Amber Valletta, the 90s supermodel who has appeared on the cover of American Vogue 16 times, is still as beautiful as ever at 43. But unlike most celebrities, Valletta is far less likely to talk about her skincare regime, favorite smoothie, workout routine, love of yoga or other fun yet fairly anodyne topics, and far more likely to talk about her passion for the environment. She’s not afraid to take a political stance, either. Earlier this year, she even wrote an open letter in Glamour stating her opposition to Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Even when she was hanging out with fellow supers Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss et al, she says: “[the others] called me Mother Teresa because I would get all serious and talk about world problems and, like, How are we going to fix things? It drove them nuts.” Ugh, the eye rolls…we *get* you, Amber.
Being in the center of the fashion industry opened her eyes to the irrevocable damage to the environment caused by retail. “It’s a dire situation. People are dying so we can wear fashion, especially cheap fashion,” Valletta says. “They say you are what you eat, but you are as much what you eat as what you wear,” she states in Driving Fashion Forward, a short film examining the problems in fashion industry that she co-produced. Valletta also speaks frequently at environmental summits, calling attention to the pollution from textile industry, landfill waste (an average American throws out a whopping 70 lbs of clothing/textiles a year; fashion makes for #3-4 item in landfills according to various estimates), and unfair labor practices.
Amber with fellow eco goddess Gisele at Green Carpet Fashion Awards, wearing sustainably-made gown by Missoni
For Valletta, the systematic change will happen by embracing style *and* substance, which is why she founded a sustainable fashion e-commerce site Master & Muse through Yoox in 2013. She’s also a Green Carpet regular, making sustainable fashion more normative, cool, and aspirational, one dress at a time.
In her words…”It’s really about everybody joining the party and saying we all have a responsibility as consumers.” While conscious consumption is only just a part of the solution, it’s also an essential part.
But Amber Valletta isn’t all work and no play! The model-actress-entrepreneur keeps her busy life in balance by prioritizing self-care. She stays fit by spinning, boxing, yoga, dance, and Body by Simone.
As for that beautifully glowing skin, she confesses: “I always had pretty good skin until this period in my late 30s where it got really angry. I think it was a hormone change or something—I just kept getting these really awful bumps, one after another.” Valletta finally saw an Ayurvedic specialist who told her she had too much fire (pitta) in her system and told her to cut out all spicy foods. The dosha-balancing helped clear her skin. That also means plenty of broccoli, pumpkin, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green leafy veggies, cucumbers, asparagus, avocados, and sweet fruits, which help cool down the fiery pittas. [Side note: I too get over-pitta’ed really easily, which recently even manifested as hives after a lunch of spicy eggplant. Turns out eggplant *and* spicy pepper are heat-generating, according to Ayurveda!]
Her favorite skincare indulgence is lots of eye cream (Goldfaden MD Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate is a favorite) and sheet masks.
Amber’s go-to makeup is a rather amber-esque lewk: RMS Beauty Eye Polish in Solar, which is an antique gold, creamy metallic shade on the eyelids, smudged out (“Hard lines only look good on me if I’m doing a photoshoot”), mascara, and soft, nude lipstick (“when you wear a pale lip it’s kind of sexy and inviting”).
Sexy and inviting indeed–but clear skin and makeup tricks aside, it’s Amber’s compassion and awareness that make this beauty truly worthy of our massive girl crush on her.
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