Over the course of her decade-long supermodeling career, Angela Lindvall has worn many hats, from fresh-faced Missouri girl to editorial-dominating powerhouse to champion environmentalist. This year, she’s adding TV star to her enviable resume, as she hosts Project Runway All Stars. Here, we caught up with the girl who’s done it all to talk about trying new things and always keeping it real.
Deep in Topanga canyon, a dry, hot breeze rustles wild lavender, wind chimes, and the warm pelts of napping dogs and cats. Angela Lindvall sits by her pool gazing outward at the peaceful chaos of her 30-acre property. Squirt guns float in the pool next to a Buddha sculpture, finger paint smudges coat a sleepy wooden bench, and the neighbor’s puppy is digging in egg shells and tamale skins from last night’s dinner out in the compost. It’s here where Lindvall lives with her two young boys, a gaggle of domesticated animals and—the compound’s newest member—a chicken. Her late 1970s abode is covered in an impossible- to-replicate patina that implants her charm and character into the perfectly serene California compound she affectionately calls “the farm”. In the back of the house, a vista of deep green canyon walls frame a plane departing from lax, which floats eastward into the distance. It acts as a visual reminder of the more bustling aspects of Lindvall’s life as a super model, host of Project Runway: All-Stars, a diligent supporter of environmental campaigns like the collage foundation, and as a collaborator with jeweler John hardy, with whom she developed a line of recycled and handcrafted jewelry.
But today, at this moment, she’s in her chill zone, among her garden of tomatoes, kale, chard, dream catchers, Spanish tile stairways, crystals, oriental rugs, Australian Shepherds, and her sons Dakota and Sebastian. “This is what keeps me grounded, I feel lucky to be able to balance my career and my natural lifestyle,” Lindvall says, her dialog punctuated by phone calls from her professional life. A last-minute snag on a visa application for an upcoming trip to India distracts her, but just for a second. She takes a beat and is back in to her natural calm. Her Cheshire smile curls up as she speaks about visiting the golden temple in India and her studies to become a teacher in kundalini yoga. Lindvall, who has been modeling professionally since she was a teen, is now quite practiced at swatting away the stress and baggage that comes with her high-profile career. Even at the age of 18, she felt a need to be closer to the natural world. “While my friends were out partying in New York, I would retreat to a Thoreau-esque country cottage upstate.” Indeed, she seems to prefer a night of reading with a bottle of wine to a busy club any day of the week.
For some reason, ‘down-to-earth international supermodel’ isn’t quite the stereotype our collective psyche seems to default to, but Lindvall is exactly that, perhaps because she never managed to stray too far from her roots. Her journey didn’t start in Southern California, despite looking as if she sprouted directly from the canyon she lives in. “I grew up a barefoot tomboy in Kansas city,” she says, where her family anchored her values and morals. “There was definitely a lot of love growing up. My Missouri roots are important to me,” she says. The carefree innocence that she remembers as a child is what she has tried to recreate for her sons in the pastoral utopia she’s cultivated in Topanga, which feels hours away from the city, despite being less than ten miles from the 101 freeway. “I grew up catching insects, running through soybean fields and chasing frogs in a local creek; I wanted my boys to have that same experience,” she says, as she tends to, with the wisdom of a tenured professor.
Indeed, Lindvall is one of those graceful feminine creatures that categorically separate the girls of the world from the women. She is elegant in frame and stature with mermaid blue eyes and a nonchalance that comes from an inner self-confidence and peace with herself— a trait that seems to rarely surface in the fashion world. “The fact that I was a tomboy and didn’t care about fashion gave me thicker skin from the beginning,” Lindvall says, recounting her start in a judgmental industry. Although she’s not your average supermodel, Lindvall, in her early 30s, has graced the cover of most every major magazine. She is known as somewhat of a chameleon: she can effortlessly adapt from a glossy Versace campaign to a girl next door GAP ad to an arty Marc Jacobs snap.
What’s more, Lindvall continues not to shy away from such challenges or taking new risks. With her new big role on the small screen as the host of lifetime network’s Project Runway All Stars, she had some heavy-hitting shoes to fill, those of original Runway host Heidi Klum. While the transition from static image to video—not to mention voice, delivery, and rhythm—was nerve-wracking at first, Lindvall grew into it quickly and with her characteristic grace. “One day, there you are on stage introducing the show” she says, “and it’s not a big deal.” For Lindvall, falling short has never been an option. In her personal journal, she maps out several goals for the year, from the simple task of enjoying more sunsets to the more business-oriented benchmarks of securing big contracts—a refreshing reminder that hard work and organization are still pillars of professional success.
All of which comes as no surprise today, given how truly herself the Missouri tomboy is at “the farm,” on this particularly sunny day in Los Angeles. The last hint of her urban life—and the many projects and ambitions she carries— is the slowly dissipating streak of exhaust from that LAX departure across the bright blue sky.
Styling / Gena Tuso
Hair / Maranda at The Wallgroup
Makeup / Steven Aturo using MAC cosmentics and Dermalogica skincare
Makeup Assistant / Jessica Metivier
Long sleeve work shirt in black garden print: CHARLES HENRY, $240, charleshenrycollection.com, Hippie Chic Top: LSPACE, $88, jackssurfboards.com, Jeans: VOLCOM, volcom.com, Silk tulle skirt: TESS GIBERSON, $1195, Tess Giberson, Double Blade Strap Necklace: ANNIE COSTELLO BROWN, $294, acb-shop.com
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