How Angela Lindvall went from model to environmental hero
Angela Lindvall does a lot—modeling, mothering and advocating for the environment—while maintaining a balanced life and, most of all, a healthy perspective.
At just 14 years old, Kansas-bred, blue-eyed blonde Angela Lindvall was discovered. This involved an invitation to New York City to model and set the tomboy on a life-altering course into an entirely new stratosphere. “I was always drawn to wanting to see more of the world, but I didn’t know it was going to come in the package of the fashion circus,” says Lindvall. “It’s been a really cool opportunity to meet so many diverse people in the world and see so many different places.” That said, the beauty, now 38 years old and the mother to two boys, ages 15 and 12, doesn’t actually care for fashion itself all that much. She’s entrenched herself in spreading messages around the environment and self-care. “Becoming a woman and a mother, I realize that my femininity is something much deeper than external appearances,” says Lindvall, who to this day professes to love manual labor, getting dirty and being active. Fortunately for her, worlds seem to be colliding in modern times. “It’s exciting to see the momentum, how both sustainability and health and wellness are becoming mainstream—Vogue is now talking about alternative healing modalities and breathwork, and there’s a huge green fashion event in Milan,” she says. “I am particularly giving a lot more of myself and my time to highlight smaller companies, where I love what they’re doing versus just being the face of a brand.” The supermodel—who’s dipped a toe into acting and was “a huge eco-warrior” long before it was all the rage—says that “right now, a really big word for me is collaboration.” For example, she’s joined forces with Article 22, an ethical brand that melts down landmine shrapnel from Laos for jewelry bearing positive messages. Lindvall’s creations, made by local artisans in the Southeast Asian nation, say, “I am love, I am light, I am peace,” sending the message that world peace begins with the individual. Lindvall has also collaborated with VOZ, an ethical luxury fashion company. VOZ partners with indigenous Mapuche women in Chile and Peru, who created, along with Lindvall, a handwoven design that symbolizes women coming together to find inner power. (Her collection of handmade ponchos and coats launches next spring.) “Through personal experiences, I realized I can’t do much to help the world until I help myself and heal myself, so I went into a deeper path of self-care and awareness,” says Lindvall. She’s a dedicated kundalini yoga practitioner (also certified to teach) and health coach whose personal rituals include meditation, tae kwon do, baths with essential oils and hiking. These practices came about partly in response to her pregnancy and the birth of her first son, Dakota, and her sister Audrey’s sudden, tragic death in 2006, which “shook me out of my own skin and made me realize how impermanent everything is on this planet,” says Lindvall. She read The Tibetan Book of the Dead and experienced a personal awakening about “what it is to be in this physical body. I realized time was more valuable than money and began connecting with that unseen part of me.” It’s perhaps ironic that someone known for her looks is so in tune with her inner gorgeousness. But it’s fitting for someone who considers a drawback of modeling that focus on the external, and who’s working hard on a line focused around “self-care and our true internal beauty.” Lindvall, who has walked many prestigious red carpets and runways as well as small African and South American villages, admits she’s grateful for the exposure to the world’s extreme dichotomies her career has afforded. “I like to show my boys this beautiful quilt of diversity on the planet, so they understand there are so many walks of life with this common thread.” No matter what comes during the model-environmentalist’s days in Los Angeles—often including computer work from designing to answering emails to researching—mornings and evenings are dedicated to her kids. As the anchor of the family, she is truly an example of a woman who does, and has, it all. Lindvall credits organizational methods—including a family calendar and being able to say no—with helping her stay balanced, along with eating good food and getting proper sleep. “And asking for help is a big one,” she says, admitting, “sometimes I keep it balanced and sometimes I don’t. It’s about being okay with that. Everybody has their flaws, but it’s important not to beat ourselves up over them. Having compassion for others and not being judgmental or comparing took a huge weight off my shoulders.” Filled with nuggets of wisdom, the result of life experience and deep studies of ancient cultures, theology, Eastern philosophy and alchemy, Lindvall is a picture of seeming contradictions: a tomboy in a wholly aesthetic industry, a fashion model and an environmentalist, a yogi and a rebel. But that’s what comes naturally. Her best advice for accomplishing what she has? “I’m going to listen to my soul—everyone might think I’m crazy, but I’ve realized in retrospect that anything where I’ve followed my gut and heart always works out.”
PHOTO BY Ben Draper