine Skriver during a chaotic New York Fashion Week felt as calming as a weekend upstate. There’s no doubt that the Danish model is easy on the eyes, but this slightly cynical New York transplant honestly found her laidback aura and kindness to be refreshing. (Maybe I’ve been living here too long?!) Whatever she has, I need more of—specifically before the MTA tests my patience with another delayed work commute. I like to think it’s that homegrown hygge vibe, also known as finding joy and comfort in literally everything.
Seriously, I’m not just talking about those existential moments where you obsess over everything you’ve done (and haven’t done) in life so far. According to Skriver, even something as small as a watch deserves a moment in the spotlight—a lesson I learned after complimenting the timepiece on her wrist.
“I always pack my watch because no matter what I wear, it elevates a look. If you put on sweatpants to go to the grocery store and throw on the watch too, you just look a bit more put together,” said the IWC Schaffhausen ambassador. “It just looks like you thought about it. You can put on a watch with million-dollar jewelry and it works too. I’m fortunate because I get styled a lot and oftentimes, I don’t have to be too worried about what I pack, but the accessories are my personality being put into these outfits. I like to describe myself as tom girl. I’m a tomboy, but I also like to be a little girly.”
It’s this innate ability that has undoubtedly contributed to Skriver’s success, who has clearly mastered keeping her zen during fashion’s busiest month and beyond. Traveling is a big part of the gig, and if you’re not taking care of yourself inside and out, working on a half-empty tank never ends well. We’ve watched The Wizard of Oz enough times to know that “there’s no place like home,” but as it turns out, you can take home on the road…sort-of. If you have a penchant for racking up the travel miles, maybe Skriver’s hacks (like packing a pillow) will make the journey cozier.
Master the Art of Cozy
I’m from a country [Denmark] where we have this concept called hygge and it’s pretty much the art of coziness. So it involves a lot of candles. They’ve got to be everywhere and be your only form of light. If you have to have electric light, it has to be super dull because it has to have this romantic feeling, almost like you’re setting up a date night for yourself.
Pack Your Bedroom
For me, it’s so important to feel at home. When I travel, I bring pictures of my family. I bring a candle everywhere I go so I can have that scent of home with me. I’ve always traveled with my own pillow. It’s perfect. When I’m on a plane, one thing that makes me not sleep comfortably is if the pillow is wrong. So I found my perfect pillow and now I sleep with that. I bring it everywhere. My fiance thinks I’m annoying because like I use half of my suitcase, but it does such a difference for the way I sleep and just feeling comfortable at night.
Steam It Up
I’ve been getting really into steam so I got just a little face steamer. I’ll just sit there and let all the pores open up and then maybe put a mask on. Maybe I’ll do my nails too since I have to sit and not move. I would also do the hot bath and salt scrub. I love Epsom salt because it calms me down and gets all that water retention out of the body.
Treat Your Feet…But Not Too Early
I will try and do foot massages or roll my foot on balls, but you cannot have too nice or baby soft feet because your skin will rip off. So it’s honestly about building that rough skin from fashion week [or traveling] and keeping it as protection ’til you’re done. And then you go get yourself a treatment and make them look cute again. But if you start filing and taking care early, it will just blister and rip too fast.
Embrace the Throwback Camera
I’m always on my phone and I feel so attached to that. With my camera, I get to see the city and have a few moments for myself. I’m more present. And if I can’t fit my big camera, I’ll just bring a disposable. I started this thing where I bring a disposable camera to every city I go to, and I won’t develop until the end of the year. So I kind of get this photo documentary to look back on.
You only have like 20 pictures from each place, but they feel more precious, even though half of them are weird and funny. I work with photographers so often, so it’s fun to sort-of see things from that point of view. My boyfriend walks around with the Instax Polaroid and it’s actually the best ice breaker we’ve ever had because if you go to places where you want to photograph somebody, he’ll bring it out and hand it to them so they can take a picture themselves.
Keep Family on Speed Dial
When I’m stressed, I call home. I FaceTime the family and listen to them. And then you just put things in perspective and get pulled back into what real life is about. I love my industry, but we’re constantly selling this illusion of what things could be or we’re always selling a dream. But all of it isn’t necessarily reality. So sometimes it’s nice to like call home and feel re-centered.
Block Off Your Mornings
I’ve always needed my space. So my me time is waking up two hours before work to read the news over a cup of coffee. Some weeks I’m like I’m going off the news week and just not dealing with it. But you also want to be aware.
I like to hit the gym. It’s an hour where I really shut the brain off. I don’t have to think. I do my pushups or run and listen to my music. It’s my stress release and obviously to stay healthy.
In our series “Operation Recharge,” we task celebrities and influencers with sharing what self-care means to them, as well as the activities, products and treatments they indulge in for downtime done right.