If Amber Valletta’s striking face seems familiar, it’s because she’s been gracing campaigns for major high-fashion brands like Chanel, Gucci and Versace (to name a few) since the ’90s. Having appeared on both the small and silver screens since the ’00s when she’s not modelling, the gorgeous 43-year-old model (who doesn’t look a day over 30) is back to slay the world of fashion once again in 2017, having closed the feminism-heavy Versace fall/winter 2017 show and most importantly fronting online luxury shopping behemoth The Outnet’s campaign — along with her equally gorgeous peer, Missy Rayder — this season.
Longevity is hard to come by for models especially in an ever-changing world of fashion, so we couldn’t help but wonder if the successful fashion model who’s been around for a while has any insights on how much the fashion industry has changed since she first burst into the scene over two decades ago. On that note, Valletta shares her thoughts with BAZAAR on the matter, how her collaboration with The Outnet came about, what “timelessness” means to her and more.
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How did this partnership with The Outnet come about?
The Outnet approached me and of course, I was really happy to work with them. The campaign was based on capturing a moment with friends, which was great as I have known Missy for ages so we didn’t have to pretend – it was nice and authentic.
Are you a big online shopper? What was the last thing you bought online?
I would say it’s about half and half. I do like going into stores but the convenience of shopping online is great. I’m not a big shopper in general but my last online purchase was a scarf by Rockins.
Do you consider yourself a technologically savvy person? Why?
No! I can do things but it doesn’t really interest me. If I had a choice between sitting and answering emails and browsing the web or being outside, I would much rather be outside. I would even prefer to organize my office than spend time browsing online.
What’s your take on “timelessness”, especially in this digital day and age where information gets disseminated at lightning speed and fashion is consumed faster than ever before?
This is a huge question. Technology is supposed to be making our lives easier but it’s taking away some of our jobs and our connection to each other. For me, timelessness are things like love and a great laugh with a friend or having a beautiful dinner with your family or spending time with your grandma.
Or if you want to talk about material objects, buying a key piece of clothing, like a beautiful Chanel jacket or purse that you can pass down as an heirloom or something that’s still going to look cool in 5 years’ time. It’s all about great design. If the design is good, it doesn’t really age – it’s not about following trends.
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Do you think fashion has lost any of its edge/magic?
Yes, the digital age has changed everything. I think people would say that about [its impact on] everything – things that were once mysterious are now not. Film, TV, music, all of the arts, to a certain degree, are driven towards entertainment purposes, and fashion too – it’s less mysterious and not as exciting. You don’t wait for anything anymore, everything is instantaneous.
Fashion is also constantly revolving. How do you keep up?
I learn by watching things. I’m still working so I see what’s going on, what’s coming in, what’s going out. More importantly, I still try to be me, instead of trying to follow. I like to walk to own my beat. I look and listen but I’m always going to be me.
Can you compare your career then and now for us? How has it changed?
Everything has changed – I was just 15 when I started. The biggest thing for me is that I really appreciate my path and where I am at today. And what I am able to contribute to shoots and to changing the industry, for it to become more mindful and sustainable.
If there’s a moment in your life you can revisit, what will that be and why?
I would love to revisit the Richard Avedon shoot I did for Versace. I’d love to go back to that. It was an amazing time in fashion, an amazing week with one of the best photographers and designers in history – and also my brothers flew in for the job. It took a week to shoot the campaign – we just don’t do that anymore. I was young and living in NY; it was all good stuff.
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By Gerald Tan and Syed Zulfadhli