Mona Tougaard: "I’m leaving all the bad energy behind"

For her special co-curated issue, Rihanna quizzes the rising Danish model and two-time i-D cover star

by i-D Staff
20 January 2020, 6:00pm

This story originally appeared in i-D's 'Rihannazine' Special Edition, no. 01, 2020. Order your copy here. For this one-off project, Rihanna put a series of questions to the women shaping culture today, and invited them to share their visions for 2020.

Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Mona Tougaard, and I’m a model. I like to paint and I like to write. And that’s who I am and that’s what I’m doing!

Tell me where you grew up.
I grew up in Denmark, with my sister, my dad and my mum. I have a brother who lives in Sweden.

What do you think your biggest personal or professional success has been so far? Probably my first i-D cover and my Chanel campaign.

mona tougaard
Mona wears hoodie Champion. Nose ring (worn throughout) model’s own.

Why did that feel so big?
I knew i-D before I started, so it was big for me to be on the cover of a magazine I knew. When you get to be a part of something you’ve known from when you were little, it’s incredible. My personal success would have been the fact that I sold my first painting a few days ago. Because that was something I made, something that reflected my mind, and somebody wanted it and bought it. That was special for me.

What was it a painting of?
It was really abstract. It’s like therapy for me, so I just paint whatever the fuck I feel that day.

What would you consider to be your biggest failure? How did you overcome it?
You know, actually, I don’t really think about failure a lot, because I feel like it’s better to think about all the good things you did. I don’t like to have a negative thing hanging over me.

As we’re heading into 2020, what are you taking with you into this year, and what are you leaving behind in 2019?
I’m taking good advice I’ve heard with me; and I’m starting to think of my life differently this year, so I’m taking that energy, too. I’m getting to know myself better. I’m getting to know what I want from life. And I’m leaving all the bad energy behind.

If you could ask Rihanna one question, what would it be?
I want to know what kind of weed she smokes, because I want it!

mona tougaard
Mona wears leotard and trousers Mowalola. Rings model’s own.


Photography Mario Sorrenti
Styling Carlos Nazario

Hair AKKI at Art Partner using Oribe.
Make-up Kanako Takase at Streeters.
Nail technician Alicia Torello at The Wall Group using Chanel.
Set design Jack Flanagan at The Wall Group.
Lighting technician Lars Beaulieu.
Photography assistance Kotaro Kawashima, Javier Villegas and Jared Zegha.
Digital technician Johnny Vicari.
Styling assistance Raymond Gee, Erica Boisaubin and Christine Nicholson.
Tailor Nino Sanaya.
Hair assistance Rei Kawauchi, Takao Hayashi and Motome Yamashita.
Make-up assistance Kuma and Tomoyo Shionome.
Set design assistance Akaylah Reed and Colin Walker.
Production Katie Fash.
Production coordinator Layla Némejanski.
Production assistance Fujio Emura.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Cicek Brown for DMCASTING.
Model Mona Tougaard at The Society

Mario Sorrenti
Mona Tougaard