Angela Lindvall’s (@angelalindvall) untamed beauty is heart-and-soul deep.
Since making her debut as a globe-trotting supermodel at the age of 14, wildly gorgeous Angela Lindvall has covered too many fashion magazines, glided down too many runways, been the darling of too many designers and the face of too many luxury brands to fathom. Now 39, she is also a sometimes actress, an ardent environmentalist, a Kundalini yoga instructor and holistic health coach, the designer of an ethical jewelry collection and a devoted mom. Clearly, she’s beautiful both inside and out.
Photography by John Russo, @johnrussophoto
Interview by Rose Cefalu, @rosecefalu
Styling by Kelly Brown, @kellybrownstyle
Hair by Frankie Payne, @frankiepaynehair at Opus Beauty using Oribe
Makeup by Emily Moses, @emilymosesmakeup using La Metier de Beaute
Edited by Bonnie Davidson
Take me back to your childhood growing up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and attending Leeís Summit High School. Whatís your most vivid memory?
I grew up with a humble background in a small town. One of my most vivid memories was playing in the big field next to my house catching butterflies and grasshoppers.
Were you as breathtaking then as you are now? And were you popular?
It’s hard to say if I was breathtaking. . . thank you! That’s for others to decide. I didn’t know myself to be one of the prettiest girls in school. I was very tall and skinny. I was friends with a lot of people from many different groups. So in some ways, yes, I was popular . . . but not the “popular girl.”
When you started booking huge modeling jobs, like the cover of Italian Vogue in 1997, how did your high school friends react?
I was embarrassed to share this, so we didn’t really talk about it. I wanted to be seen as the girl they always knew [in order to]still relate with everyone. However, my world was expanding and I was exposed to so much. I had opportunities many people never experience. So it started to become more difficult for me to relate, but I felt it was important to stay humble, and my hometown friends and family ensured I stayed down to earth.
In the early stages of your career, when you were traveling the world, shooting with iconic photographers, was it as exciting as one would imagine?
In some ways, yes. I saw some of the most amazing places on the planet and worked with incredible artist and icons. I learned so much. In other ways I had to sacrifice just hanging with my friends, weddings, parties and normal fun. I had a full time career at 18 that demanded a lot of travel, long hours of work, professionalism, endurance and strength. It’s not all glamorous.
Which job/shoot was a game changer?
So many. [German photographer] Juergen Teller for Italian Vogue and [British photographer] Craig McDean for W put me on the map. But I think [Peruvian photographer] Mario Testino shooting me for American Vogue showed my ability to be an all-American icon, which led to a major contract for Cover Girl.
Were there any points in your career when you were, like, ìI just donít want to do this anymore?
Yes. I was always externally grateful for my opportunity, but I became exhausted by the demands on my time and being valued by the way I look. I wanted more substance in my life, and time became more valuable than money. I decided to follow my heart. It always pays off. Now I’ve found a beautiful balance and enjoy my work more than ever.
Have you learned any lessons that might provide inspiration to others?
Very much that our perceptions create our reality. When we focus on the things that challenge us or are negative, that becomes our experience. When we focus on the good and have gratitude, we experience more joy and attract that. Also, that we are not just our physical form. We are so much more. Our energetic bodies are the bigger part of us, and our beauty and health come from a healthy mind and emotions.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Not a person. I follow my instincts and highest self.
Along with so much good in your life, you also experienced tragedy when your sister Audrey was killed in a bicycle accident. How were you affected by that loss?
It was a ground-shattering unexpected moment that changed my reality. For the first time I experienced what impermanence really means and feels like. In that knowing, each moment of life became so precious. Being present in moments with loved ones and ourselves and doing what we truly love is what this experience called life is all about.
Is there someone you wish you could have worked with, but never had the chance? A photographer? A client?
The only icon I never got to work with was Azzedine Alaïa.
Which designers you’ve modeled align best with your personal style?
Too many to list.
On a typical day, what will we find you wearing?
I love a timeless classic look, as well as an Americana ranch look on my [Topanga Canyon] land.
Do you think the fashion/modeling world has been kind to you as you’ve moved into the later stages of your career?
Absolutely. I’m so grateful that I still work. I trust I’ll be working into my 40s.
How does modeling compare to acting? Can we expect to see you again on the large or small screen?
I love acting, but it wasn’t something I choose to pursue because I became a mother at 22. I didn’t feel I could be the mother I wanted to be and also an actress. I had a solid career as a model, which allowed me to be a very present mom.
Considering all the recent allegations about inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment in the workplace, do you have any #MeToo moments to share?
No. Never. I do not condone this behavior from men. There is absolutely no excuse for men groping women, uninvited sexual energy and, God forbid, rape. But women also need to be aware of what they put out there and choose to do to get ahead. I believe women hold a lot of power. Both men and women have abused sexual energy. It’s the most powerful energy in the world. It creates life!
What inspired you to create a capsule collection of jewelry for Article 22?
I loved that Article 22 was making jewelry from melted down [landmine] shrapnel from war. Taking something negative and transforming it into something beautiful was a symbol of alchemy and hope. I engraved the message “I Am Love, I Am Light, I Am Peace.” I came up with this mantra with the idea that peace starts with us as individuals throughout daily thoughts, actions and choices.
If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change about your life?
No. I wish I knew things I know now back then, but every experience I have had brought me the wisdom I have now, so I’m happy.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m working on a book and planning on six teen and six adult workshops this year called Peace Begins In Me. I’ll be co-teaching things I learned through my training at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and as a Kundalini yoga teacher.
How did you feel about photographer John Russo’s vision for this amazing shoot? Was it scary having a live tiger share the frame?
I love the way John shoots me. He always makes me feel and look so beautiful. His concept for the shoot was so powerful and amazing with the tiger! Truthfully, I was a little scared of the tiger. But the shots look amazing!
Finish this sentence: ìI met Angela Lindvall at a party and I had no idea she was so damn . . .”
. . . down to earth.
Read more in the premiere issue of Gio on January 31, 2018