the icons: freja beha erichsen, amber valletta and kirsten owen

  • My sense of self is not reliant on my career though it has helped shape me.
  • With decades of experience in front of the camera, we celebrate the icons of the industry whose looks, personalities, poses and attitudes have defined an era of fashion.
  • Female photographers are less about objectification and more about observation and connection to the female spirit.
  • I strive to be in the moment and embody the vision of shoot.
  • I sometimes feel that there’s a certain bond and mutual understanding between women that can translate into a very honest portrayal, but it somehow also demands much from both parties.

With decades of experience in front of the camera, we celebrate the icons of the industry whose looks, personalities, poses and attitudes have defined an era of fashion. Here, they share their experiences and advice for the next generation.

@i_D: “Fashion is more than a trend or Instagram, so educate yourself,” @ambervalletta:

Freja wears vintage T-shirt from Resurrection NY. Jewellery model’s own.

Freja Beha Erichsen, 28, modelling for 11 years

How many shoots have you appeared in? Many – I’m afraid I’ve lost count. What do you think about when you’re in front of the camera? I strive to be in the moment and embody the vision of shoot. How do you hope to come across? I hope to portray the creative vision and on a personal note I hope to portray confidence mixed with an honest amount of vulnerability. What are the differences – if any – between being shot by a female photographer rather than a male? I sometimes feel that there’s a certain bond and mutual understanding between women that can translate into a very honest portrayal, but it somehow also demands much from both parties. I generally find is easier to work with male photographers. How do you keep your sense of self? I regard modelling as a job, as mentioned before I try to portray someone else’s vision to the best of my ability. I feel lucky to be able to do this for a living.

Amber wears jacket Balenciaga. T-shirt Saint Laurent. Levi’s model’s own.

Amber Valletta, 42, modelling for 27 years

How many shoots have you appeared in? In the thousands. How has your relationship to the camera changed as you’ve matured into a woman? I am more vulnerable and present. How do you hope to come across? Open, present and pleasing to the eye. What are the differences – if any – between being shot by a female photographer rather than a male? Female photographers are less about objectification and more about observation and connection to the female spirit. Usually the vibe they bring to their set is more quiet and gentle. Having modelled for almost three decades, how do you keep your sense of self? My sense of self is not reliant on my career though it has helped shape me. I look for wonders that inspire me and look at challenges to bring me growth. Life would be boring if it were one dimensional! From no-sees to go-sees, what are your tips to making in the industry? Be you and love what you are doing. Fashion is more than a trend or Instagram, so educate yourself. Who is your phenomenal woman? My mother, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the women who struggle daily to take care of their families with dignity and grace.

Kirsten wears jacket Anthony Vaccarello. T-shirt model’s own.

Kirsten Owen, 46, modelling for almost 30 years

How many shoots have you appeared in? Must be in the thousands. How has your relationship to the camera changed as you’ve matured into a woman? I used to be more afraid of it and I couldn’t move. Now I follow my instincts. What do you think about when you’re in front of the camera? I try not to overthink and just go for expression in stillness. And listen to the photographer. How do you hope to come across? I want people to identify with what they see. Like a story you can relate to. How do you keep your sense of self? I wouldn’t know how not to. From no-sees to go-sees, what are your tips to making it in the industry? Don’t take rejection personally. Which is incredibly hard to do. It took me years to learn that. What do you away from the world of fashion? Lately I’ve been doing a bit of farming. Who is your phenomenal woman? My mum’s pretty cool.

the icons: freja beha erichsen, amber valletta and kirsten owen