Working in fashion has a way of skewing your perspective. When you’re young it’s hard to imagine that any of the fun times will end, that life won’t always be an endless stream of barely made flights, fabulous friends, glittering capitals and stellar after-parties.
“I work with a lot of younger people – they are so efficient and they’re at such a high level. And they’ve been everywhere and done everything,” says Amelia Backman. “But it’s very hard to get them to understand that some things you learn only with time passing, with perspective.”
From the age of 17 until today, Amelia has established herself as one of the more bookable and successful models to come out of her native Sweden. Early years in Paris turned into stints in Milan and, memorably, Tokyo – where she traveled the country doing work for national and global brands aimed at the Japanese market.
She learned that her job was a craft and one to be worked on and taken seriously. When she had her two children in her mid-30s, they followed in her steps for a bit before heading off to pursue work in materials engineering and the performing arts. Amelia herself took a break from modeling when she studied art and architecture history at a university while raising her children.
She picked it up again mainly because she could: blessed with great genes and a commitment to taking care of herself, and a network of contacts deep in the industry. But she also continued because she feels the industry is turning.
“The market is realizing that the people who have money are at least 45 plus,” she says. “I think a self-confident woman would rather see a dress on someone perhaps slightly younger to herself, but not on a 15-year-old like it was 20 years ago.”
Something else that has changed in the last 20 years – at least for Amelia – a change in the way she looks at her lot in life.
“Grateful has come into the mix now,” she says. “It should be in everybody’s life. I’m grateful for so much. If something bad happens, I’m always trying to focus on what I can be grateful for…To be absolutely honest, life now is about harmony and health. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have much. I’m concentrating on living well.”
Follow Amelia on Instagram: @ameliabackman