After almost 15 years in the business, Behati Prinsloo is one of the most successful models of her generation, having become a household name after taking to the catwalk and landing campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. Now 31, the model has much wisdom to share with those who are following in her footsteps, but she is hesitant to dish out too much advice considering how much things have changed since her entry into the world of fashion.
“I lived in the moment so much when I was younger and that helped me a lot day to day,” she says. “But it’s difficult now, I think the industry has changed so much with social media that it would be hard for me to even imagine what I would tell a young girl starting out; when I began my career, there was none of that. We had much more freedom and creativity.”
Of course, Prinsloo is no small force on social media – she has almost six million followers on Instagram – but her approach to posting is strikingly different to many of her fellow models. There are far fewer selfies and more activism on her account, and it generally has a more personal feel – and this is intentional, she says.
“I am very selective about what I share so I don’t post many pictures of my kids – and that’s just a personal preference,” she explains.
However, Prinsloo does praise social media for giving those in the public eye the opportunity to really show who they are as people – and it gives them a platform to champion causes and movements that they really care about.
“For me, I am very private but I still want people to know me as a person. They might be able to know what I do for work, but I want them to know me as well.
“It is also a great platform if you have a cause that you really want to get out there. I would love to inspire the younger generation to use it more for good. It doesn’t have to just be about make-up tutorials, which I do love, but it can be about more than that. It is such an incredible platform and as human beings, we can and should use it for good.”
The model – who grew up in Namibia – often supports wildlife charities that are close to her heart, championing everything and anything that shares her message and her love of nature. She takes this approach too when choosing the brands that she teams up with, explaining that she only works with companies who “have a very clear message about who they are”.
One of her latest projects is with Los Angeles-based denim label 7 For All Mankind, a brand that she says echoes who she is, both in style and in the team behind it.
“I have always loved their jeans and what the brand stands for. As soon as I met everybody, we just hit it off and it just felt like such a natural fit. They’re incredible people and I love that kind of energy.”
Prinsloo has always been known for her laidback style – and she says that this hasn’t changed with motherhood, but has simply been elevated as she has moved through her life and career, making a denim label the ideal pairing for her.
“I would say that my career has affected my style more than becoming a mother. I have just learnt so much from people in the industry. I have always loved fashion and I love watching people express themselves, so becoming a mother hasn’t really changed my style – I feel like it just elevated that a bit. I love jeans, that’s what I always lived in and I still live in them.”
While motherhood hasn’t dramatically altered how she chooses to dress, Prinsloo says that it has changed her approach to work.
“I think I have always felt so lucky in my career and in my life as a model and I have always felt so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had,” she muses. “I think after becoming a mother, I definitely have become more selective because I want to spend as much time with my kids, especially as they are so young.”
Prinsloo – who shares two-year-old Dusty Rose and one-year-old Gio Grace with her musician husband Adam Levine – says that she knows how lucky she is to be in this position: “I feel very overwhelmed that I have been able to get this far to now be able to choose what I want to do.”
However, while Prinsloo is incredibly grateful for the many opportunities she has been given as a model, it is of course not all down to luck – her attitude and hard work has paid off. This, she says, is what she would really like to pass on to the younger generation.
“My advice would just be stay true to yourself and be kind, be good to people, treat them as you would want to be treated. That brings you far in this industry. I think the better you are to people, the better you will do.”