Amélie Lens (24) is said to be one of the sweetest models to work with (and we agree!). She’s disciplined, tries to balance work and play and always comes back to reality. Quite something, for a girl that was named Jean-Paul Gaultier’s favourite model and got featured in the Maison Martin Margiela x H&M commercial. Let’s hear how it all happened.
How did your modeling career take off ?
Amélie: “I’ve always been lucky with my length. When I was thirteen, I was the same height as I am now. When I was living with my grandmother, I got scouted on the street a few times. One of them invited me to Dominique Models for a casting, the day after Dour festival. Surprisingly, my post-festival look and sunburned face got me signed on the spot.”
Was it a steady career ever since?
Amélie: “Yes. I have been working fulltime ever since. At the age of sixteen, I first moved to London an then Paris and Milan. It was quite something, being a young teen in the dazzling fashion world.”
Were you living on your own in London, Milan and Paris?
Amélie: “I spent those years in model flats. They were packed with gorgeous, and sometimes work-obsessed, girls. It changed my life, and it was great fun. But not all that glitters is gold. If you live in a house filled with young, aspiring models, it’s easy to get brainwashed. Think of endless diet conversations and crazy ‘you only live once’ type of stories. When I came back home, my friends and family were shocked about how I looked and talked. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had become a different person.”
How would you describe your model life… Living the dream or hard work?
Amélie: “It’s a bit of both. As a model you get to travel the world and meet heaps of interesting people. However, I do feel like I missed out on something when my friends were living their laid-back teenage lives while I was waiting at a fitting for hours, not knowing if I’d get the job.”
How did you feel about fashion weeks?
Amélie: “Honestly, I hated them.”
All of them? You can’t pick a favorite one?
Amélie: “No really, they were horrible. It takes weeks of preparation, going to at least twenty castings a day, from six in the morning until two at night. The wages are ridiculously low and there are stressed vibes all over the place. Also, it’s against my principles to lose a lot of weight for a show. It’s like loosing your natural beauty, especially if you’re just naturally skinny.”
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Amélie: “As a DJ, I very often arrive home by seven in the morning. Surprisingly, that’s also my favorite time to rise and shine. So, I am definitely an early bird. In weekends and on days off, I will still wake up at seven and start my day with a lovely breakfast and get my work done.”
You DJ under a different name; Renée. Is that your alter ego?
Amélie: “I love music as it has always driven me to go further and never stop dreaming. My mother, who passed away, was named Renée. As a DJ, Renée a darker, grungier version of me. It is the opposite of the glamorous model life I seem to lead in pictures.”
Is it true that you just launched a company with your boyfriend Sam?
Amélie: “Yes! It’s called Baerbar, which is naturally flavored oatmeal on-the-go, for all the busy bees and career people. You could even take it with you on an airplane, all you need is some hot water to finish it off.”
Friday night or Sunday morning?
Amélie: “Both! I really enjoy a club night on Fridays, or dinner and wine or Saturday. Sundays are for cuddles, flower hunting and brunch with my boyfriend. Yup, I love the weekend the from beginning ’till end.”
What do you use as a personal agenda?
Amélie: “I have my Moleskine notebook at home and I always keep it there. It’s too pretty to ruin with my daily ‘change of plans’ and unexpected meetings. In my phone, I write down different potential jobs and dates. Only when they are set, I write them down in my Moleskine. Also, I love how all Apple devices synchronize their agendas. It’s the best invention ever!”
Any tips for busy ladies like you?
Amélie: “Spending time at home, in Antwerp, is the best way to stay happy and calm. Whenever you surround yourself with too much of one thing, like parties or fashion events, it becomes difficult to find complete inner peace. I love to talk to friends about other things than work. It brings you back to reality and to the essence of it all.”
Interview by Angela Donskaia
Photos by Kimberley Dhollander