The summer solstice is typically not one of New Yorkers' favorite holidays, as celebrations tend to be a little festive and often don't merit beach trips to the Hamptons or a ski weekend upstate. But this year, the Icelandic community in the Big Apple is hoping to change that with a night-long celebration on June 21. Brooklyn-based, Icelandic model-meets-DJ Edda Petursdottir — who has walked the runways of Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg, among others — is all about the Icelandic Solstice. We talked to the fashionista about why Iceland has recently developed into such a hotspot, and why you should come celebrate this year's summer solstice with her!
Marie Claire: As a native of Iceland, what does the Solstice represent to you, and how do you plan on celebrating it this year?
Edda Petursdottir: Back in Iceland, I recall celebrating in nature with my friends and family — dance the night away in the morning sun and drinking, always. The Icelandic tradition is to take a naked roll in the fresh morning dew, and then make a wish. I haven't tried that yet, but maybe one day…
This year, I'm planing on having a great time with all my Icelandic & NY friends. I will be DJing at the Reyka Vodka Solstice Event, which is going to be authentically Icelandic. The vodka itself is intrinsically Icelandic, using glacial water and filtration through volcano rocks, which makes me think of home. To do my part, I'll make sure I'll throw in some Icelandic classics and new comers, like Of Monsters and Men, so all the Icelanders will feel right at home.
MC: What are the three biggest traditions from Iceland that you incorporate into your Brooklyn home?
EP: I go home at least three times a year. I usually get something Icelandic from my family for Christmas. For example, my sister gave me a wool blanked made from an Icelandic brand called Farmers Marker. In my house in Brooklyn, I also have a little silver viking ship that was my grandmother's and has been handed down to me. Family trinkets are very important. The third thing is food! I always bring Icelandic hotdogs and lots of Icelandic candy back to New York after every trip. This usually triggers a big barbecue with my Icelandic friends here in Brooklyn.
MC: You've walked the runways for Zac Posen and DVF, among others. What has your stand-out modeling experience been? How were you discovered?
EP: My modeling career began when I was 14. I entered the Ford Super Model of the World competition in Iceland and I got first place! The following summer I traveled all around the world with my mother while still in school, until I was old enough to live on my own. I lived first in London and Paris for a year and then came to live in New York.
My most memorable modeling experience has to be all the amazing places I have been able to visit because of work. Just last year I was able to go to Machu Picchu in Peru, Bora Bora and Tahiti for British Marie Claire few years ago, and I just got back from Patagonia in Chile today.
MC: What's your favorite item in your closet, and why? How would you describe your style?
EP: My favorite item is my first vintage Chanel bag I got a few years ago at the Porte de Clignancourt market in Paris — it dresses up any outfit. My style is casual chic with a bit of rock 'n' roll edge to it.