A trip down memory lane with Anne-Marie van Dijk

It’s been quiet around Anne-Marie van Dijk for a while. But that’s about to change – as of January this year, Anne-Marie is back. Here’s what she’s been up to.

You’re with Paparazzi exactly 10 years this year! It all started with your love for orcas/disapproval of the captive orca industry, didn’t it? Can you tell us a little something about that?
I’ve always had a love for whales and dolphins, especially orcas. I’m fascinated by their intelligence and complex social/emotional lives. I was scouted at a marine park while living in Florida at the age of 14. The reason I said yes to modeling was to help raise funds for an organization that’s been trying to save the oldest orca living in captivity. Her name is Lolita and she’s been held in the smallest orca tank in the world for the past 46 years. What started with the plight of one whale led me to realize that the fashion industry can serve as a wonderful tool to help further causes I feel passionate about. This – ultimately – inspired me to stay.

What did your first steps into the world of modeling look like?
To be honest, I was completely clueless about fashion and the world of modeling when I first started. My first shoot was for Abercrombie & Fitch with Bruce Weber while living in Florida. My family and I then moved to The Netherlands where I was booked for Prada (thanks to Paparazzi) – my very first runway show. I had never heard of Prada, which makes me laugh now, but I am very grateful for that moment because it truly launched my career. After that I moved to New York where I lived for 12 years and had the privilege of working with some of the industry’s greatest photographers and designers.

You’ve been throwing it back on Instagram with some amazing pictures you literally found in the old box. Can you share your favorite one with us, plus tell a little something about it?
My favorite polaroid is the first one I posted, the one where I am portrayed as a dancer (shot by Mark Abrahams for German Vogue). There’s something sensual, elegant and “introspective” about that image. I suppose I like it so much because it captures a side of me few people are aware of but that’s always present: dreamy, contemplative, “looking inward”. The dancer seems immersed in her own world, which is often how I feel.

When it comes to modelling, it has been quiet around you for some time. What have you been up to?
This question makes me laugh as it reminds me of a comment an agent once made, “Anne-Marie isn’t available yet again, she’s too busy with her own things!”. I suppose I’ve always had one foot inside the industry and one foot out. I take my work as a model very seriously but I am also aware of the privileges it gives me to funnel my time and resources into projects and/or initiatives that are close to my heart. One of them was a health and wellness organization I founded for models, CLEANSE, which unfortunately I’ve had to put on hold because of a burnout. I took some time off to recover but hope to start working on fun projects again this year.

Would we be right by saying your personal style consists out of wind jackets and comfortable shoes for the bigger part? Did you ever feel you had to change this style because of your work?
Yes. I love comfortable clothing such as jeans paired with a comfortable knit sweater, wind jacket and sneakers. It’s been my ‘style’ for years. With that being said, my closet does contain some beautiful designer pieces but those who know me well know they’re a part of my “professional attire” and not my personal look 😉 As for if I’ve ever felt like I’ve had to change my style because of my work? Yes and no. Yes because at the end of the day my style isn’t very “stylish”. No, because it’s just who I am.

Any tips for the young girls who are just starting out as a model?
Yes, dance to the beat of your own drum! See modeling as a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but never stop asking yourself what your true dreams, hopes and aspirations are in life – and pursue those passionately. Real fulfillment is found in doing what you love. Let the world of modeling support you, not consume you.