miss july may have inherited talents from her scandinavian forbears, but heidi sorenson's beauty and charm are entirely her own
Those clever Danes have an uncanny sense of design. By combining fine craftsmanship with deceptively simple lines, they blend modern and traditional as no one else does. Meet Heidi Sorenson, a dark-eyed, tawny-haired beauty of Danish extraction. Heidi's naturalness is thoroughly contemporary, yet you immediately sense something old-fashioned about her. Perhaps it comes from having lived abroad as a child. Although Heidi was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she spent her early childhood in Denmark. Then it was back to Canada, this time to the near wilderness of Vancouver Island's west coast, where her father started a fishing company. "We lived in a houseboat in an Indian village," Heidi recalls. "It was a great place to grow up. My sisters and I were tomboys." When Canadian photographer Ken Honey first saw Heidi, she was working as a junior bookkeeper for a Vancouver radio station. "Ken started using me as a model for local magazines," she says. "It took me a while to pose for Playboy, but I thought if I didn't do it, I'd kick myself later." Heidi's family supported her decision. "I guess my family is not as conservative as most." Leaving Vancouver for Los Angeles was Heidi's toughest decision. "It was a major step," she says, "but I think I've grown up a lot in the past year or two." For some months, Heidi made Playboy Mansion West her Los Angeles base. "Everyone at the Mansion is so understanding and caring that it's like having a second family." That reinforcement helped her decide to audition for the singing Playmates group. "They didn't take me right away, probably because I was too self-conscious," Heidi recollects. "But I love to sing, so some months later, I tried out again, and this time I made it." During her spare time, when she's not rehearsing, she writes poetry -- "I've been doing that since I was five" -- and paints. Heidi's taste in art leans toward the traditional -- Da Vinci and Renoir are two of her favorites -- but her own water colors depict the seascapes and landscapes of her childhood. Some of Heidi's talent could be hereditary: Her great-grandfather's oil paintings are still exhibited in Denmark. "Painting is very important to me."
So are relationships. "I make the time and effort to be with people I care about, whether they're friends or lovers." And for Heidi, the two are closely intertwined. "I don't believe a man / woman relationship can grow unless you have that bond as friends."
What's in store for Heidi? It's hard to tell where she'll leave her mark. Perhaps we'll see her paintings hanging in some gallery, hear her singing on records or read a published collection of her poetry. Maybe she'll simply leave her footprints on a deserted beach. No matter where Heidi Sorenson settles down, we're sure she'll be the center of attention.
Photography by Ken Marcus