Anna Tunhav is a Swedish beauty whose illustrious modelling career has taken her all over the globe. Much more than just a pretty face, she has a passion for nutritional living and spends her Saturdays being a youth mentor to underprivileged children in Los Angeles. We caught up with the latest face of Stevie May to discuss travelling, music and life dreams.
What is life like in front of the lense?
When I’m in front of a camera, I turn on my "modeling mode". I try to engage with the photographer and bring an energy and mood that relates to the brand I’m shooting or the clothes I’m wearing. I move a lot; using the skills and angles I’ve learnt from years of practice and experience.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration? Has there been someone in your life who has been a source of strength and encouragement?
My biggest sources of inspiration in the modelling industry would have to be Erin Wasson and Daria Werbowy. I love their sense of fashion, interest in the arts and their personal and unique styles. I am a huge fan of Erin's jewellery brand Wasson Fine, since I have always been a fan of accessories myself. I find Daria Werbowy’s style inspiring because she brings out certain sexiness in a very androgynous way. Her confidence comes from within. I also find her art direction and photography very inspiring.
My biggest sources of strength are my parents. They have continuously been the two people in my life I can talk to when life gets hard or when I need some encouragement. I have so much respect for them and I can always trust their advice. They live for others and have so much love and generosity for other people, so that has always been something I honor and aspire to be more like.
How would you describe your off duty style? Has fashion always been a large part of your life?
My personal style changes a little with seasons but if I have to pick something I always feel comfortable and sexy in, it’s a classic pair of Levi’s denim jeans and a t-shirt. I love wearing masculine clothes combined with feminine earrings and accessories. I love silver rings and I always think a good hat and a pair of good shoes can go with almost any outfit. In summer I love romantic and colorful outfits that bring out more of my feminine side, paired with some cute sandals.
On your most recent shoot with Stevie May, we travelled to Vasquez Rocks in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. Where else has modelling taken you? What do you get most out of from traveling?
Modeling has literally taken me all around the globe, through Europe, Asia, Australia and now America. It has been such a blessing for me to have been able to travel so much for work. It has taught me a lot about different cultures and my own. I have learnt to adapt easily and feel confident in places amongst people who speak other languages. I LOVE traveling because it gives me a greater perspective on life. It’s helped me understand that people are all beings who share the same needs and desires. I also love exploring, trying new foods and bringing home souvenirs.
Where did you grow up? Do you currently reside by the sea, country or city?
I grew up in a small town on the countryside in the south of Sweden. I spent 16 years there until I got the travel bug and decided to move to Spain on my own, for my last years of high school. I have lived in multiple countries since. The biggest chunk of my early twenties were spent in Spain, Italy and Australia. At the moment I reside in LA, in a very cute neighborhood called Larchmont Village. For me, it’s probably the most "European looking" area in LA with some really adorable restaurants and coffee shops. I’m only a short drive to Griffith’s Park where I do hikes to recharge and get my daily dose of nature. One day, I would love to have a house on the countryside where I can grow my herbs and vegetables.
Amongst your busy schedule do you find time to immerse yourself in other arts such as music and literature?
I often find myself on Pinterest exploring interior design pages and art. I love furniture! I’m not a big reader but a huge fan of podcasts and audiobooks. My favorite podcast is The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes, because I always find his interviews inspiring. Music is a big part of my life, and I never leave the house without my headphones. Right now I’m switching between Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s albums along with some soothing Jazz.
You are currently involved in youth mentoring at Imperial Courts Recreation Centre, what made you decide to get involved and what has been your favourite experience so far?
Youth mentoring has been without a doubt one of the best things I have ever decided to involve myself in. Being out in Watts with the kids every Saturday has not only brought me so much love and joy but it has also given me more perspective on life and how so many people actually live in Los Angeles.
These kids grow up in such underprivileged circumstances; they have seen things no child should ever see. However despite hardships, they are absolutely incredible, loving and fun. I get an abundance of hugs when I’m with them and lots of back pain (they love to be piggy backed!) I get to play, dance and be a child myself while also encouraging them and being a consistent adult in their life. My favorite experience out there? Wow that’s a tough one, there's so many!!! But I would have to say getting to know two special young ladies, Rox-Mary and Jerusalem. Two Hispanic 10 year olds with a ton of energy and joy. When they come running, shouting my name on Saturday mornings calling me their best friend, I MELT! There are so many beautiful children out there. I feel honored to spend time with them and sacrifice a few hours of my Saturday to have them smile, feel loved and cared for.
You’re extremely passionate about promoting a healthy body and mind. Have you struggled with keeping up with the expectations of your career whilst maintaining a balanced lifestyle?
Being a model definitely comes with the expectation of being skinny. When I first started modeling I had very little awareness on how food affects your mood, mind and body. Back then my lifestyle was very different, a lot unhealthier and I felt more pressure to just "look skinny”. Now it’s different, I have been able to create a balanced lifestyle that really works for me. I have never struggled with body image (thank God!) and I am one of few people that was genetically born with an extremely fast metabolism. I have always maintained about the same weight but now I’m much stronger, healthier and happier.
What are your ultimate goals? Both career and life?
This is a fun question and I could probably go on for hours! My ultimate goals? Well, if I look at my goals in relationships, I’m looking to find a good man to spend my life with and create a family of two or three kids. I'd like to continue to mentor youth and perhaps even travel to other underprivileged countries to contribute over there.
Career wise I could go many directions, but a dream that pops up every time is to have a creative space; where I have a herbal dispensary in the back, healthy home cooked foods, juices and treats. Ideally with a nutritionist (hopefully me) that can provide advice to anyone who needs it. There would be art on the walls, big tables for people to work at, regular events and workshops about anything that interests me, like health, nutrition, photography, fashion, plants, or arts and crafts. Essentially to create a space where people can come, be creative, eat healthy food, hang out or just relax. I want it to be filled with plants and have a sense of tranquility to it. A space to escape stress that stimulates creativity. A space for your body, mind and soul.
What quote do you live by?
I have two. The first one has been my screensaver for a couple of years now. It says "LIVE MORE WORRY LESS" something I try to remind myself every day. I don't want my life to be ruled by fear or worry and I want to try to enjoy every day to the fullest.
The second one is actually a bible quote from Philippians 2:3-4
It says: "3. In whatever you do, don't let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. 4. Don't be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too."
Anna wears pieces from Stevie May's Atelier 17' Collection - shop the story here.
Location - Vasquez Rocks, Sierra Pelona Mountains, California.
Photography - Kiera Chevell.
Hair and Makeup - Di Dusting.
Styling - Gill Lawrence.