OXFORDSHIRE, United Kingdom — "My drug and alcohol use and abuse was not because of the fashion industry," said Amber Valletta, in a candid conversation last December with BoF editor-at-large Tim Blanks at VOICES, BoF’s new annual gathering for big thinkers.
"I would have used had I been in college or had I stayed in Oklahoma," she continued. "[However,] I had more access, and it was more acceptable — and valued in a weird way."
Speaking in front of some of the fashion industry's most influential figures, the supermodel and actress described her rapid trajectory in the world of modelling. "Fashion gave me my education, everything from culture, to etiquette, to art, to how to be a professional — fashion taught me those things," she said. "To experience life in a colourful way. More than acting has ever given me."
Valletta also spoke about the moment she hit rock bottom at the age of 25 — she has remained sober and clean ever since — as well as the state of the fashion industry today, her passion for sustainability, and the advice she would give to young models entering the industry today.
"Realise that it's a business," she advised. "I was really anti business when I was modelling... and today I don't believe that, I think you can meld your values and your beauty and brains all into one. So if you have that, then use it, go for it."