Interview with model Anneliese van Buren

Being a model is also acting, but without words.

[justify]Tell us about yourself and how you became a model?

My name is Anneliese van Buren and I am 26 years old. I’ve been working as a model for more than 10 years now. As a child I wanted to become an actress and played in a youth theatre, but my mom made me quit when I was 12 years old. She thought that it was not possible for me to combine all the rehearsing hours with secondary school. I missed the theatre and the creativity that comes with it, until I met a photographer who saw a model in me. “Being a model is also acting, but without words”, he said. And that’s how it all slowly started.

[justify]Did it change you being a model? In which way did it change you?

I have become stronger and more self-confident. I used to be very insecure and shy, and didn’t know how to cope with myself and my body. I learned how to stand-up for myself and how to handle criticism. I also learned a lot about human nature because you always work closely together with new teams. You have to build up a relationship within a couple of hours and totally expose yourself.

[justify]You travel a lot as a model. Where have you been and which city was your favourite?

I have been to numerous places such Paris, Camargue, London, Berlin, Marrakech and Athens. It is hard to pick a favourite; every city has its magic. Marrakech was a fairy tale to me, Paris was all high class and Athens was just one big party. I am very thankful for every foreign experience that I have gained. If I look back, I was the happiest in Athens for I have truly found myself there.

[justify]What were your nicest projects?

One of my nicest memories was the duo shoot with Dita von Teese, one of my icons. She was super friendly and taught me various burlesque moves. I look very happy in the pictures. I just couldn’t believe that I was posing next to Dita. My agency did not tell me anything about it, only that I would do a shoot as a lookalike of Dita. So when I got there and Dita opened the door! I was absolutely stunned!

"The crew taught me everything about the real French life. I will never forget that!"

Another great project was the movie shoot in Camargue. What a great landscape! The crew taught me everything about the real French life. I will never forget that!


Which characteristics does a model need?

Next to a sparkling personality and flexibility, you must possess a wide range of poses and you should be able to show many different facial expressions. A model has to change into different roles all the time. Furthermore you need a strong personality, because you will go through a lot. Especially abroad the standard is very high and the competition is fierce.

What are the pros and cons of being a model?

The pros are that you are able to work with a lot of different, creative people, from whom you can learn a lot.

And because of all the travelling you will see a lot of places you would normally never go to.

"It is a very uncertain existence. You either earn a lot or nothing at all."

The cons are that you continuously have to meet a certain look or standard. There is very little space for your own creativity. It is a very uncertain existence. You either earn a lot or nothing at all.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have many interests such as fashion, photography, art, music, graphic design, travelling, (poetry) writing, dancing, reading, socialising, good food.

Besides modelling, you are busy with other things as well. Could you tell us a bit more about your other work?

I work as a fashion stylist, photographer and graphic designer in my own concept&creation agency ROOM031. Besides that I have my own blog about fashion, art & design, which is called MY LAST ISSUE.

ROOM031 and MY LAST ISSUE, are really my babies. I try to put as much time as possible into them. I slowly try to make the switch to the other side of the camera, because I won’t be able to work as a model forever.

"Life is constantly surprising me!"

Besides modelling, I work as a Live Art Performer, an innovative and experimental approach to modern dance, to gain attention for a brand in a very creative way.

What are your projects for 2015?

In January I will be going to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin and Amsterdam. I am really looking forward to that! Because I work as a freelancer, many new things happen to me all the time. I basically live from month to month, from project to project. Life is constantly surprising me. Things that are already certain are my Bachelor in Communication, Media & Design as well as my current internship at NOW&WOW. I hope to successfully complete this. Furthermore, Tokyo is high on my list. I would love to visit the Harajuku district. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

My dream is to continue working in the creative sector and to travel the world. I would like to make a flourishing company of ROOM31 with a lot of staff. I would like to develop MY LAST ISSUE into a platform for different alternative subcultures. Furthermore I would like to have my own web shop, clothing and accessory line. And maybe publishing a book would be nice.

If this will not work out, I would like to start working as a creative director in a big company that suits me. One thing is for sure, I want to become a real power woman, who lives healthy and has a fantastic career. Besides that, motherhood also attracts me somehow, although I don’t know if I can combine this with everything I want. Probably not.